Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Via Facebook:

Via Marriage Equality USA: Catholic school fires gay teacher planning wedding

The Supreme Court has ruled that religiously affiliated organizations like this school have the legal right to discriminate against anyone they choose, so I'm not arguing with the school's actual //legal// rights to fire the music teacher. I believe, however, that the firing was highly //immoral//. And why was it ok for him to keep his job when he was living with another man, but not ok after he talked about getting married. And I wonder if the school has fired any teachers who have been divorced, or who use contraception. I suspect with near 100% certainty the answer is no.
NORMANDY • A popular music teacher at St. Ann Catholic School in north St. Louis County recently was fired after church officials learned that he planned to marry his male partner of 20 years in New York, one of a handful of states where same-sex marriage is legal.

Via AmericaBlogGay:

Marine spokesman on gay kiss: "It’s your typical homecoming photo." And it was their first kiss.

Great job from the Marine spokesman. Not to mention, this was their first kiss. Their four year friendship had turned into a romance by mail (or email) while the Marine was stationed in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Brandon Morgan returned Wednesday from a six-month deployment to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

There to meet him was his friend of four years, Windward Oahu artist Dalan Wells -- a friendship that had turned to a long-distance love during the deployment. This was their first kiss.

"We couldn't talk, I can barely talk now, his hands went numb, my legs were shaking, our first kiss after just knowing how we felt about each other,” Morgan said.

“All my superiors, my staff sergeants, my gunnery sergeants, my lieutenants, my officers, my captains, they're all very ecstatic and very happy that I had somebody to come home to,” Morgan said. “Again, gay or straight, does not matter.”

A spokesperson for Marine Corps Base Hawaii said in a statement: "It's your typical homecoming photo."

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma February 29, 2012

Toppling the "I" Throne

The ego must be dethroned, its arrogance must be dismantled, and we must begin, before it is too late, to listen to the ensuing silence. All of this is about becoming who we are in the deepest sense and about surrendering to what creation is asking of us and needing from us just now.
- Reginald Ray, "Looking Inward, Seeing Outward"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Via JMG: On The Origins Of HIV

The Washington Post has published a fascinating history of the origins of HIV, based on the fairly widely-accepted theory that the virus sprang from chimp to human during the tumultuous colonial days of western Africa, possibly beginning in the 1880s.
Most of this colonial world didn’t have enough potential victims for such a fragile virus to start a major epidemic. HIV is harder to transmit than many other infections. People can have sex hundreds of times without passing the virus on. To spread widely, HIV requires a population large enough to sustain an outbreak and a sexual culture in which people often have more than one partner, creating networks of interaction that propel the virus onward. To fulfill its grim destiny, HIV needed a kind of place never before seen in Central Africa but one that now was rising in the heart of the region: a big, thriving, hectic place jammed with people and energy, where old rules were cast aside amid the tumult of new commerce. It needed Kinshasa. It was here, hundreds of miles downriver from Cameroon, that HIV began to grow beyond a mere outbreak. It was here that AIDS grew into an epidemic.
Read the full article. (Tipped by JMG reader Greg)

reposted from Joe

Via Gay Politics Report:

  • Houston mayor won't back down from marriage stance
  • Houston Mayor Annise Parker said this week she believes President Barack Obama “needs to evolve a little bit faster” on the issue of marriage for same-sex couples, and that she supports an effort to include marriage equality in the Democratic platform. Meanwhile, Parker rejected a local pastor's call for her to resign over her increasingly public stance on marriage. "I do my duty to uphold the state Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. I swore an oath to that. I take that oath very seriously, but I have my First Amendment rights to free speech. We all have the right to do that and I’m sorry [he doesn't] understand the Constitution," Parker said. The Huffington Post/Gay Voices (2/27), (2/28)     

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma February 28, 2012

Who We Really Are

The life that flows through each of us and through everything around us is actually all connected. To say that, of course, means that who I really am cannot be separated from all the things that surround me. Or, to put it another way, all sentient beings have their existence and live within my life.
- Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, "The Bodhisattva Vow: Eight Views"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Monday, February 27, 2012

Via jMG: NYC's U.S. House Members: It Gets Better

Clip description:
Members of New York City's Congressional Delegation -- Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Ed Towns, Eliot Engel, Carolyn Maloney, Joe Crowley and Jose Serrano -- released a video to combat the scourge of suicide among LGBT American youths. They join thousands of others across the country working to help those who are at risk. The It Gets Better Project was created in 2010 to address the alarming increase of reported suicide among LGBT youths.
NYC House members except the Republicans.

Reposted from Joe

Via Facebook:

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma February 27, 2012

Maintaining Skillful Intentions

We may be powerless to change the past, but we do have the power to shape the present and the future by what we do, moment to moment, right now. And in maintaining our intention to be as skillful as possible in thought, word, and deed, we’ll find the only true refuge there is.
- Thanissaro Bhikku, "What We've Been Practicing For"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Via JMG: Obituary Of The Day

From the Washington Post:
Bob Green, a onetime radio DJ who married pop singer and Miss Oklahoma Anita Bryant, was found dead Jan. 26 at his home in Miami Beach. He was 80. Mr. Green managed his wife’s rise to stardom as an entertainer and Florida citrus spokeswoman, then followed her into anti-gay activism, which ultimately destroyed their careers — and marriage in 1980. For more than 30 years, Mr. Green lived quietly, alone and resentful.
Never read an obit quite like that. Read the full thing.

reposted from Joe

JMG Tweet Of The Day

reposted from Joe

Via AmericaBlogGay:

Just click through and check out the photo.  They're Marines. JoeMyGod found an update from the guy in the photo in uniform:

"To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can't believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn't do this to get famous,or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt. As for the haters, let em quote Kat Williams, everyone needs haters, so let them hate. We are the happiest we have ever been and as for the whole PDA and kissing slash hugging in was a homecoming, if the Sergeants Major, Captains, Majors, and Colonels around us didn't care...then why do you care what these random people have to say? In summation thank you for your love and support. I received a lot of friend requests off this. I don't just accept requests so if your request was because of this post message me and let me know. Goodnight all, and Semper Fi." --Brandon Morgan

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma February 26, 2012

Building Unconditional Openness

Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth—it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.
- Pema Chodron, "Unlimited Friendliness"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma February 25, 2012

The Heart-Essence of Buddhist Meditation

Meditation, simply defined, is a way of being aware. It is the happy marriage of doing and being. It lifts the fog of our ordinary lives to reveal what is hidden; it loosens the knot of self-centeredness and opens the heart; it moves us beyond mere concepts to allow for a direct experience of reality.
- Lama Surya Das, "The Heart-Essence of Buddhist Meditation"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Friday, February 24, 2012

Via JMG: Maryland Marriage Reactions

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
Maryland and marriage equality will certainly make a lovely couple. Maryland is the Free State, after all. To be able to share and celebrate one's love and commitment both publicly and legally is a lifelong dream for thousands of same-sex couples and their families. It’s thrilling that Maryland is poised to make this a reality by becoming the latest state to treat its families fairly. This has been a long journey of changing hearts and minds, of breaking down walls, of shining a spotlight on our common humanity. Congratulations to Equality Maryland, Marylanders for Marriage Equality and all those who have been part of the journey leading to this victory.
Human Rights Campaign
"We could not be more grateful to the senators who today voted to make all Maryland families stronger,” said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Today, we took another giant step toward marriage equality becoming law – and we are in this position due to the unwavering leadership and resolve of Governor O’Malley and our legislative allies, particularly Sens. Rich Madaleno, Jamie Raskin, Rob Garagiola, and Brian Frosh.” Virtually any piece of legislation, according to Maryland law, can be subject to a referendum where voters cast a ballot supporting or opposing the legislation. Opponents of marriage equality are expected to begin obtaining the requisite signatures necessary to refer the Civil Marriage Protection Act to the general election ballot.
National Center For Lesbian Rights
Today, Marylanders won a key victory in the quest for equality under the law for same-sex couples and their children. Enormous thanks are due to Governor O’Malley, our legislative champions in the House and Senate, and all those who came forward to explain why discrimination against families in Maryland’s marriage law is just plain wrong. This fight is not yet over in the Free State, but today, we celebrate this fantastic achievement.
Marriage Equality USA
"Since Governor O'Malley has championed this bill and already said he will sign the bill into law, today's historic vote means marriage equality in Maryland!" said Stuart Gaffney, Marriage Equality USA Media Director. "We are encouraged by reports that former Vice President Dick Cheney made calls to lobby Maryland legislators to support the bill. Supporting his lesbian daughter Mary illustrates the true meaning of family values across party lines." "We are seeing unstoppable momentum for equal marriage rights from every avenue," said John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA Legal Director.
Today’s vote by the Maryland General Assembly shows that the momentum toward marriage equality is unstoppable. Generations of Americans will applaud Governor Martin O’Malley and the bipartisan coalition of Maryland lawmakers for joining the courts and legislatures nationwide in defending the fundamental freedom to marry for all.”
More as they arrive...

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Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: MD Gov. Martin O'Malley Reacts

"I'd like to thank Senate President Miller for his leadership and our legislators in the Senate for their hard work and their vote today for human dignity. All children deserve the opportunity to live in a loving, caring, committed, and stable home, protected equally under the law. The common thread running through our efforts together in Maryland is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work, the dignity of faith, the dignity of family, the dignity of every individual. Thanks to our elected leaders, clergy and faith-based leaders, community leaders, civic organizations, civil rights groups, and citizens from across our state, Maryland will now be able to protect individual civil marriage rights and religious freedom equally." - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Boehner Appeals Latest DOMA Ruling

On Wednesday a federal court struck down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional. Today GOP House Speaker John Boehner ordered that ruling appealed.
In court papers, a group of congressional Republicans defending the federal gay marriage ban revealed they are appealing the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The 9th Circuit will become the second federal appeals court to now consider the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 16-year-old law known as DOMA. The Obama administration has sided with Golinski in the case, arguing that DOMA is unconstitutional. Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, have jumped in to defend the law, filing the notice of appeal on Friday. With cases unfolding in several federal courts, many experts predict the issue will wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
RELATED: Helping to raise money for Boehner's reelection campaign are Log Cabin Republicans head R. Clark Cooper and former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, two out gay alleged activists who will co-chair Boehner's high-ticket Washington DC soiree.

Reposted from Joe

Outtakes from Ellen's JCPenney Commercials!

Via Towleroad: Teen Tells Mom 'I'm Gay', Posts Entire Event to YouTube: VIDEO


YouTuber Mallow610 came out to his mother and posted it online. The must-watch video of the day. Those of you who have been through this process can relate to the nervousness beforehand (I know I can). We should all be so lucky to have a parent like this.

ImgayHe writes:
"Finally got the strength to come out to my mom. My Mom has been extremely supportive. I could not ask for anyone else. Love you :) Every circumstance is different and you will know when the right time to come out is. Stay strong. Babz and I are here for you. :) Note: I decided to post this so that I could share my experience with you. Hopefully it will be an inspiration to those who do not have such supportive families."
When she says, "I am a great mom," she's absolutely right. Congratulations Mallow610.


Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma February 24, 2012

Awakening to Direct Experience

The work of Buddhism is to awaken, to come out of the sleepy dreams and notions of reality that we hold to be true and replace them with a direct experience of what is more accurately occurring. To awaken in this way, we need to become conscious of what’s actually going on at the very depths of our experience.
- Will Johnson, "Full Body, Empty Mind"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Via JMG: Santorum: No Civil Unions Either

Rick Santorum says he opposes civil unions too.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a vocal opponent of gay marriage, said today he opposes civil unions, too. In response to a question by Dean Reynolds for the "CBS Evening News," the former Pennsylvania senator said same-sex couples should work through the legal system to obtain rights similar to those enjoyed by legally married couples. "I believe in people's right to be able to contract for whatever benefits that they have," Santorum told Reynolds. "I believe in freedom of contract and people should be able to contract for hospitalization visits, being able to take insurance policies or life insurance," he added. "And I've encouraged folks if they want to build those relationships to do that."
I can't see why this is surprising or even news.

Reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Ten House Reps Pose For NOH8

Ten members of the U.S. House have posed for the NOH8 Campaign.
"Our nation was founded upon the principle of equality. It is imperative that we work for equal rights for all in order to make that principle a reality. Love isn't gay or straight, tall or short, black or white, it is for everyone," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio's 10th District.
Hit the link for more photos and a way to ask your rep to participate.

Reposted from Joe

JMG Tweet Of The Day

Buzzfeed notes that Romney actually got the quote wrong.

reposted from Joe


Via SPLC and Addicting Info:

Via AmericaBlogGay: Former GOP Senator Alan Simpson calls Santorum homophobic

Sure, he got the grammar wrong, but his heart was in the right place.

Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wy.) weighed in on the Republican presidential primary on Wednesday, calling Rick Santorum "rigid and a homophobic."

In an interview with CBS News' Bob Schieffer, Simpson faulted the Republican field for making issues like same-sex marriage and reproductive rights central to their platforms, warning that they would lose favor with voters if the conversation does not change.

"I am convinced that if you get into these social issues and just stay in there about abortion and homosexuality and even mental health they bring up, somehow they're going to take us all to Alaska and float us out in the Bering Sea or something," said Simpson, long known for colorful commentary. "We won't have a prayer."

Via AmericaBlogGay:

If we lived in Iran, we wouldn't have to worry about all these judges giving people their civil rights.  Who gave them the power to decide these cases anyway?  Oh yeah, that's right, the Founding Fathers and the United States Constitution.  At their core, Republicans and their religious right overlords simply don't like our system of government because when the system is fair and honest and open, conservatives tend to lose, at least the dishonest ones that currently run the GOP do.  It's the same reason they, along with their propaganda arm at Fox, are trying to destroy the US media.  Anything that keeps the system fair keeps them from winning.

Never forget: When Republicans attack judges they are attacking our democracy and arguing that the Framers got it wrong.

Via Tricycle Daily Dharma:

Tricycle Daily Dharma February 23, 2012

The Power of Observation

Although meditation is not thinking, it can be clear awareness of thinking. Thought can be a very useful object of meditation. We can turn the great power of observation onto thought in order to learn about its inherent nature, becoming aware of its process instead of getting lost in its content.
- Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, "Working with Thoughts"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection