Friday, June 20, 2014

Via JMG: Sec. John Kerry Celebrates LGBT Pride, Tells Embattled Foreign Gays That "You Have A Partner In The United States"

Via press release from the White House.
The Department of State joins the world in celebrating LGBT Pride Month and reaffirms its commitment to the promotion and protection of the human rights of LGBT persons around the globe. In the United States, we have made marked progress in tearing down the unjust and unfair barriers that have prevented the full realization of the human rights of LGBT persons. We know there is more to do, but here, the arc of history is bending towards justice.

I was proud to join my colleagues at our Embassy in London last August to announce that, going forward, same-sex spouses who applied for visas would have their applications considered in the same manner as those of opposite-sex spouses. And just this week, President Obama announced his intention to sign an Executive Order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In many places around the world, however, trends are running in the opposite direction. LGBT individuals and their allies are harassed, arrested, and even killed because of who they are and the work they do. Governments are enacting laws that discriminate against LGBT individuals and their allies and restrict their fundamental human rights. The United States strongly condemns these discriminatory acts and legislation and is working every day, both here in Washington and at our embassies and consulates around the world, to ensure that all persons can exercise their human rights, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

We raise the human rights of LGBT persons both publicly and privately, and we support civil society organizations who are working on the frontlines to ensure equality and dignity for all. Through the Global Equality Fund – a partnership supported by 14 like-minded governments, foundations, corporations and non-profit organizations – the Department of State has allocated more than $9 million for both emergency and long term LGBT-related programming in more than 50 countries worldwide.

This important work, done in conjunction with allies from civil society, faith communities, the private sector and other governments, is central to our foreign policy. So, to the activists, allies, and LGBT individuals on the front lines combating discrimination, you have a partner in the United States. I stand with you and I wish you safe and happy 2014 Pride celebrations.
This would have been unimaginable not so long ago.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: HomoQuotable - John Paulk

"There was a time in my life when I used to sound a lot like Rick Perry. In fact, for more than ten years I was one of the nation’s leading spokesmen for the 'ex-gay' movement. I traveled the country telling audiences that being gay was a preventable condition, and it could be treated if only you followed a simple plan, obeyed God and sought repentance for your sins. 'Ladies and gentlemen, homosexuality is not a genetic, inborn condition,' I would say. 'It is the result of traceable causes that, once unraveled, can bring about understanding and transformation in the life of one who is motivated and submitted to God.' [snip]But I was in denial. It wasn’t in fact true, any of it. Worse than being wrong, it was harmful to many people—and caused me years of pain in my own life. Which is why I have this to say to the Rick Perrys of the world: You don’t understand this issue. At all." 
- Former "ex-gay" poster boy John Paulk, writing for Politico Magazine.

Read the full essay.

posted by Joe Jervis

Via Daily Dharma

The Luminous Gap | June 20, 2014

At the moment, because of ignorance of our real nature, we experience everything as the confused manifestations of samsara. The sense of self creates a feeling of solidity, like the apparent solidity of the clouds veiling the face of the sun, but at certain moments a gap is opened up, through which we may receive a glimpse of the light of reality.
—Francesca Freemantle, "The Luminous Gap in Bardo"

Why the tide is turning in support of same-sex marriage

Via Flower of the Day: 06/20/14

"Your heart rejoices when you feel that you are being guided, when you realize that you are not alone and that you are not a leaf being strewn in the wind. When you perceive that there is an intelligence that connects everything, and you are a part of this play, then you feel like you belong: like you are a flower in the Creator's garden. There is no sadness anymore. But to reach this state of contentment, one has to learn how to listen to the voice of intuition and to pay attention to synchronicities. There is always a message for you behind any mysterious ‘coincidence.’ Synchronicity is the language the universe uses to show you the next steps of your journey."
Sri Prem Baba