Sunday, May 31, 2015

Via Washington Post: If I understand the history correctly…

"If I understand the history correctly, in the late 1990s, the President was impeached for lying about a sexual affair by a House of Representatives led by a man who was also then hiding a sexual affair, who was supposed to be replaced by another Congressman who stepped down when forced to reveal that he too was having a sexual affair, which led to the election of a new Speaker of the House who now has been indicted for lying about payments covering up his sexual contact with a boy. "

Make the jump here to read the full article

Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 31/05/2015

“Espiritualidade é poder manifestar a consciência amorosa em qualquer situação ou lugar. Não é mais tempo de fugir para as cavernas ou para as montanhas e ficar meditando sozinho. Isso é injusto com a sociedade que trabalha tanto. Se você pode, de alguma maneira ser canal da luz, é preciso compartilhar com os outros.”
Para ler o Satsang completo, acesse:

“Espiritualidad es podes manifestar la consciencia amorosa en cualquier situación o lugar. Ya no es tiempo de huir a las cavernas o a las montañas y quedarse meditando solo. Esto es injusto con la sociedad que trabaja tanto. Si puedes de alguna manera ser canal de la luz, es necesario compartirla con los otros.”

“Spirituality is being able to bring loving awareness into any situation or place. It’s no longer the time to retreat to caves or to the mountains and to meditate alone. This is unfair in a society that works so hard. If in some way you can be a channel of light, you must share this with others.”

Today's Daily Dharma: Salvation Beyond Self.

Salvation Beyond Self
Each deepening of refuge is a lessening of ego. More faith, less ego. Thus Buddhism finds salvation beyond self.

- David Brazier, "It Needs Saying"

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tatiana Maslany tears up explaining why she's an LGBT ally

JMG REPORT: Pentagon Set To Add Sexual Orientation As A Protected Class

Via the Washington Blade:
The Pentagon is preparing to update its Military Equal Opportunity Policy to include sexual orientation as a protected class and the change could be made final as soon as the end of next month, the Washington Blade has learned. A senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed late Friday the Defense Department is planning to update the Military Equal Opportunity Policy to add the words “sexual orientation” as part of the non-discrimination policy.

The proposed change is set to be delivered as early as the middle of next week to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter for his review and final approval, the official said. Each of the military services has already agreed to the change, the official said. The planned change follows an internal review at the Pentagon of the Military Equal Opportunity Policy, which the official said lasted about 12 months. Efforts to include sexual orientation in the revision were languishing, but were re-energized after the appointment in April of Brad Carson as under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, the official said.

The Military Equal Opportunity Policy identifies classes of service members that should be protected from discrimination to allow them to rise to highest level or responsibility possible. As it stands, the Military Equal Opportunity Policy includes race, color, religion, age, physical or mental disability, sex and national origin. However, service members as of right now have no recourse for anti-gay discrimination outside of their chain of command.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Progressive America / FB:

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 30/05/2015

“Porque tratamos a natureza como um objeto a ser comercializado? Porque não podemos ver o espirito divino que está na árvore, no rio, no animal? Essa indiferença é um mecanismo de defesa que nos mantém distante da dor – a dor de não ter sido amado. Quando criança, seus pais fizeram algo diferente do que você esperava, e você compreendeu isso como desamor. E até pode ser que eles realmente não tenham te amado. Mas o problema é que, até hoje, você está preso nisso. Você não quer perdoar, e por isso segue destruindo tudo ao seu redor.”
Para ler o Satsang completo, acesse:

“¿Por qué tratamos a la naturaleza como un objeto para ser comercializado? ¿Por qué no podemos ver el espíritu divino que está en el árbol, en el río, en el animal? Esta indiferencia es un mecanismo de defensa que nos mantiene distantes del dolor – el dolor de no haber sido amado. Cuando niño, tus padres hicieron algo diferente de lo que esperabas, y comprendiste esto como desamor. Y hasta puede ser que ellos realmente no te hayan amado. Pero el problema es que, hasta hoy, estás preso en eso. No quieres perdonar, y por eso sigues destruyendo todo a tu alrededor.”

“Why do we treat nature like an object to be commercialized? Why can’t we see the Divine Spirit in trees, rivers and animals? This indifference is a defense mechanism that we use to keep pain at a distance: the pain of not having been loved. As a child, our parents did something different from what we had expected, and we understood this to mean that they did not love us. Maybe they didn’t actually love us, but the problem is that until today we still remain trapped in these thoughts. We don’t want to forgive them, which is why we continue to destroy everything around us.”

Today's Daily Dharma: Searching for Ego

Photo: Bill Armstrong
Searching for Ego

If we carefully analyze our body and mind, we will never find in them anything that corresponds to the ego?ego really is an illusion. Being selfish, then, is merely enacting an illusion, not being what we truly are, which is awakened, a buddha.

- Karma Trinlay Rinpoche, "What We've Been All Along"

Friday, May 29, 2015

Via Believe Out Loud / FB:

Via JMG: Mozambique Legalizes Homosexuality

Homosexual acts will be legal in Mozambique on Monday as the law signed by the president in December goes into effect. The new criminal code no longer contains a murky clause which provided that "measures" could be taken against those who "habitually engage in vices against nature." That clause was written in 1887 when Mozambique was still a Portuguese colony. The country has a population of 23 million, 56% of whom identify as Christians. While the legalization of homosexual acts reduces the number of countries which criminalize homosexuality to 78, there are no other legal protections for LGBT citizens of Mozambique. (Via Pink News)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

U.S. Navy Combat Veteran Fights for the Freedom to Marry

Via JMG: Obama Issues Pride Month Proclamation

"From the moment our Nation first came together to declare the fundamental truth that all men are created equal, courageous and dedicated patriots have fought to refine our founding promise and broaden democracy's reach. Over the course of more than two centuries of striving and sacrifice, our country has expanded civil rights and enshrined equal protections into our Constitution. Through struggle and setback, we see a common trajectory toward a more free and just society. But we are also reminded that we are not truly equal until every person is afforded the same rights and opportunities -- that when one of us experiences discrimination, it affects all of us -- and that our journey is not complete until our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.

"Across our Nation, tremendous progress has been won by determined individuals who stood up, spoke out, and shared their stories. Earlier this year, because of my landmark Executive Order on LGBT workplace discrimination, protections for Federal contractors went into effect, guarding against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Federal Government is now leading by example, ensuring that our employees and contractors are judged by the quality of their work, not by who they love. And I will keep calling on the Congress to pass legislation so that all Americans are covered by these protections, no matter where they work.

"In communities throughout the country, barriers that limit the potential of LGBT Americans have been torn down, but too many individuals continue to encounter discrimination and unfair treatment. My Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors because the overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that it can cause substantial harm. We understand the unique challenges faced by sexual and gender minorities -- especially transgender and gender non-conforming individuals -- and are taking steps to address them. And we recognize that families come in many shapes and sizes. Whether biological, foster, or adoptive, family acceptance is an important protective factor against suicide and harm for LGBTQ youth, and mental health experts have created resources to support family communication and involvement.

"For countless young people, it is not enough to simply say it gets better; we must take action too. We continue to address bullying and harassment in our classrooms, ensuring every student has a nurturing environment in which to learn and grow. Across the Federal Government, we are working every day to unlock the opportunities all LGBT individuals deserve and the resources and care they need. Too many LGBTQ youth face homelessness and too many older individuals struggle to find welcoming and affordable housing; that is why my Administration is striving to ensure they have equal access to safe and supportive housing throughout life. We are updating our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to better address the disproportionate burden HIV has on communities of gay and bisexual men and transgender women. We continue to extend family and spousal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

"And because we know LGBT rights are human rights, we are championing protections and support for LGBT persons around the world. All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, we celebrate the proud legacy LGBT individuals have woven into the fabric of our Nation, we honor those who have fought to perfect our Union, and we continue our work to build a society where every child grows up knowing that their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are.

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2015 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.

"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth. - BARACK OBAMA.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 29/05/2015

“O adolescente rebelde está pedindo amor incondicional. Na verdade, ele não está dando conta do que sente, ele está desesperado. Esse é um amor exigente. Enquanto você está ali dando o seu melhor, ele está jogando pedras. Mas é preciso compreender que esse é o seu material de escola. Você está aprendendo a não se identificar com sua própria criança ferida, a manter sua mente equânime e não aceitar o convite para a guerra. No momento, esse filho é o seu mestre.”

“El adolescente rebelde está pidiendo amor incondicional. En verdad, no se está dando cuenta de lo que siente, está desesperado. Este es un amor exigente. Mientras tú estás ahí dando lo mejor, él está tirando piedras. Pero es necesario comprender que este es tu material de escuela. Estás aprendiendo a no identificarte con tu propio niño herido, a mantener tu mente ecuánime y no aceptar la invitación a la guerra. En ese momento, ese hijo es tu maestro.” 

“Rebellious teenagers are asking for unconditional love. In truth, they are not managing to cope with their feelings, and are in a state of despair. This is a very demanding form of love. While you are there giving your best efforts, they are hurling stones back at you. You must understand that this is your learning material. You are learning not to get identified with your own wounded child, and how to keep your mind balanced and not take up the gauntlet or accept the invitation to fight. At this moment, your child is your teacher.”

Today's Daily Dharma: The Myth of Enlightenment.

The Myth of Enlightenment

One idea that really hampers us is to believe that people get 'enlightened,' and then they’re that way forever and ever. We may have our moments, and if we get sick and have lots of things happening, we may fall back. But a person who practices consistently over years and years is more that way, more of the time, all the time. And that’s enough. There is no such thing as getting it. 

- Charlotte Joko Beck, "Life's Not A Problem" 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Via American Atheists's / FB

Since Senator Rubio seems to be confused about this: We don't want to criminalize Catholic teachings or even call them "hate speech." But his religious beliefs don't excuse his bigotry. And criticizing him for his bigotry isn't persecution, it's holding him accountable.

Via adicting Info: Teens Are Leaving Religion In Droves, And That Spells Big Trouble For The GOP

It is no secret to anyone who bothers to turn on a television news show or use Google that the current incarnation of the GOP is hellbent on turning America into a fundamentalist Christians theocracy. They believe that everything that is even a little bit progressive, from climate change to acceptance of homosexuality, to abortion, is some evil liberal plot to take away their Bibles, burn down their churches, and persecute Christians. While thinking people know that they are deluded, the people who make up today’s GOP pander to the nut jobs who believe it. Well, luckily for the rest of us, that base of people and their politicians are getting older and dying off. Even better is the fact that younger version of these people are not replacing them.

According to a recent- and quite thorough study, today’s adolescents are leaving religion in droves. It isn’t because they haven’t found god yet or anything like that, either, according to this study. It’s because there has been a cultural shift, and these people do not need or want religion in their lives. Jean Twenge, the psychology professor from San Diego State who led the study, says:
“Unlike previous studies, ours is able to show that Millennials’ lower religious involvement is due to cultural change, not to millennials being young and unsettled.”
Further, the study concludes that this is the least religious generation in six decades. Also, because it is a cultural change, these young people are unlikely to turn to religion as they get older. According to Twenge, who also authored a book on the Millennial generation entitled Generation Methis shift has to do with the fact that children born in the 1980’s and 1990’s are simply more inclined to be individualistic than those before them. She describes Millennials as tolerant, confident, open-minded, and ambitious but also disengaged, narcissistic, distrustful, and anxious,” and calls them the “Entitlement Generation.”

For this CEO, mindful management means yoga for employees

Via The Washington Blade: Obama to host Pride at the White House on June 24

President Obama is set to host Pride at the White House on June 24. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
President Obama is set to host a reception at the White House commemorating June as the month of Pride on June 24, the Washington Blade has learned. - See more at:
President Obama is set to host Pride at the White House on June 24. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
President Obama is set to host a reception at the White House commemorating June as the month of Pride on June 24, the Washington Blade has learned. - See more at:
President Obama is set to host Pride at the White House on June 24. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
President Obama is set to host a reception at the White House commemorating June as the month of Pride on June 24, the Washington Blade has learned. - See more at:

JMG HomoQuotable - Armistead Maupin

"I'm the only gay man I know who has never been to Fire Island. I have not made a point of staying away -- its charms are legendary, of course -- but the occasion has simply never presented itself. Now, it's quite likely that I will remain forever virginal in that regard. Or at least until these guys are no longer collecting money at the dock. When I coined the term 'A-gay' forty years ago, these were just the sort of creeps I had in mind. It was never intended as something to aspire to." - Armistead Maupin, reacting to this New York Times profile of hoteliers Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass. (Tipped by JMG reader Aaron)
Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via FB:

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 28/05/2015

“Pais e educadores precisam tomar consciência da grande responsabilidade que lhes foi dada: interromper o ciclo da ignorância neste planeta. Porque através da educação das crianças podemos quebrar o círculo vicioso da destruição e realmente mudar o mundo. Para isso, precisamos fazer nossa parte que é ajudar as crianças a encontrarem seus dons e talentos, e se alinharem com a sua verdadeira missão. Não basta largar a criança na escola, é preciso se responsabilizar e se comprometer com o despertar do amor desse Ser.”

“Padres y educadores necesitan tomar consciencia de la gran responsabilidad que les fue dada: interrumpir el ciclo de la ignorancia en este planeta. Porque a través de la educación de los niños podemos romper el círculo vicioso de la destrucción y realmente cambiar el mundo. Para eso, necesitamos hacer nuestra parte que es ayudar a los niños a encontrar sus dones y talentos, y alinearse con su verdadera misión. No basta dejar al niño en la escuela, es necesario responsabilizarse y comprometerse con el despertar del amor de ese Ser.”

“Parents and educators need to become aware of the great responsibility they have been given: to interrupt the cycle of ignorance on this planet. Through our children’s education we can break the vicious circle of destruction and create a change in the world. We need to do our part in order for this to happen. We must help our children to discover their gifts and talents, and to live in alignment with their true purpose. It is not enough to put your child in a school system – you have to be responsible and committed to awakening the love within this human being.”

Today's Daily Dharma: The Dawning of Truth.

The Dawning of Truth

  If we use the practice tools that develop intelligence and clarity with a confused, selfish motivation, reality is bound to collide with our fiction. This is where practice is supposed to bring us. This is the proof that the dharma works. It’s the end of our confused, fictive world, and the dawning of truth.

 - Lama Tsony, "Facing Fear"


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Via JMG: Wikipedia Updates World Marriage Map

As I reported yesterday, Greenland's Parliament has voted to adopt Denmark's laws on same-sex marriage. That vote goes into effect on October 1st, prompting Wikipedia's map monitors to change Greenland's color to mustard, which means "pending." That tiny dot of dark green in the Middle East is Israel and if you squint you'll see that same-sex marriage is also pending in Nepal (although that bill has not yet been presented). Chile is apparently mustard-shaded because in February 2015 the government announced that it was formally dropping its opposition to same-sex marriage. Civil unions were signed into law by Chile's president last month and the marriage bill is expected soon.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel Spokesman Says Same-Sex Marriage Is "Not A Goal Of This Government"

Via Reuters:
Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition agreed on Wednesday to make small changes to same-sex civil partnership rules but staunch opposition from conservatives in her party means Germany will not follow Ireland in allowing gay marriages any time soon. Although there are growing divisions within the party, Merkel's Christian Democrats are still overwhelmingly opposed to same-sex marriages partly due to fears it could upset voters on the right. However, polls show 75 percent of Germans are in favour of legalising gay marriages, as are the Social Democrats (SPD) and all opposition parties. The overwhelming "yes" vote in Ireland for same-sex marriage had triggered a discussion in Germany about the lingering gap in rights between registered partnerships and marriages. "Today was an important milestone in dismantling discrimination and the chancellor is pleased about that," her spokesman Steffen Seibert said. "But same-sex marriages are not a goal of this government." "Every country makes its own laws - some countries go one route while others go another," said Seibert, when asked about Ireland. "In Germany we'll take a path that suits Germany."
Merkel was elected to a third term in 2013.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Julianne Moore Says #IDO to Equality

Via JMG: Where Gay Men Are The Happiest

Via the Washington Post:
Planet Romeo, an Amsterdam-based dating and community site, collaborated with the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany to carry out an online survey of 115,000 gay men around the world. They combined rankings on public opinion, public behavior and life satisfaction – how gay men feel about society’s view on homosexuality, how gay men feel they are treated by other people, and how satisfied gay men are with their own lives, respectively – into one worldwide ranking on gay happiness. Iceland tops their list as the country where gay men are the happiest, followed by Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Uruguay, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The United States ranks 26th in the list. The 10 worst countries by this ranking are Kazakhstan, Ghana, Cameroon, Iran, Nigeria, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda.
Hit the link and scroll down for the full ranking.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Feds to Induct Gay Rights Pioneer Frank Kameny Into Labor Hall Of Honor

Via press release from the US Department of Labor:
Frank Kameny, who for decades fought to end discrimination in the federal workplace, will be honored by the U.S. Department of Labor in June with an induction to its Hall of Honor. Kameny's legacy as a civil rights leader has made a monumental difference in improving the lives of all workers all across America. A World War II veteran and Harvard-educated doctor of astronomy with the U.S. Army Map Service, Kameny was discharged and barred from federal government employment in 1958 after U.S. Civil Service Commission investigators asked if he was a homosexual.

Kameny fought the injustice, eventually taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied his petition in 1961. The setback led him to become a co-founder of the first gay rights organization in Washington, D.C., and began his tireless fight to force the nation's largest employer — the federal government — to end discrimination in its employment practices based on sexual orientation. "Frank Kameny was a groundbreaking leader in the LGBT civil rights movement. He fought tirelessly to live out his truth and to end workplace discrimination," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "At the Department of Labor we work every day to carry on his legacy and ensure that all workers, no matter who they are or who they love, have equal access to opportunity."
Kameny died at age 86 in 2011. Earlier Hall Of Honor inductees include Ted Kennedy, Bayard Rustin, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, and the 9/11 Rescue Workers. Kameny's ceremony will take place on June 23rd and the Labor Department suggests the Twitter hashtag #ThankFrank. (Tipped by JMG reader Jeremy)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

JMG Quote Of The Day - Daniel O'Donnell

"As for many, there is a deeply personal element to this historic victory for me. I am very recognizably Irish-American, from my face to my name, but until these last few weeks, I have often felt that I don’t belong. Last month I was invited to Ireland by the Lawyers for Yes Campaign to help kick off the final weeks of advocacy. As the legislative sponsor of Marriage Equality in New York State, I shared my experience on the fight to achieve equal rights. Irish people from all over the world returned home to vote in this election. I returned to the birthplace of my family to help in any way I could. I feel proud to be Irish in a new way today after the people of Ireland declared that one can be Irish and gay and recognized in loving same-sex relationships. Thank you, Ireland, for voting for another step toward universal human rights for all." - New York Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, in a letter published today by the New York Times.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via NYT: On Same-Sex Marriage, Catholics Are Leading the Way

Take a look at this list of countries: Belgium, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Ireland. Name two things that they have in common.

They don’t share a continent, obviously. Or a language.

But in all of them, the Roman Catholic Church has more adherents, at least nominally, than any other religious denomination does.

And all of them belong to the vanguard of 20 nations that have decided to make same-sex marriage legal.

In fact, countries with a Catholic majority or plurality make up half of those where two men or two women can now wed or will soon be able to.

Make the jump here to read the full article on the NYT

Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 27/05/2015

“Nascemos querendo receber amor exclusivo. Passamos a vida exigindo esse amor em nossas relações. Mas isso não existe, então sofremos. Apanhamos até perceber que tudo que buscamos está dentro de nós mesmos. Então compreendemos que seremos amados somente quando esse amor estiver fluindo abundantemente dos nossos próprios corações. Parece absurdo, mas assim é.”

“Nacemos queriendo recibir amor exclusivo. Pasamos la vida exigiendo ese amor en nuestras relaciones. Pero esto no existe, entonces sufrimos. Sufrimos hasta percibir que todo lo que buscamos está dentro de nosotros. Entonces comprendemos que solamente seremos amados cuando ese amor esté fluyendo abundantemente desde nuestros propios corazones. Parece absurdo, pero así es.”

"When we are born, we want to receive exclusive love. We spend our lives demanding this love from our relationships, but it does not exist, so we suffer. We get caught up in this idea until we realize that everything we are looking for is within us. Then we understand that we will only be loved when love is flowing abundantly from our own hearts. This seems absurd, but that’s how it works.”

Today's Daily Dharma: Caught Up in Thoughts.

Caught Up in Thoughts

The thoughts are not the problem. Thoughts are the nature of the mind. The problem is that we identify with them. 

- Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, "No Excuses"  


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Via Global Secular Humanist Movement

Sesame Street: Grover and Zachary Quinto are Flexible

Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 26/05/2015

“Às vezes é necessário realizar a prática de uma austeridade inteligente, que é quando fazemos um esforço, um exercício, para redirecionar os vetores da nossa vontade. Tenho incentivado e sugerido cada vez mais a prática do silêncio, porque ele é a fundação que sustenta o templo da consciência.”

“A veces es necesario realizar la práctica de una austeridad inteligente, que es cuando hacemos un esfuerzo, un ejercicio, para redireccionar los vectores de nuestra voluntad. Vengo incentivado y sugiriendo cada vez más la práctica del silencio, porque éste es la base que sustenta el templo de la consciencia.”

“Sometimes we need to practice an intelligent austerity, which means putting our energy towards an activity that redirects our willpower. More and more, I have been encouraging and suggesting the practice of cultivating silence. Silence is the foundation on which the temple of awareness rests.”

Today's Daily Dharma: Respect Between Sects.

Respect Between Sects

Whoever honors his own sect and disparages another man’s, whether from blind loyalty or with the intention of showing his own sect in a favorable light, does his own sect the greatest possible harm. Concord is best, with each hearing and respecting the other’s teachings. 

Via JMG: Greenland Approves Same-Sex Marriage

Google Translate has a bit of difficulty with Danish, but our resident international expert, JMG reader Luis, advises us that Greenland's Parliament has just voted unanimously to adopt Danish laws legalizing same-sex marriage and gay adoption. Greenland is an autonomous country within the kingdom of Denmark and is not a member of the United Nations. More than three times the size of Texas, Greenland has a population of about 57,000.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Vi JMG: TEXAS: Lawmaker Vows To Kill His Own Bill Rather Than Allow Anti-Gay "Defy SCOTUS" Marriage Amendment

From the Houston Chronicle:
A Democratic state senator has dredged up anti-gay marriage legislation that advocates thought was dead this session, attaching the language to an uncontroversial county affairs bill under the noses of his fellow Democrats. While gay rights advocates decried the move, the bill's original sponsor in the House said he would never let his legislation pass with the anti-same-sex marriage language in-tact. "I'm the author of the bill. I will resolve the bill," said Rep. Garnet Coleman, D- Houston, a staunch gay marriage advocate.
House Bill 2977, as Coleman originally filed it, was an uncontroversial county affairs placeholder bill, meant to act as a vehicle for lawmakers to ensure important local issues can be passed late in the session. As the bill was headed to the Senate committee for approval this week, however, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. attached a number of other bills to Coleman's legislation, including one that would seek to block a Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage.
If the bill passes in the GOP-dominated Senate, which Coleman expects it to, it would need to return to the House, where the lower chamber's members would have to concur with the changes. Coleman said if he can't strip the anti-gay marriage off his legislation, then he would withdraw it completely. "If I can't get it off, then the bill goes to bill heaven," Coleman said. "I don't support that legislation or that language."
BOOM. (Tipped by JMG reader American Putz)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Monday, May 25, 2015

VIa Free & Equal / FB:

VIa JMG: IRELAND: Marriages By September

Via the Irish Times:
Work will begin this week to give effect to the referendum decision to amend the Constitution with the first same-sex marriages likely to take place as early as September. Tánaiste Joan Burton said legislation would be brought before the Seanad and Dáil as early as possible, with the aim of getting it passed before the summer recess. “That would mean that we would be in a position to have same-sex marriage celebrations, civil ceremonies by, probably, September,” she told reporters at the Africa Day celebrations in the Phoenix Park. The Constitution will be formally amended in the coming days when President Michael D Higgins signs the Marriage Equality Bill into law, and a new sentence will be added to article 41 stating: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” To give effect to the amendment, the Oireachtas will enact the Marriage Bill 2015, which will state in law the principle that being of the same sex is no longer an impediment to marriage. It will also make clear that religious solemnisers will not be obliged to solemnise the marriage of a same-sex couple, and that the same prohibited degrees of relationship will apply to same-sex marriages.
RELATED:  In the above map from Freedom To Marry, Finland is shaded red although their law doesn't go into effect until March 2017. Slovenia is shaded light green because although their legislature approved same-sex marriage in March 2015, their bill has not yet been signed into law due to a continuing battle to place the issue to a public referendum.
Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via The Guardian: LGBT veterans to get their first federally approved monument

A monument dedicated to LGBT veterans will be unveiled in a national cemetery near Chicago on Memorial Day, in a celebration of the first federally approved monument to LGBT veterans.

Via Deep South Daily: “I am the mother of a gay son and I’ve taken enough from you good people”

Photo by Jamiecat (Flickr/cc)

Read one of the most heartfelt letters a newspaper has ever published.

It seems that a century’s worth of progress has been made for gay rights since the dawn of the millennium fifteen years ago. Back then, not a single U.S. state had marriage equality. The term “marriage equality” was not even a part of the social zeitgeist. But today, marriage equality is the law of the land in all but a handful of states. It looks likely that the Supreme Court will soon rule on a right to marriage for all. And just yesterday, Ireland — traditionally a very conservative, Catholic country — became the first nation to pass (and overwhelmingly so) marriage equality by national referendum.

Even more importantly than marriage, a social revolution has made being an LGBT person more socially accepted — at times even celebrated — than the kids of the year 2000 could’ve ever dreamed. Still, there are constant reminders of the work that remains to be done.
We still see the forces of discrimination and bigotry hard at work to stave off the tide of freedom and acceptance that LGBT people are now experiencing. Evangelicals rally around viciously anti-gay reality show stars — like the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty or the Duggars of 19 Kids and Counting. And that’s why it’s important to remember that, for all these gains, there is still work to be done.

In April 2000, a mother named Sharon Underwood from White River Junction, Vermont wrote one of the most heartfelt and pointed letters to the editor that the Valley News has probably ever received. In the letter, she expressed her righteous anger at the local do-gooders whose moralism had for years inflicted pain and torment on her young gay son. That letter is still prescient today. Even now, it tells the story of thousands of LGBT youth trapped in communities where they still aren’t welcome.

Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día- Flower of the day 25/05/2015

“O mal atrai o mal. O mal em você sente atração pelo mal lá fora. Isso ocorre porque a maldade precisa ser ativada para ser purificada e transformada. E conforme a purificação vai acontecendo, você começa a ver que tudo está absolutamente certo, mesmo quando está errado. Os erros, na verdade, são oportunidades de aprendizado, cura e libertação.”

“El mal atrae el mal. El mal en ti siente atracción por el mal ahí afuera. Esto ocurre porque la maldad necesita ser activada para ser purificada y transformada. Y conforme la purificación va sucediendo, comienzas a ver que todo está absolutamente bien, hasta cuando está equivocado. Las equivocaciones, en verdad, son oportunidades de aprendizaje, cura y liberación.” 

“Evil attracts evil. The malevolence in us feels attracted to the malevolence outside. Evil needs to be activated in order to be purified and transformed. As this purification takes place, we start to see that everything is absolutely right, even when it is ‘wrong.’ Mistakes are in fact an opportunity for learning, healing, and liberation.”

Today's Daily Dharma: Undistorted Experience

Undistorted Experience

When mindfulness is quick enough, the student will experience the moment of consciousness itself. He will see one mind-moment arising and vanishing in clear detail. This is to witness the truth of experience, undistorted by delusion. It is a glimpse of ultimate reality.

- Cynthia Thatcher, "How Long Is a Moment"

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Via 8 Things Happy People Do Every Morning

For many of us, mornings begin in a rushed panic. We allow our alarm clocks to buzz at least a dozen times before we decide we have to get out of bed. We then rush around our homes half-awake trying to get ready for our day. In a hurry, we stub our toe on the bedpost, forget to put on deodorant, and don't pack a lunch because we simply do not have time. 

It's no wonder that so many folks despise the thought of being awake before 9 am! 

So it may not surprise you to know that happy individuals tend to actually enjoy their mornings. They appear to thrive on waking up with the sun and look forward to a new day or possibilities. These happy people have humble morning rituals that increase their own sense of well-being and give their day purpose. 

Happy people tend to share many of the following morning habits: 

1. They wake up with a sense of gratitude.
Practicing gratitude is associated with a sense of overall gladness. They start the day with love. This means that they're truly appreciative of their life and all of its little treasures. They practice small acts of gratitude in the morning by expressing thankfulness to their partner each morning before they rise from bed. They may also write about their gratefulness for five minutes each morning in a journal that they keep bedside. 

2. They begin anew each and every morning.
They know that it's a brand-new day to start over and do something different. Yesterday may have been a complete failure for them, but today is a new day for success and adventure. Individuals who aren't ruined by one bad day are resilient creatures. Resiliency is a telltale sign of having purpose and happiness. 

3. They take part in prayer, affirmation, or meditation.
Many of the happiest folks alive are spiritual. Prayer is a way of connecting and giving thanks for our creator. Meditation helps keep our mind focused, calms our nerves and supports inner peace.
Happy people even use affirmations to declare how their day will go. Steve Jobs' morning routine used to start by looking in the mirror and asking himself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And Benjamin Franklin asked himself each morning, "What good shall I do today?" 

4. They read.
Some happy people read a bit of scripture each morning, while others read inspiring stories to get their day started. Either way, they make it a ritual to read self-improvement literature to stretch and grow their insight and knowledge. It's starts their day off on a positive note with new ideas to guide their day's journey. 

5. They keep things simple and don't rush out the door.
Complex morning routines are difficult to stick to and set us up for failure. Happy individuals' routines are simple for them because they prepared the night before. They picked out their work attire, prepared their lunch, set their coffee to brew — all the night before. A simple routine limits any multitasking that most people do in the morning to ensure that they make it to work on time. Multitasking may create stress and anxiety and steal your peace during your first waking hours. 

6. They exercise.
Exercise boosts levels of health-promoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression. Exercise is a big enough priority that happy folks tend to do it first thing in the morning so that they don't have to try to make time later in the day for it. They recognize that willpower is strongest in the morning.
Morning exercise gets the blood flowing and gives them more energy throughout the day. One study published in the Journal of Health Psychology discovered that working out improved how people felt about their physical bodies — even if they didn't lose weight or gain any noticeable improvements in their physique. 

7. They get some fresh air.
Morning walks are beneficial for all creatures. Walking is also proven to stimulate creativity in the brain, which isn't a bad way to start the day either.
If they have a dog, they walk it. Walking the dog a mile or two in the morning is a form of much needed exercise for humans and dogs alike. When happy individuals walk their dog outside, they breath in the crisp morning air, which promotes a sense of vitality

8. They savor the beauty of their surroundings and practice being present in the moment.
Whether they go on a morning walk with their dog or sit in their favorite chair by the window, taking the time to appreciate their environment can be invigorating and gets folks excited about their day. Being present connects and grounds them to what is really important in the moment. There is a certain kind of wisdom that comes with being a witness to your own life. 

How many of these habits do you perform each morning? Are there some that you would like to see on the list?