Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dad Bikes 545 Miles For Gay Son


Via JMG: White House Lights Planned For Months

Politico reports that the idea to bathe the White House in rainbow lights was conceived months ago.
SPOTTED, at 4 a.m. Sat. at the White House: Jeff Tiller, 32, the White House director of specialty media (includes LGBT outreach) and former press-advance marvel, who had the inspired idea of bathing the North Portico (“The President’s Front Door”) in rainbow lighting. The crowds were gone, sunrise was coming, and the lighting contractors who had installed the rainbow were long asleep. After spending the night at the White House in a lawn chair, Jeff climbed downstairs to the tradesman entrance to unplug the lights that he had conceived of months earlier.
You can thank Tiller on Twitter. (Tipped by JMG reader Mike)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

JMG Headline Of The Day

Via Media Matters:
On June 26, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment requires that states issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Conservative media and the National Rifle Association (NRA) quickly seized on the decision to draw a parallel with concealed carry reciprocity, a top federal legislative priority of the NRA. Reciprocity legislation, also known as federally mandated concealed carry, would force states to recognize permits to carry concealed guns issued by other states, regardless of what the issuing state's standards are for issuing permits. Reciprocity legislation has been introduced in both chambers of the U.S. Congress, but conservative media and the NRA view Obergefell as an opportunity to argue that the Constitution extends at least some right to reciprocal permit recognition regardless of whether Congress acts. The problem with that argument, however, is that the 2008 landmark Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller limited the scope of the Second Amendment right to gun possession to people's homes.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via WAPO: For Obama, rainbow White House was ‘a moment worth savoring’

With a colorful White House backdrop, (L) Kevin Barragan and his partner Adam Smith celebrate as do Kelly Miller (with glasses) and her wife Lindsey Miller. The Millers were married two years ago in Washington state where gay marriage is legal. The White House was lit in multi-colored lights to honor the Supreme Court decision to allow gay marriage, on June 26, 2015. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)
For Obama. seeing the White House illuminated in rainbow colors Friday night "was a moment worth savoring."

Speaking at a joint news conference Tuesday with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Obama made a point of saying just before leaving that one of the best aspects of last week was viewing the crowds who had gathered in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate the symbol of gay pride on full display.

John Oliver on Gay Pride Legalization and ISIS Flag

Via JMG: 26M Rainbow Their Facebook Profile

Via CNN Money:
Over the past three days, 26 million people have super imposed rainbows over their Facebook profile pictures using a free tool provided by the company. The rainbow filter launched Friday and continued to gain steam over Pride weekend, garnering more than half a billion likes and comments all over the world. Famous people including Russell Simmons, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff changed their profiles. The tool was created by two Facebook interns during an internal hackathon last week. Changing a profile picture is easily dismissed as low-effort activism. But for many people who are not typically political it was a way to quietly show support.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via : Michael Coren: My unlikely sermon at the Metropolitan Community Church

Former outspoken social conservative Michael Coren found ‘no condemnation, no cynicism, no grudges’ when he recently spoke at a church focused on outreach to LGBT people.

Journalist Michael Coren recently delivered a guest sermon at the Metropolitan Community Church.
Toronto Star / Paulo Marques
Journalist Michael Coren recently delivered a guest sermon at the Metropolitan Community Church.
There she goes: plump, porky and with wings. Yes, pigs can and do fly. Or to put it another way, we now have undeniable proof of climate change because hell has frozen over. Michael Coren, long a public opponent of same-sex marriage and certainly not considered a friend to the gay community, is asked to preach at Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church

MCC is not exclusively gay but its central theme, its charisma if you like, is outreach to LGBT people and in all of its many international branches it is at the heart of the struggle for full equality. Indeed in Toronto its leader, Brent Hawkes, is one of the most high-profile, visible and eloquent leaders of the gay community.

It was Brent who invited me. I have written before about how in the past two years I have undergone something of a conversion on the road to Toronto, left the Roman Catholic Church, abandoned social conservatism and become one of those liberal Christians I used to mock. It’s been a pilgrimage and one that — while coming with a heavy professional and personal cost — has made me a better person and a better Christian.

I came to realize that anywhere there is love there is God, that judgmentalism is vehemently anti-Christian and that I had, well, got it wrong. In one of those glorious paradoxes my feelings were confirmed by the sweeping, organized and vicious campaign against me by social and Christian conservatives. By their lack of love you will know them. Which is when Brent approached me and asked me to speak. We have known each other for years because we often appeared on opposing sides on television and radio; neither of us ever thought we’d be embracing, close to tears, in front of the altar of his church.

I’ve spoken to hundreds of groups and haven’t felt nervous for decades. Yet suddenly this 56-year-old man who hosted a nightly television show for 16 years was most definitely nervous. How many of these people had I hurt, how many had lives made more difficult by my writing and broadcasting? I’d never hated but I had given an intellectual veneer to the anti-gay movement, had enabled — even unintentionally — some muddy bigotry.

There were two services, with a combined congregation of around 700. And as I walked in on that hot, rainy morning I was drenched in love and acceptance. No condemnation, no cynicism, no grudges. As a constipated Englishman I was several times close to weeping as I witnessed a sense of authentic Christian community that I have, with all due respect, seldom found in mainstream church settings. I saw collectives of warmth and support, groups of people from various ethnicities, backgrounds, sexualities and experiences united in acceptance. After three months of abuse, accusations and firings from men and women who claim to be Christian my sense of liberation was exquisite. A dawn of the miraculous after the dark night of the cruel.

I told them that as a straight man who had reversed his position on gay rights and marriage I had recently experienced a glimpse of a shadow of a whiff of what it must be like to be a gay Christian. I said that some of the finest Christians I had ever met had been gay Christians. I said that remaining Christian in the face of hostility and even vitriol was an indication of enormous depth of faith and a living, fleshy example of a glorious mystery. I spoke of unconditional love, of what Scripture actually said about sexuality rather than the popular and misguided caricature of Biblical truth, I said that the only absolutes were grace and love.

The point is that in the 200,000 words of the New Testament perhaps a mere 50 in any way concern same-sex attraction, yet tens of thousands speak of charity, care for the poor, forgiveness, love, empathy, gentleness and kindness. At its best the church has led the way for the state but on this issue the contrary is true, as we witnessed with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. There is still time to do the right thing however. As I said, pigs can fly and Michael Coren can speak at the Metropolitan Community Church.

Michael Coren can be contacted at mcoren@sympatico.ca 

Today's Daily Dharma: Leave Yourself Alone

Leave Yourself Alone

The paradox of our practice is that the most effective way of transformation is to leave ourselves alone. The more we let everything be just what it is, the more we relax into an open, attentive awareness of one moment after another.

Barry Magid, "Five Practices to Change Your Mind"

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sacramento churchgoers vary on same-sex marriage decision

Parishioner: The best thing would be to accept gays

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —Just days after the Supreme Court’s historic ruling, extending the right to marry to same-sex couples, the faithful headed to church for the first time Sunday with the issue top of mind.

Make the jump here to see the video on KCRA

Via JustaBahai Blog: Can a rainbow be partisan?

There is a flurry of rainbows on facebook, in celebration of the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision on June 26, 2015, that 14th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses require states to license same-sex marriages and to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully licensed and performed in other US states.

In a Bahai run group, a Bahai stated that Baha’is publicly supporting gay rights will lead to grave consequences in other countries. It is an argument I have heard many times before, and it holds no water. The fact that our international administration is seated in Israel and that Baha’is believe in a messenger of God after Muhammad are much stronger reasons for any Muslim to be upset at Bahais. 

We do not hear of Bahais saying, we must stop public statements of belief in Baha’u’llah do we? On the contrary, if Bahais were seen as were a source of comfort or safety, in countries where gays and lesbians are oppressed, that would do wonders for our image as a religion that preaches equality and justice. I am not saying Bahais must be defenders for the oppressed, but it sounds like a good idea to me.

Make the jump here to read the full posting

President Obama to Declare 6/26/16 National Equality Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama called the Supreme Court decision requiring states to recognize same-sex marriage “a victory for America.” Now the Commander in Chief is set to honor those who fought for marriage equality by issuing an executive order declaring 6/26/16 National Equality Day.

Make the jump here to read the full article


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Transgender Rights (HBO)

Via FB Today:

The right for same-sex marriage has been recognized, and the apocalypse didn't happen. Time will show the irrationality of the fears. 

Religious freedom didn't fail. Religious oppression did. People went to church today and worshipped much as they did last week. Church doors were not closed. Police didn't haul ministers of the gospel off to jail. The millions of marriages in America between a man and a woman did not immediately come to an end. 

Only two things in the rights of the LGBTQ community were decided this week. States couldn't block same-sex marriage, and they had to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Some states have chosen to obfuscate. Others wisely accepted the inevitable. But the fight isn't over.
The seeds have been planted for full LGBTQ equality in the secular society of our country. The religious communities must now struggle with how they move forward.

- Richard Errington

Today's Daily Dharma: Great Faith, Great Doubt, Great Determination

Great Faith, Great Doubt, Great Determination
These are like the three legs of a tripod. It is uncertain whether we can accomplish the dharma if one of these three legs is missing. If all three are present, however, we would be more likely to miss the ground with a hammer than we would be to miss enlightenment.
Koun Yamada, "Great Faith, Great Doubt, Great Determination"

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día - Flower of the day 28/06/2015

“A relação afetiva é a melhor escola. Ela é uma preparação para que você possa se relacionar e amar a Deus. Deus já sabe quem é você e não precisa da sua revelação, mas a pessoa com quem você está se relacionando precisa que você se revele e receba a revelação dela. Para isso é preciso ir além do orgulho e dos medos, é preciso ter coragem para enfrentar verdades pouco agradáveis à respeito do outro e de si mesmo.”

“La relación afectiva es la mejor escuela. Es una preparación para que puedas relacionarte y amar a Dios. Dios ya sabe quién eres y no necesita de tu revelación, pero la persona con quien te estás relacionando necesita que te reveles y recibas la revelación de ella. Para eso es necesario ir más allá del orgullo y de los miedos, es preciso tener coraje para enfrentar verdades poco agradables respecto del otro y de ti mismo.”

“Relationships are the best way to learn. They prepare us so that we may learn how to love and relate to God. God already knows who we are and does not need us to reveal ourselves, but the person with whom we are relating needs us to open up to them and to accept their revelation as well. To do this, we need to go beyond our pride and fear. It takes courage to face unpleasant truths about our partner and about ourselves.”

A Big Gay History of Same-sex Marriage in the Sangha Without fanfare, American Buddhists have been performing same-sex marriages for over 40 years.

Buddhist same-sex marriage was born in the USA. That’s a little known but significant fact to reflect on now, just after the Supreme Court has declared legal marriage equality throughout the country. Appropriately enough, it all started in San Francisco, and was conceived as an act of love, not activism.

The first known Buddhist same-sex marriages took place in the early 1970s, at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. Founded in 1899, it’s the oldest surviving temple in the mainland United States. It’s also part of the oldest Buddhist organization outside Hawaii: the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), part of the Shin tradition of Pure Land Buddhism.

During the Nixon years, the LGBTQ rights movement was picking up, and San Francisco was one of the primary centers of both activism and community building. Located not far from the famously gay Castro District, the Buddhist Church of San Francisco (BCSF) was attended by singles and couples, gay and straight. As consciousness rose, people began to seek the same services that heterosexuals already enjoyed in American society.

A male couple in the congregation eventually asked Rev. Koshin Ogui, then assigned to BCSF, to perform their marriage. He readily agreed, and the ceremony was held in the main hall—identical to other marriages at the temple, except for the dropping of gender-based pronouns in the service. 

Without fanfare, history was made.

Soon other BCA temples were also conducting same-sex marriages, and by the time of my research into the subject in the early 2010s, I couldn’t find a single minister in the scores of BCA temples who was unwilling to preside over same-sex weddings. Indeed, BCA ministers had already performed marriages for gay and lesbian couples, bisexuals, transgender people, and polyamorous groups. Many of these were interracial marriages, or carried out for non-Buddhists who had nowhere else to go, though most were for members of local BCA temples.

The BCA and its sister organization in Hawaii had gone on record years earlier in support of marriage equality, and even lobbied the government to change the law. This support for LGBTQ rights has been recognized by the Smithsonian, which collected a rainbow-patterned robe worn by the BCSF’s current minister for the museum’s permanent collection.

I’m ordained in the Shin tradition, so I was already aware of Shin inclusivity. (Indeed, though I’m not gay myself, I would not have joined any organization that failed to support LGBTQ rights.) But the historian in me itched to explain this phenomenon more comprehensively. Why was the BCA the first Buddhist organization to move toward marriage equality, and why hadn’t this movement provoked rancor and conservative resistance, as we’ve seen in so many other American religious denominations?

In searching for answers, I came to several interrelated conclusions. First, the history of racial and religious discrimination that the originally Japanese-American BCA faced (everything from mob violence to WWII internment camps) instilled revulsion for discrimination in Shin circles. Second, since Shin ministers are not celibate (the tradition was founded by a married monk in 13th-century Japan), they share lifestyles similar to their parishioners, and thus readily empathize with them on matters of sexuality and social relationships, which may be more abstract to celibate monks and nuns.
But most importantly, what minister after minister told me was that the fundamental point of Shin Buddhism is that Amida Buddha embraces all beings without any exceptions, without any judgments, without any discrimination. Amida opens the way to the Pure Land (and thus liberation) to the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the good and the bad, the black and the white. Therefore, Amida Buddha also embraces the gay and the straight, the gender-conforming and everyone else, without any hesitation. It is this spirit that led Shin ministers to open their doors to same-sex couples, led Shin temples to march in Pride parades across the country, to pass proclamations affirming same-sex rights and marriage in particular, and to carry out education programs in their own communities.

The Shin community hasn’t been alone in supporting LGBTQ communities in American Buddhist circles. Though not as quickly or comprehensively, many other Buddhist groups have also moved toward performing same-sex marriages and affirming the value of their LGBTQ members. In the 1980s, a handful of same-sex marriages were performed by non-BCA teachers, including Sarika Dharma of the International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles. By the end of the 1990s, American Tibetan, Theravada, and Zen teachers had all performed the first same-sex marriages in those respective traditions as well, and Soka Gakkai had gone from seeing homosexuality as a condition to be cured through Buddhist practice to performing large numbers of same-sex marriages for its members.

All of this was taking place in a country without legal recognition for married same-sex couples. They performed those ceremonies even though they knew the state would not recognize them, because it was the right thing to do.

Today those marriages are equal to everyone else’s, and there are signs that marriage equality is gaining acceptance in parts of Buddhist Asia. Taiwan held its first Buddhist same-sex marriage in 2012, with two brides in white dresses and veils presided over by a traditional shaven-headed nun. In Kyoto, Japan, Rev. Kawakami Taka of Shunkoin temple not only performs same-sex marriages at his historic Rinzai Zen temple, but has also partnered with local hotel, flower, and similar vendors to provide wedding packages for same-sex couples arriving from around the world. Step by step, the movement continues.

On Saturday morning, June 27, I gave keynote address for a seminar at the New York Buddhist Church, “Embraced by the Heart of Amida Buddha: The LGBTQ Community and Shin Buddhism.” It’s part of an educational campaign that the BCA’s Center for Buddhist Education carries out every year in late June. Speakers talked about their experiences as gay, lesbian, and transgender Buddhists, and on Sunday we’ll walk in the New York Pride parade with members of the temple. We had no idea that our event would occur at such a historic moment, but now we know that we’ll be marching as an act of pure celebration, rather than hope and defiance.

Despite the positive record of many sanghas and individuals, discrimination and ignorance remain widespread in American Buddhism. That isn’t something that will change overnight with a single Supreme Court decision, no matter how momentous. But we can genuinely take heart that American Buddhists have been working for marriage equality for more than 40 years, and that Buddhists of many traditions spoke out for equality and contributed to the movement that led to today’s ruling.

Jeff Wilson, a Tricycle contributing editor, is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies at Renison University College, University of Waterloo. His most recent book is Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture (Oxford University Press).

Make the jump here to read the full article at  Tricycle

Via Occupy Democrats / FB:

Today's Daily Dharma: Love Wishes the Same for All

Love Wishes the Same for All
I cannot keep love alive in my own heart if I would deny the same to someone else. Love is not selective in that way but is rather an affectionate generosity that wishes the same for all. Withheld, love isolates itself and won't long survive. A lifetime relationship of enduring love, kindness, and understanding is rare enough in human affairs without anyone trying to legislate who gets a shot at it and who doesn't.

Lin Jensen, "Legislating Love"

Via Occupy Democrats / FB:

Brian Sims is right. A promise is a promise! Let's see if certain opponents of marriage equality keep their word.

Image by Occupy Democrats, LIKE our page for more!

Via Jean Wyllys / FB:

1 hr ·
Sempre que uma minoria reivindica direitos ou procura influir na organização de relações que a oprimem e estigmatizam, os “guardiões da ordem social” – que, claro, gozam de privilégios nessa ordem estabelecida – opõem-se a tais reivindicações, às transformações e ao progresso que elas podem trazer. A atitude mais frequente desses mantenedores da ordem e da moral majoritária consiste em desqualificar os movimentos das minorias por meio de acusações infames e falácias. Um exemplo é a afirmação de que as minorias, em sua mobilização, estariam tentando estabelecer uma ditadura. Em relação às reivindicações do movimento LGBT, os “guardiões” cunharam até mesmo a descabida expressão “ditadura gay” – como se afirmar o direito à homossexualidade significasse impedir heterossexuais de serem o que são.

Outra estratégia usada pelos dominantes para defender seus privilégios consiste em reduzir a importância histórica das mobilizações reivindicatórias. É o que acontece com a Parada do Orgulho LGBT, realizada em diversos países, mas que ainda hoje é alvo de toda a sorte de acusações.

Em 28 de Junho de 1969, ocorreu em Nova York uma série de conflitos violentos entre homossexuais e a polícia americana, iniciado em um bar chamado Stonewall Inn e prolongando-se por vários dias, o episódio ficou conhecido como a “rebelião de Stonewall” e se tornou um marco na defesa dos direitos civis LGBT. Gays, travestis e lésbicas, cansados das frequentes humilhações e agressões físicas por parte da polícia local, reagiram em nome de sua dignidade, inaugurando uma nova fase do movimento homossexual, no rastro de outras manifestações de contracultura do final dos anos 1960 e início dos 1970, como o movimento hippie, o feminismo e a luta pela afirmação dos direitos civis dos negros. O levante de Stonewall inspira até hoje as paradas LGBT em todo o mundo.

O legado dos anos 1960 e 1970 e considerável e devemos defendê-lo contra todas as tentativas de retrocesso. Contudo, o que surpreende é o fato de que essa herança, que, ao menos nas sociedades ocidentais, transformou a situação das mulheres, dos gays e transexuais, não tenha alterado, em definitivo, a estrutura mesma daquilo a que o sociólogo francês Pierre Bourdieu se referiu como “dominação masculina”. Devemos refletir, portanto, não somente sobre o que mudou a partir de Stonewall, mas também analisar com atenção o que permanece, a fim de denunciar as instituições que operam para manter uma ordem social – e sexual – restrita, não inclusiva e contrária às liberdades individuais. Uma ordem em que denominações coletivas são estabelecidas, sobretudo a partir de insultos que vitimam “veados” e “sapatões” desde a infância, assim que se apresentam os primeiros sinais de divergência da heteronormatividade, seja no que se refere à identidade de gênero ou à orientação sexual, e isso na própria família, nas ruas, nas escola, no local de trabalho, enfim, em todos os lugares onde desenvolvem sua vida.

Desse modo, comemorar o levante de Stonewall nas paradas LGBT em todo o mundo é mais do que constituir uma “mitologia” para os homossexuais: é reafirmar as conquistas políticas e culturais da geração dos anos 1960-70.

Creio que muita coisa mudou ao longo dos últimos anos, graças ao surgimento, em escala internacional, de um movimento LGBT que assumiu múltiplas formas. O fato de eu, um deputado brasileiro, ter sido convidado a falar no IV Encontro sobre Dissidência Sexual e Identidades Sexuais e Genéricas, realizado na capital mexicana em 2013, é a prova da amplitude desse movimento globalizado e de seus progressos. No entanto, isso não faz desaparecer a homofobia; ao contrário, cada grande momento de afirmação sexual e de reivindicação do direito à homossexualidade provoca, invariavelmente, uma reação homofóbica. Quem se interessa pela história da homossexualidade sabe disso.

Ainda que seja utópica uma sociedade perfeitamente justa, na qual a opressão sobre a comunidade LGBT não tenha lugar, acredito que é possível construir e manter espaços de resistência política, cultural e social. As Paradas do Orgulho LGBT, como celebrações legítimas, precisam conquistar a estima da sociedade e afirmar seu intento de reivindicar direitos civis de lésbicas, gays, bissexuais e travestis e transexuais.

O trecho acima faz parte do meu novo livro, “Tempo Bom, Tempo Ruim”. Uma reflexão oportuna neste dia em que comemoramos o Dia do Orgulho LGBT.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

San Francisco Celebrates Supreme Court Decision To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex legalization kicks off gay pride parade in San Francisco

Marriage Equality 2015 | San Francisco | Castro Dist.

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flower of the day 27/06/2015

“O maior milagre que pode ocorrer neste mundo é o perdão; é abrir o coração e amar de forma desinteressada. Isso é milagre.”

“The greatest miracle that can happen in this world is forgiveness. It opens up your heart and allows you to love selflessly. This is a miracle.”

Today's Daily Dharma: Enlightenment

Ten years ago I couldn't stop thinking, feeling, 

Just anger, just rage, until this moment.
A crow laughs, the dust clears, I hold the arhat's fruit.
Zen Master Ikkyu, "Incense Thrown on the Buddha"

Via JMG: Hillary Celebrates Marriage Equality

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: Big Business Celebrates Marriage

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Gustav Holst - The Planets - Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity

Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.6 "Pathétique" , third movement

Via JMG: Landmarks Love Equality

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Friday, June 26, 2015

Via FB:

JMG HomoQuotable - Andrew Sullivan

"I never believed this would happen in my lifetime when I wrote my first several TNR essays and then my book, Virtually Normal, and then the anthology and the hundreds and hundreds of talks and lectures and talk-shows and call-ins and blog-posts and articles in the 1990s and 2000s. I thought the book, at least, would be something I would have to leave behind me – secure in the knowledge that its arguments were, in fact, logically irrefutable, and would endure past my own death, at least somewhere. I never for a millisecond thought I would live to be married myself. Or that it would be possible for everyone, everyone in America. But it has come to pass. All of it. In one fell, final swoop. Know hope." - Andrew Sullivan, returning to his blog to spike the ball.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Supreme Court Victory: What You Need to Know

Gay Men's Chorus of Washington Sings National Anthem After Supreme Court Ruling

Publicado em 26 de jun de 2015
The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington performs The Star-Spangled Banner moments after the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

Via Facebook

Today's Daily Dharma: Skillful Speech

Skillful Speech
Few things can improve the nature of our relationships as much as the development of skillful speech. Silence offers us, and those around us, the spaciousness we need to speak more skillfully. When we speak with greater skill, our true self?our compassionate, loving self?emerges with gentle ease.

Allan Lokos, "Skillful Speech"


Reposted from Joe Jervis