Friday, February 27


I found this posted on another blog....

I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.

I am the p*****tute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.

I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year I will probably be able to walk again.

I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the man who died when the paramedics stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn't have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don't believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

Homophobia is wrong.

Author - Unknown

Wednesday, February 25

Holocaust-denying bishop returns to UK

I really hate to play the 'race card', but in this case I think it's warranted. When Jeremiah Wright said something about white America, it was all over the news, it was all over the Internet, people on the street were talking about it; how much publicity has this gotten? How many are even aware of it? Here is a white Catholic priest proclaiming that the Holocaust did not happen; he is denying that there were gas chambers and that millions of Jews were killed on purpose! Why aren't there daily blog posts proclaiming what a racist and a hater he is? Why is it okay for him to voice his opinion (at least to the public, the Catholic Church isn't having it!) but not for Jeremiah Wright? Because Bishop Williamson isn't associated with the President? I don't think so; but that's just my opinion of course.

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British Roman Catholic bishop who was ordered to leave Argentina because of his inflammatory comments about the Holocaust has returned home.

Bishop Richard Williamson flew into London's Heathrow airport from Buenos Aires where he was met by a police guard.

Williamson was ordered to leave Argentina on February 19 within 10 days after he denied the Nazis had systematically murdered millions of Jews during World War II simply for being Jewish.

In an interview with Swedish television, Williamson said, "I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against -- is hugely against -- 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.

"I believe there were no gas chambers," he said.

The United Kingdom's Home Office, which is responsible for policing among other duties, said Williamson had a right to return home and implied he did not face arrest on his return.

"We understand and respect the fact that some countries ban Holocaust denial, but there is a consensus within the UK that this is not an approach that we should adopt domestically," the Home Office said in a statement.

"Instead, we believe that such behavior should only be criminal if it incites violence or hatred by reference to color, race, national or ethnic origin and is carried out in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner."

Williamson is under investigation for Holocaust denial in Germany, where it is a crime.

Williamson made headlines in January when he and three other ultra-conservative bishops were welcomed back into the Roman Catholic Church more than 20 years after Pope John Paul II excommunicated them on a theological question unrelated to the Holocaust.

Williamson's rehabilitation sparked condemnation from Israel, American Jewish leaders and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others.

The Vatican has pointed to several statements by Pope Benedict XVI condemning the destruction of European Jewry. The pope also has said he did not know of Williamson's views on the Holocaust when he lifted the excommunication.

The mainstream Catholic bishops of England and Wales have condemned Williamson's views on the Holocaust as "totally unacceptable" and say the lifting of his excommunication was for unrelated matters.

A spokesman for the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales told the Press Association on Wednesday he had "absolutely no idea" where Bishop Williamson was going following his arrival in Britain.

The Vatican has said Williamson will not be allowed to perform priestly functions until he recants his Holocaust denial.

Williamson has apologized for the "distress" his remarks caused the pope, but he has not retracted them.

Thursday, February 12

A Voice Against Proposition 8

When the Proposition 8 campaign was going on, one of the most effective weapons in their arsenal was children's education; "Same-sex marriage will be taught in public schools." The proponents of Proposition 8 blasted this all over TV and radio, and in newspapers, trying to convince people that if Proposition 8 failed to pass, the next day the teachers would be in schools teaching kindergarten students on up about homosexuals getting married, and what a terrible thing this is. They also claim that homosexuals are incapable of being monogamous or of giving a child a stable home; (From Contraries, by Margot Schulzke on August 13, 2008)
Lest anyone suffer the illusion that any equivalency between the sexual practices of homosexual relationships and traditional marriage exists, the statistics regarding sexual fidelity within marriage are revealing: In Sex in America, called by the New York Times “the most important study of American sexual behavior since the Kinsey reports,” Robert T. Michael et al. report that 90 percent of wives and 75 percent of husbands claim never to have had extramarital sex. …

While the rate of fidelity within marriage cited by these studies remains far from ideal, there is a magnum order of difference between the negligible lifetime fidelity rate cited for homosexuals and the 75 to 90 percent cited for married couples. This indicates that even “committed” homosexual relationships display a fundamental incapacity for the faithfulness and commitment that is axiomatic to the institution of marriage.

Where do they get this garbage from??? Who are these heterosexual husbands and wives claiming to have never had extramarital sex? How many was it 90% and 75% of?

Here is an article from someone that we rarely heard from during that whole Proposition 8 campaign: one of the children. This is the kind of thing we should have been hearing more of!

"My moms are amazing."

A 16-year old supports her parents' right to marry.
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 9:34pm by Jeff

Adrienne is a student at The Urban School of San Francisco, and is a reporter for The Urban Legend. In the online PBS NewsHour Extra: Student Voice, Adrienne writes that same-sex couples like her parents should be allowed to get married.

My parents have been married twice and may have to get married a third time. I don't come from a broken family, my parents love each other and always have. The only problem is, they're lesbians.

In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could wed. More than 18,000 same-sex couples, including my parents, were married.

In the November elections, however, voters passed Proposition 8, which amends the California constitution to "eliminate [the] right of same-sex couples to marry." Now a legal battle is being fought to determine if voters can alter the state constitution in such a drastic way.

'Misleading methods'

It is not only the attack on civil rights that is offensive to me, but also the misleading methods the supporters of Propisition 8 employed. Supporters of Propisition 8 used children's images in campaign videos without permission, and argued that same-sex marriage would be taught in schools. They used children, highlighting them continuously, but giving them no voice.

In reality, "nothing mandates teaching [same-sex marriage]," says Kate Belcsak, co-president of Urban High School's Gay-Straight Alliance. Unfortunately "there was no [public] response to the scare tactics," said Boone Epstein, GSA co-president. He added that children of gay parents need to "come out and say they are regular human beings, and not some devil's spawn."

Demonstrating against 'Prop 8'

After Proposition 8 passed, outrage generated demonstrations across the country. I went with my family to a rally in San Francisco. Protesters carried signs with slogans such as, "Don't mess with Dumbledore's rights," or "No more Mr. Nice Gay," and "Get your church out of my state." Members of Urban High School's Gay-Straight Alliance were at the rally. They came out on a Saturday for an issue that is more important than a day off from school.

Many families brought their children. I talked with a lesbian couple who are raising a child together and their love for the child was clear. Another heterosexual couple talked about the anger they felt that their gay and lesbian friends could have this basic right taken away. Their ten-year-old son called the Propisition 8 campaign "lies."

Urban High School Spanish Teacher Esteban Speier agreed, saying, "It was a scare tactic used by the right that we were going to teach gay marriage as a unit in social studies."

My moms are amazing, and I know how much it hurts them every time people are homophobic. I see this issue as simple. It's a civil right. My parents love each other, and they want to marry in a country that says everyone is equal under the law.

As their daughter, I am standing up and saying that there are no reasons that could be argued in a courtroom that could stand against the undeniable fact that we are a family, like any other.

Wednesday, February 11

Commentary: Don't be my Valentine

By Roland Martin
CNN Contributor

Editor's note: A nationally syndicated columnist, Roland S. Martin is the author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith" and "Speak, Brother! A Black Man's View of America." Visit his Web site for more information.

Roland S. Martin says he doesn't buy all the hype associated with Valentine's Day, and I pretty much agree with him. Although it is actually based on a religious figure, (St. Valentine) what this day has become is totally outrageous. The difference between the price of roses during the rest of the year, and during this season is unbelievable; in some cases we're talking triple! Then to warrant that increase, they include a vase, which is usually one of those things that you can get a the dollar store for a buck. The hype made about Valentine's Day is, IMO, ridiculous. Not only should that love be expressed all year round, "Just because", but in this day of people losing jobs and homes, there are much better things that money could be spent on that would mean a lot more. You love me so much? Pay my utility bill and give me a receipt with "Happy Valentine's Day written on it. That gift will last a lot longer than roses would; and would mean a heck of a lot more to me.

(CNN) -- With retailers hurting and the U.S. president trying to encourage Americans to spend money to restore consumer confidence, what I'm about to say may seem like treason. But here goes: Please boycott Valentine's Day and all that is associated with this horrendous "holiday."

For several years I have ripped into Valentine's Day. Not because I'm against love and relationships, but mainly because the holiday is such a farce.

First of all, Valentine's Day is not built around a religious event like Christmas or Easter; nor does it have any special meaning to the nation such as Memorial Day or Veterans Day.

It is nothing more than a commercial holiday created by rabid retailers who needed a major shopping day between Christmas and Easter in order to give people a reason to spend money.

Now folks, I love my wife. She is truly an awesome woman who is smart, talented, fine, and, did I say fine? But do I really need a special day to show my affection for her?

I've long maintained that if I sent my flowers at other times during the year, why do I have to fall victim to peer pressure and send her some roses that have quadrupled in price leading up to February 14?

Why should I be inundated with mailings, e-mails and commercials to show her that I love her by buying jewelry or clothing? If we went shopping in June or September or last month, can I get some kind of waiver or "Get out of Valentine's Day" card?

As for this silly flower thing, it's even got to the point that any flowers can't do. Some years ago I planned on sending a woman some flowers that weren't roses, and the (female) co-workers were aghast. They felt that nothing mattered except roses.

First of all, I didn't have a lot of dough and felt a nice bouquet was sufficient, but they were appalled. So I told them to go to hell and I'll do what I want. I guess for them, the thought really doesn't matter.

Then there are the women on the job who measure the love of their men based on those flowers. You know how some folks are. If there are flowers on the desk of 10 other women, and one woman doesn't have anything, folks get to talking and whispering as if something is wrong in her relationship.

I've learned that even if you get the biggest-ever rose bouquet -- the relationship might be crumbling and you just refuse to admit it.

And Valentine's Day really isn't even a two-way street. Men are utterly irrelevant except to serve as pawns in this commercial game, emptying their wallets in order to satisfy their lovers or those around them. Oh yea, retailers know the con game.

Most of these guys are hapless saps who have ignored their wives or girlfriends all year, so they buy the flowers and candy, and set a reservation at one of the city's most expensive restaurants, all to say, "Honey, I love you."

Ladies, and men, stop it! It's time to say enough is enough with Valentine's Day.

What do I want? How about men and women loving, caring and sharing the other 364 days a year? February 14 isn't the only time to send flowers to your woman (ladies, we wouldn't mind getting a surprise delivery as well!). How about dropping her a flower arrangement on May 14? And on that card you need to write, "Just because..."

Instead of men and women spicing up their sex life on February 14, make the effort to satisfy your mate the rest of the year.

If last Valentine's Day was the last time you took your significant other out to a really nice restaurant, you deserve to be in trouble.

Are you planning to treat your man or woman to a wonderful day at the spa this Saturday? Well, I'm sure he or she would thoroughly enjoy the same in June or July.

It's time that we all take stock of our relationships and learn that we are to be loving and fulfilled 365 days a year, and not reduce our affection to flowers, candy, jewelry, clothes and a meal on one day a year.

The people who plan their lives around Valentine's are like those who spend more time planning their wedding day rather than planning their marriage. The day is nice and wonderful, but what makes it last is what you do on the "non-special" days.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Roland Martin.

Tuesday, February 10

Gays who face persecution should be given asylum says EU

The European Commission has affirmed that persecution on grounds of sexual orientation is a legitimate justification for an asylum claim.

The question was prompted by an initial rejection in Cyprus of a claim by a gay Iranian asylum seeker, a rejection which was later overturned and the claim granted.

The Commission has confirmed that there is "an obligation on Member States to grant refugee status to persons who…. are found to have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of membership of a particular social group, including a group based on a common characteristic of sexual orientation."

The Commission was responding to a question from MEPs.

Sarah Ludford, who is Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman, said:

"I strongly welcome this robust statement by the Commission on the responsibility of Member States to uphold their international commitments to refugees and recognise persecution on all legitimate grounds including sexual orientation.

"Such persecution is very much a reality for gay and lesbian people from countries such as Iran.

"Iranians Mehdi Kazemi and Mr Bagherian were both eventually granted residence in the UK and Cyprus respectively but in both cases it was a struggle requiring a lot of lobbying.

"I hope that EU states will now heed the Commission and deal with future cases quickly and efficiently so that those who've been persecuted on the grounds of their sexuality can be spared further distress."

Gay activists in the UK have started a petition on the Downing St website calling on the Prime Minister "to stop deporting gays and lesbians to countries where they may be imprisoned, tortured or executed because of their sexuality."

Last week it was reported that the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) was to deport a man who claims he is gay back to Iraq.

His original application for asylum in 2001 did not mention his homosexuality.

Gay rights groups condemned the decision to deport the man, and the UKBA's assertion that he should be safe if he is "private" about his sexuality.

"Even if your client's homosexuality were to be established it is viewed that it would be possible for your client to conduct such relationships in private on his return to Iraq," the agency said in a letter to the man's lawyers.

"This would allow your client to express his sexuality, albeit in a more limited way than he could do elsewhere."

Iraqi LGBT says that more than 430 gay men have been murdered in Iraq since 2003.

In November a leading gay activist in Iraq was assassinated. 27-year-old Bashar was one of the organisers of safe houses for gay men in Baghdad and was co-ordinator of Iraqi LGBT in the city.

A UN report in 2007 highlighted attacks on gays by militants and religious courts, supervised by clerics, where homosexuals allegedly would be 'tried,' 'sentenced' to death and then executed.

Wednesday, February 4

WWII vet frozen to death leaves estate to hospital

This should not be allowed to happen in this country. 93 year old people do not freeze to death in their own homes in this so-called "land of milk and honey"!! And why was it allowed to happen? Because the utility company was a private one that was not subject to the rules and regulations that ALL utility companies should be subject to! The company being "private" in no way frees them from their moral and ethical obligation to put people before dollar signs.

(CNN) -- A 93-year-old World War II medic who froze to death last month in his Bay City, Michigan, home left his entire estate to a local hospital, an estate attorney told CNN Wednesday.

The attorney would not disclose the exact amount left behind by Martin Schur. But his nephew said his uncle indicated to family members two years ago that he had saved up more than a half-million dollars over the years. Schur and his wife, Marian, who died more than a year ago, did not have any children.

"I just know at one time he said he had over $600,000 in savings," said William Walworth. "That's what he told me and my brother, and he was proud that he was able to save and build his estate up to that."

Cathy Reder, an attorney negotiating on behalf of Bay Regional Medical Center and the Schur family, said she was filing paperwork in probate court Wednesday for the court to determine the validity of the will. A hearing has been set for March 17.

Reder would not specify the amount left to the hospital, other than to say it's more than $1.

"The will leaves everything to Bay Medical Center," she said.

The hospital had no immediate comment.

Walworth said his uncle was a frugal man who hadn't eaten at a restaurant for over 30 years. "He was very tight, and he was very frugal. But he did manage to save a lot of money."

He said it's possible his uncle's estate could be less than $600,000, but he believes it's still "sizable."

"Knowing my uncle, that's him," Walworth said. "He loved his community. He loved Bay City, Michigan."

He added, "Hopefully his death is not in vain and we can learn from this, and he's still able to save lives. ... He was a very unique, special person in my life. I'm proud of what he was able to do in his life."

He said he hopes his uncle's message will spur others to "look out for their neighbor."

The size of the estate -- if it's as large as the nephew believes -- adds another tragic twist to Schur's death. The power company limited his electricity because he owed about $1,000. Video Watch neighbor say the death is "unforgivable" »

Schur's death last month shocked Bay City, a town of about 37,000 on Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay.

The World War II veteran's frozen body was found in his home January 17, just four days after a device that regulates how much power he uses -- installed because of failure to pay -- shut off his power. A medical examiner said the temperature was 32 degrees in the house when Schur's body was found.

The medical examiner told The Bay City Times that Schur died a "slow, painful death." "It's not easy to die from hypothermia without first realizing your fingers and toes feel like they're burning," Dr. Kanu Virani told the paper.

The Michigan State Police launched an investigation into Schur's death for possible criminal violations. "We have to do everything we can to make sure this doesn't happen again, whether it's Bay City or in any one of the cold weather states," Bay City Mayor Charles Brunner said last week.

The death has prompted a review of Bay City Electric Light & Power's rules and procedures for limiting or cutting off power. It also resulted in Bay City residents protesting Monday to the city about its handling of the whole situation.

A neighbor who lives down the street called Schur's death "unforgivable."

"This can't be allowed to happen in this country," said Jerome Anderson.

Walworth said he believes his uncle's death was "preventable."

"It should never have happened. It's a tragic loss," he said. "I had a lot of fond memories of my uncle, and that's the type of memory I don't want to have: Him freezing to death."

Utility officials said Schur owed about $1,000 resulting in a "limiter" being put on his home. Limiters are devices that cut power as a warning for people who haven't paid their bills. Limiters can be reset to restore a lesser degree of power until a bill payment is worked out. In Schur's case, the limiter was never reset, and it's unclear whether he knew how to do that.

Schur had been living alone since his wife died, Walworth said.

Unlike private utilities regulated by the state, Bay City runs and oversees its own utilities and therefore doesn't fall under Michigan's public service commission. By law, Michigan requires private companies to prohibit cutting off service to senior citizens between November and April. Seniors must register for the program.

The city has begun questioning whether its rules and procedures for limiting or cutting off power need a major overhaul. The utility has stopped its practice of cutting power to customers who don't pay their bills.

The utility also has removed all "limiters" on homes.

Walworth said someone should have looked at Schur's payment history and made direct contact to see whether something was wrong. He's hoping the nation will learn from his uncle's death.

"Hopefully, some good can come out of this. I'm still an optimist."

Monday, February 2

UPDATE: Vermont Judge Issues Stern Warning In Lesbian Child Custody Battle

Janet Jenkins in court
Here's an update on a previous story I posted; when is Miller going to give up? All Janet Jenkins wants is to see the daughter they had when they were together! I think Miller will be one who ends up leaving the country just to keep her ex from seeing their daughter. I hate to think of what this is doing to the child....

Vermont Judge Issues Stern Warning In Lesbian Child Custody Battle

A Vermont Family Court Judge has issued a stern warning to Lisa Miller of Winchester, Virginia telling her that she risked losing custody of her child if she continued to violate the court order granting Miller’s ex-partner Janet Jenkins of Fair Haven, VT visitation rights.

This has been a long and often bitter custody battle.

When their child Isabel was conceived by Miller via artificial insemination, they were both living in Vermont and had formalized their relationship in a civil union. This gave Vermont jurisdiction over the case.

When the couple broke up, the Vermont Courts granted Jenkins visitation, and had awarded Millet child support payments from Jenkins. Miller fled to Virginia and declared that she was no longer a lesbian and hired the Conservative Christian law firm, The Liberty Council, to defend her. Miller then went to court in Virginia, which does not recognize civil unions and has some of the most anti-homosexual laws in the country, to demand sole custody.

Jenkins fought the filing stating that the courts in Vermont had already ruled and the Vermont court declared that it had sole jurisdiction over the case.

In 2007, Virginia’s Supreme Court sided with the Vermont courts.

Liberty Council then appealed to the US Supreme Court which declined to hear the case.

The Liberty Council returned to the Virginia Circuit Courts to halt the visitation order, but the judge in that case stated that Virginia’s Supreme Court had already ruled.

The Liberty Council then again appealed to the Virginia’s Supreme Court which then sited the Parental Kidnap Prevention Act, which requires courts in other states to adhere to preexisting custody and visitation awards and refused to hear the case again giving sole jurisdiction to Vermont.

On January 28th, Vermont Judge William Cohen allowed Miller to retain custody, but ordered unsupervised visitation for four days in March, over the Memorial Day holiday and for five weeks in the summer, warning that this may be revisited shortly if Miller continues refuses to allow Jenkins visitation.

Vermont is one of the few states to have either civil unions or same-sex marriage laws.