The Gay Fray

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Jul 28, 2004.

?

I am . . . .

  1. Homosexual

    25 vote(s)
    9.2%
  2. Heterosexual

    201 vote(s)
    73.6%
  3. Bisexual

    31 vote(s)
    11.4%
  4. Other (I would have complained if there wasn't an "other" option)

    16 vote(s)
    5.9%
  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    Today, Tomorrow, and Two Years Ago

    Today, Tomorrow, and Two Years Ago
    Minnesota Senate affirms marriage equality


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    Celebrate! Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), and partner Richard Levya join demonstrators outside the
    Minnesota State Capitol after Dibble's marriage equality bill passed the state senate. The governor will sign the bill tomorrow.

    David Bailey brings us the news:

    The Minnesota Senate gave final approval on Monday to a bill that will make the state the 12th in the United States to allow same-sex couples to marry and only the second in the Midwest.

    The majority Democrat state Senate voted 37-30 to approve the bill legalizing gay marriage, putting Minnesota on the verge of becoming the third state in the nation to approve same-sex nuptials in May after Rhode Island and Delaware.

    The state House approved the measure last week.

    Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has said he will sign the bill on Tuesday. The law would take effect August 1.

    The Minnesota civil rights victory is especially poignant. It has seemed apparent for years that the heterosupremacist movement has been digging its own grave in order to stave off marriage equality, and the showdown in the north land is perhaps the clearest demonstration:

    The vote on Thursday was a sharp reversal for Minnesota's legislature. Two years ago, Republicans controlled both chambers and bypassed the governor to put forward a ballot measure that would have made the state's current ban on gay marriage part of the state constitution.

    Minnesota voters in November rejected that measure and also voted in Democratic majorities in both the state House and Senate, setting the legislature on the path toward Monday's vote.

    Republican Senator Warren Limmer, a sponsor of the proposed amendment two years ago, has said the legislation will change how businesses work, clergy speak from the pulpit and school curriculums are shaped.

    "Prior to the marriage amendment (vote) in November, many people were warning that this day would come," Limmer said in an interview last week.

    One now might be given to wonder where Minnesota would be in the gay fray had conservatives not pushed for extraneous hostility toward the LGBT community. A state constitutional amendment would not have trumped the U.S. Constitution, and what happened in November set the stage for what is happening now. Three states approved marriage equality by popular vote, and Minnesota voters rejected the new super-double probation against their homosexual neighbors. It is not unreasonable to ask whether this would be happening in Minnesota right now had the right wing not gone so far out of its way to reaffirm its well-known cruelty.

    Perhaps Minnesota would have avoided this vote, which brought Republican Rep. Peggy Scott to tears over such a divisive issue, had conservatives not gone out of their way to be divisive. Perhaps the North Star State would have ducked under the radar until after the Supreme Court rules in June.

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    Who knew? Where's Eric Cartman when you need him?

    Tomorrow.

    Tomorrow we get to raise our glasses in celebration: Minnesota!
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Bailey, David. "Minnesota poised to become 12th state to embrace gay marriage". Reuters. May 13, 2013. USNews.NBCNews.com. May 13, 2013. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/201...-to-become-12th-state-to-embrace-gay-marriage
     
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  3. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    12,671
    I wonder if 40 years from now they will look back to the anti-gay movement as the segregationists in the 60s....
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    A Curious Remembrance

    Yes. I think, however, it will be a little more ... er ... um ... gay? Joyous? Humorous?

    People aren't going to be looking back at the KKK, police dogs, fire hoses, and so on. Rather, we're going to be looking back at Michele Bachmann, Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, and any number of activists and politicians, and laughing at how insanely stupid and crazy the heterosupremacists are.

    There will be the murders and the martyrs, of course. But as with Stonewall, only gays could find themselves in the middle of a civil rights riot and decide to stage an impromptu musical.

    We are the Stonewall Girls; we wear our hair in curls.
    We always dress with flair; we wear clean underwear.
    We wear our dungarees above our nellie knees.
    We ain't no wannabees; we pay our Stonewall fees!

    Imagine being a cop responding to a riot call and finding yourself up against a kick line of singing protesters.

    Imagine being a cop in the middle of a riot who finds himself face to face with a lesbian who is upset that you're only arresting men.

    Stonewall was, simply, the best riot ever.

    And, you know, sure it's not quite building the economy of a growing nation the way slaves did, but homosexuals will always be able to look back on the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and laugh about the things they could get heterosexuals to do. The clothes they wore. The trends they followed. People will look back and chuckle about how some gay bars in the 1990s were swamped by heterosexual couples because the women preferred dancing there.

    And heterosexuals will get to join in on the fun. There are fairly common stories in my generation like "my grandmother didn't know Liberace was gay".

    There will also be tears, for the injustices inflicted and endured, but there will be mashups of Rick Santorum's tantrums against gays, and all sorts of greatest hits web pages recounting the most awesomely stupid things various heterosupremacists ever said in public.

    The end of heterosupremacist prohibition will be one of the longest-running festivals of future history.
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Minnesota!

    Minnewhatsthat? Minnewhosit? Minnefahqueue?
    Minnesota!


    "I feel like I’ve just watched a revolution from start to finish."


    With Elysian Space Dust in one hand, and, well, it's legal, now, where I live in the other ...

    Governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday made Minnesota the nation's 12th state to allow same-sex couples to marry and only the second in the Midwest, signing a bill on the steps of the state Capitol before thousands of supporters.

    The Democratic governor's signature came a day after state senators approved the bill, which made Minnesota the third state this month to approve same-sex nuptials after Rhode Island and Delaware.

    The Minnesota law takes effect on August 1 and Minneapolis, the state's biggest city, said on Tuesday that City Hall would open just after midnight on the first day same-sex couples can marry and Mayor R.T. Rybak will be on hand to officiate that night.

    "It is now my honor to sign into law this next step for the state of Minnesota to fulfill its promise to every Minnesotan," Dayton told the crowd in St. Paul before signing the bill flanked by its key Democratic sponsors, Senator Scott Dibble and Representative Karen Clark.


    (Bailey)

    ... it's true, I'm enjoying this way too much. As I told a friend on Sunday, I think I'm enjoying this more than I did our own state's victory. But, in truth, it's sort of an impressionistic thing.

    In 1997, Minnesota passed its own state-level DoMA.

    In 2011, with heterosupremacists reeling in other parts of the gay fray, North Star conservatives for some reason decided it would be a good idea to join the list of idiot states bumping their official homophobia from statutory to state constitutional priority. And while this might highlight the hypocrisy of weepy bigot morons like Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover), the more important thing that happened was that the vote was slated for November, 2012.

    By chance, what should have been a no-brainer, back-page election result was catapulted into a blazing, flaming spotlight when Minnesota voters, recognizing the tides of history as they joined at the ballot box their neighbors in three other states that were actually expected to validate marriage equality, decided the time had come to stand up to the bullies.

    It is entirely possible that if Minnesota had not been the grand slam, that fourth run, this bill would not have happened.

    But the Supreme Court held its breath, deigning to not engage the issue before the election, but, rather, after. Lumens. Focus. Heat.

    And then things just went crazy.

    Rural DFLers were a particularly tough sell, coming from districts where a move to redefine marriage cut against bedrock religious values.

    “Public opinion is changing, but it’s just slower in greater Minnesota,” said Rep. Jay McNamar, an Elbow Lake DFLer who first revealed his position when voting for same-sex marriage last week.

    Guns and gays

    Then another issue surfaced that shattered already fragile party unity: the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

    Suddenly, some DFLers were rolling out tough new gun legislation, proposals fiercely opposed by the National Rifle Association and a powerful group of rural DFL legislators.

    Democrats fought bitterly among themselves for weeks, divided over the two explosive issues, guns and gay marriage.

    With his caucus seemingly deadlocked on both issues, DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen made a surprise announcement.

    He declared the gun issue dead for the year, a rarity in an institution where nothing is considered dead until the session is over.

    Several legislators said Thissen’s announcement was a subtle but important breakthrough for the marriage issue, a personal priority for Thissen and other top DFLers.

    “The gun issue was muddying the marriage issue,” said Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township.

    He said several DFLers had argued passionately behind closed doors against bringing marriage up for a vote this year. They feared it would be too politically damaging for rural members and could cost the party its hard-won majority.

    Anzelc said that a tough vote on gay marriage plus an equally difficult vote on gun control could be political suicide for some legislators.

    Once the gun issue went away, he said, shaky rural members had time to reconsider the same-sex marriage issue and their place in history.

    Ultimately, most of them — including the NRA’s highest-rated DFL members — voted for same-sex marriage, adding the crucial margin that solidified the bill’s passage.


    (Helgeson)

    Raise a glass, and, Prometheus! my lance!

    Celebrate.

    My deepest thanks to evangelical Christians, the Minnesota Republican Party, and the NRA for helping bring marriage equality to the North Star State. This bill would not have happend without you.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Bailey, David. "Minnesota governor signs bill legalizing gay marriage". Reuters. May 14, 2013. Reuters.com. May 14, 2013. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/15/us-usa-gaymarriage-minnesota-idUSBRE94D19P20130515

    Helgeson, Baird. "Minnesota gay marriage deal has roots in gun debate". The Star Tribune. May 14, 2013. StarTribune.com. May 14, 2013. http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/207066671.html
     
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    France!

    France!
    Hollande says, "Oui", signs marriage equality law


    We've seen this coming for a while, especially since the French debate included what might have been the "gayest" protest against marriage equality ever, well described by the title, "Shirtless, Masked and Gagged Straight Men Protest Gay Marriage in France".

    But the news is in, and as Associated Press reports:

    France will see its first gay weddings within days, after French President Francois Hollande signed a law Saturday authorizing marriage and adoption by same-sex couples and ending months of nationwide protests and wrenching debate.

    Hollande's office said he signed the bill Saturday morning, a day after the Constitutional Council struck down a challenge to the law and ruled it in line with France's constitution.

    Congratulations, France. And many thanks from your neighbors all around the world.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Brathwaite, Lester. "Shirtless, Masked and Gagged Straight Men Protest Gay Marriage in France". Queerty. April 22, 2013. Queerty.com. May 18, 2013. http://www.queerty.com/shirtless-ma...-men-protest-gay-marriage-in-france-20130422/

    Charlton, Angela. "French President Signs Gay Marriage Into Law". Associated Press. May 18, 2103. HuffingtonPost.com. May 18, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/18/french-president-signs-ga_0_n_3298916.html
     
  9. superstring01 Moderator

    Messages:
    12,110
    Pretty sure my people are taking over. And don't forget, Nevada just put this back on the ballot for 2016. Yes, a ways away, but given the current moment and current status of the opinions in the Silver State, we both know how that will go down. In fact, we're now seeing the reversing of the trend in states that put this on the ballot just ten years ago: they are going BACK on the ballot again and, GULP!, reversing the trend.

    Of course, the decision is nigh on the SCOTUS that may make this all moot. Or not. We'll see.
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    Rota Fortunae

    I'm confident, but interestingly Scotusblog hasn't given much attention to the issue lately. I suppose that's not surprising, but it does mean there aren't any substantial hints or leaks occurring.

    But as confident as I am, maybe I shouldn't be looking through those older articles, such as two by Michigan Solicitor General John J. Bursch:


    To the other, UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky isn't as grim about Prop. 8:

    "What Might Happen". March 28, 2013.

    Nonetheless, I'm expecting a good day when the decisions come down. The one is a tax question; the other is a weak prohibitionist argument.

    For now, the fun part to watch is everyone positioning themselves in these last weeks. To wit, what is the significance, say, of San Francisco being prepared for new state litigation should Prop. 8 survive the decision? Or, who's taking the day off, and where will they be drinking as they wait on Decision Day? I mean, sure, I'm expecting to celebrate, but, I'm also prepared for a grim session plotting a new course if I really have missed something so significant in the way this drama has been playing out.
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    Exodus International: It's Over

    Exodus International: It's Over
    Vanguard of conversion therapy movement ceases operations


    "You have never been my enemy. I am very sorry that I have been yours."


    Twenty years ago I experienced my first moment of standing in front of the crowd, with the people at my back, telling down bigotry to the shocked delight of gay rights supporters gathered in a lecture hall at the University of Oregon to represent the community while "ex-gay" Alan Chambers advocated conversion away from sin and into God's love.

    Today I summon that memory—Goddess! how naïve and self-satisfied, glowing in the hilarity and applause, knowing my quiet thrust struck true—with a nostalgic tug at the corners of mouth and eye. Exodus International is no more!

    Let me repeat that, so there is no question:


    Exodus International has ceased operations and explicitly conceded the fight.

    Go ahead, take a moment.

    Let it sink in.

    Christians invited me to this cultural war in 1991. We won, in Oregon, in 1992. In the wake of that challenge, Mr. Chambers showed up to tell his tale of woe and hope, the differences between love in Christ and another man's arms.

    It was one thing to scrape out a win at the ballot box.

    Reading from a Bible kindly lent me by a gray-haired Christian man of kindly disposition, my shaking voice recited the end of Leviticus 21, and asked when Christians were going to ask us to repeal the Americans With Disabilities Act.

    Three was no good answer; Mr. Chambers had difficulty understanding the question.

    But several local churches and private high schools had bussed in students to attend the event. A young woman from a fairly holy rolling group jumped up as our side cheered and laughed at Chambers' confusion. Waving her hands in the air she shouted about Ephesians and putting on our armor. Her troupe cheered wildly, hopping up and down and waving their arms like a revival session. I thanked the kindly gentleman who lent me his Bible; he had a strange look on his face, and did not know what to say. Finally, he gave me a quick nod and wink and smiled. "Well said," he told me.

    Yeah. For a young ego feeling the first glimmer of a political offensive push?

    Empowerment.

    Thank you, Alan Chambers.

    Fast-forward. June 19, 1993:

    In 1993 I caused a four-car pileup. In a hurry to get to a friend's house, I was driving when a bee started buzzing around the inside of my windshield. I hit the bee and it fell on the dashboard. A minute later it started buzzing again with a fury. Trying to swat it again I completely missed the fact that a city bus had stopped three cars in front of me. I also missed that those three cars were stopping, as well. Going 40 miles an hour I slammed into the car in front of me causing a chain reaction. I was injured and so were several others. I never intended for the accident to happen. I would never have knowingly hurt anyone. But I did. And it was my fault. In my rush to get to my destination, fear of being stung by a silly bee, and selfish distraction, I injured others.

    I have no idea if any of the people injured in that accident have suffered long term effects. While I did not mean to hurt them, I did. The fact that my heart wasn't malicious did not lessen their pain or their suffering. I am very sorry that I chose to be distracted that fall afternoon, and that I caused so much damage to people and property. If I could take it all back I absolutely would. But I cannot. I pray that everyone involved in the crash has been restored to health.

    Recently, I have begun thinking again about how to apologize to the people that have been hurt by Exodus International through an experience or by a message. I have heard many firsthand stories from people called ex-gay survivors. Stories of people who went to Exodus affiliated ministries or ministers for help only to experience more trauma. I have heard stories of shame, sexual misconduct, and false hope. In every case that has been brought to my attention, there has been swift action resulting in the removal of these leaders and/or their organizations. But rarely was there an apology or a public acknowledgement by me.

    And then there is the trauma that I have caused. There were several years that I conveniently omitted my ongoing same-sex attractions. I was afraid to share them as readily and easily as I do today. They brought me tremendous shame and I hid them in the hopes they would go away. Looking back, it seems so odd that I thought I could do something to make them stop. Today, however, I accept these feelings as parts of my life that will likely always be there. The days of feeling shame over being human in that way are long over, and I feel free simply accepting myself as my wife and family does. As my friends do. As God does.

    Never in a million years would I intentionally hurt another person. Yet, here I sit having hurt so many by failing to acknowledge the pain some affiliated with Exodus International caused, and by failing to share the whole truth about my own story. My good intentions matter very little and fail to diminish the pain and hurt others have experienced on my watch. The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this.

    Friends and critics alike have said it's not enough to simply change our message or website. I agree. I cannot simply move on and pretend that I have always been the friend that I long to be today. I understand why I am distrusted and why Exodus is hated.

    Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn't change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn't stand up to people publicly "on my side" who called you names like sodomite—or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.

    More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God's rejection. I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives. For the rest of my life I will proclaim nothing but the whole truth of the Gospel, one of grace, mercy and open invitation to all to enter into an inseverable relationship with almighty God.

    I cannot apologize for my deeply held biblical beliefs about the boundaries I see in scripture surrounding sex, but I will exercise my beliefs with great care and respect for those who do not share them. I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage. But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God's command to love my neighbor as I love myself.

    You have never been my enemy. I am very sorry that I have been yours. I hope the changes in my own life, as well as the ones we announce tonight regarding Exodus International, will bring resolution, and show that I am serious in both my regret and my offer of friendship. I pledge that future endeavors will be focused on peace and common good.

    Moving forward, we will serve in our pluralistic culture by hosting thoughtful and safe conversations about gender and sexuality, while partnering with others to reduce fear, inspire hope, and cultivate human flourishing.



    The Exodus International website is, of course, flooded with traffic at present. In addition to Mr. Chambers' continuing apology, the board of Exodus International has announced that the group will cease operations:

    Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality announced tonight that it's closing its doors after three-plus decades of ministry. The Board of Directors reached a decision after a year of dialogue and prayer about the organization's place in a changing culture.

    "We're not negating the ways God used Exodus to positively affect thousands of people, but a new generation of Christians is looking for change – and they want to be heard," Tony Moore, Board member of Exodus. The message came less than a day after Exodus released a statement apologizing to the gay community for years of undue judgment by the organization and the Christian Church as a whole.

    We who have disputed with Exodus International over the years ought certainly celebrate. But we must also be mindful that this outcome does not, and cannot, erase the scars the ministry's thirty-seven year ministry has inflicted. We ought not forget them. Nor should we dance on Exodus' grave and taunt our vanquished opponents. We must open our arms, live as one community of all people, and welcome them into the warm sunshine.

    As they ascend from the shadowed of the valley of spiritual death they have wandered into, we must extend a hand to help our human neighbors find their way back to life.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Chambers, Alan. "I Am Sorry". Exodus International. June 19, 2013. ExodusInternational.org. June 20, 2013. http://exodusinternational.org/2013/06/i-am-sorry/

    Exodus International. "Exodus International to Shut Down". Press Release. June 19, 2013. ExodusInternational.org. June 20, 2013. http://exodusinternational.org/2013/06/exodus-international-to-shut-down/
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    For Love of Russia

    Conservatives Admiring Russia
    No wonder Mitt Romney lost ....


    Once held up by the Republican presidential candidate as the nation's foremost foe, Russia is now a source of inspiration to many American conservatives. What could possibly account for this?

    Conservatives have traditionally been leery of Russia, but that was before the right saw how hostile the country is to gay rights (thanks to reader R.B. for the heads-up).

    As the hub of the Soviet Union, Russia was reviled for rights abuses by many U.S. conservatives during the Cold War. Now some are voicing support and admiration as Russian authorities crack down on gay-rights activism.

    The latest step drawing praise from social conservatives is a bill signed into law Sunday by President Vladimir Putin that would impose hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about the gay community to minors.​

    All of a sudden, conservative activists who've generally had no use for Russia—indeed, the right has traditionally used Russia as a point of comparison that Americans must reject—have rediscovered how much they like the country after all. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute said it "admires" Russia's latest anti-gay moves; Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality lauded Russia for rejecting "America's reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion"; and the Illinois-based World Congress of Families has scheduled its 2014 conference for the Kremlin.

    Stefano Gennarini, another U.S. activist at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, was asked about Russia's proposed fine on gay couples showing public displays of affection. He responded that "$155 is hardly unmanageable for homosexuals who want to kiss in public."

    Remember, the American right believes it's defined by its celebration of freedom and limited government.

    And then, of course, there's evangelical activist Scott Lively ....

    .... Lively conducted a 50-city speaking tour of Russia in 2007, where he recommended the very measures Russia is now pursuing. From the AP report:

    "Russia could become a model pro-family society," he wrote. "If this were to occur, I believe people from the West would begin to emigrate to Russia in the same way that Russians used to emigrate to the United States and Europe." [...]

    "Russians, even after glasnost, are comfortable with an authoritarian style," he said. "That wouldn't work in the United States."​


    (Benen)

    I mean, come on. If nothing else, this is as hilarious as it was predictable.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Benen, Steve. "The right discovers its love of Russia". The Maddow Blog. July 2, 2013. MaddowBlog.com. July 2, 2013. http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/07/02/19250195-the-right-discovers-its-love-of-russia
     
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,132
    The pain and horror conversion therapy has caused many families, I think it is difficult to forgive. The pain Exodus International has caused cannot be forgotten. Some will live with that pain until they die.

    Linda Robertson is one such person. Her son came out to her when he was 12 years of age. While she and her husband never denied their love for their child, their belief in God and their obsession with the scriptures and the Bible steered them towards Exodus. And so the conversion therapy began for their son. By the time their son had turned 18, he was depressed, suicidal and disillusioned because their beliefs had forced him to believe that God would never love him, that he was somehow not perfect or good enough because he was gay, that he had to be straight to be loved by God, that he had to not act upon his feelings... After 6 years of what seems like fairly intensive therapy with Exodus, their son turned to drugs in a desperate bid to find peace. And she and her husband started to realise the damage they and Exodus had done to their son.


    We had unintentionally taught Ryan to hate his sexuality. And since sexuality cannot be separated from the self, we had taught Ryan to hate himself. So as he began to use drugs, he did so with a recklessness and a lack of caution for his own safety that was alarming to everyone who knew him.

    Suddenly our fear of Ryan someday having a boyfriend (a possibility that honestly terrified me) seemed trivial in contrast to our fear of Ryan's death, especially in light of his recent rejection of Christianity and his mounting anger at God.

    Ryan started with weed and beer, but in six short months was using cocaine, crack and heroin. He was hooked from the beginning, and his self-loathing and rage at God only fueled his addiction. Shortly thereafter, we lost contact with him. For the next year and a half, we didn't know where he was or even if he was dead or alive. And during that horrific time, God had our full attention. We stopped praying for Ryan to become straight. We started praying for him to know that God loved him. We stopped praying for him to never have a boyfriend. We started praying that someday we might actually get to know his boyfriend. We even stopped praying for him to come home to us; we only wanted him to come home to God.

    By the time our son called us, after 18 long months of silence, God had completely changed our perspective. Because Ryan had done some pretty terrible things while using drugs, the first thing he asked me was this:

    Do you think you can ever forgive me? (I told him of course, he was already forgiven. He had always been forgiven.)

    Do you think you could ever love me again? (I told him that we had never stopped loving him, not for one second. We loved him then more than we had ever loved him.)

    Do you think you could ever love me with a boyfriend? (Crying, I told him that we could love him with 15 boyfriends. We just wanted him back in our lives. We just wanted to have a relationship with him again... and with his boyfriend.)

    And a new journey was begun, one of healing, restoration, open communication and grace. Lots of grace. And God was present every step of the way, leading and guiding us, gently reminding us simply to love our son and leave the rest up to Him.


    Ten months later, their son relapsed, and again became friends with the people he knew while he used. And with the relapse came that one last shot.


    Ryan died on July 16, 2009. And we lost the ability to love our gay son, because we no longer had a gay son. What we had wished for, prayed for, hoped for -- that we would not have a gay son -- came true. But not at all in the way we had envisioned.

    Now, when I think back on the fear that governed all my reactions during those first six years after Ryan told us he was gay, I cringe as I realize how foolish I was. I was afraid of all the wrong things. And I grieve, not only for my oldest son, whom I will miss every day for the rest of my life, but for the mistakes I made. I grieve for what could have been, had we been walking by faith instead of by fear.


    Exodus and their ilk have a lot to answer for.
     
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    It's Ex-Gay Pride Month

    It's Ex-Gay Pride Month
    Sort of ....


    The Family Research council is launching two new initiatives in support of their homophobic crusade, ostensibly intended to lend credence to quack conversion therapy.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Hardly reassuring: Yes, this is real.

    Cavan Siekczkowski of Huffington Post explains:

    The "traditional marriage"-touting Family Research Council plans to usher in the first annual "Ex-Gay Pride Month" dinner in an attempt to promote "ex-gay" rights. The event is scheduled for the end of July, just weeks after the Supreme Court's landmark rulings in favor of gay rights. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has been extended an invitation as an honorable attendee.

    The Family Research Council's legislative affiliate, FRC Action, will officially launch two new ex-gay rights organizations, Voice of the Voiceless and Equality and Justice For All, during the dinner in Washington, D.C., on July 31.

    "Come celebrate the lives of former homosexuals and hear about their unique stories and achievements!" reads the invitation.

    In addition to Bachman, the Heritage Foundation's Jim DeMint, the Liberty Counsel's Matthew Staver and Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) -- who on Friday introduced a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage -- have all been invited to speak.

    Voice of the Voiceless says its mission is to defend the rights of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction and their families. On June 18, the group asked President Obama to issue a Presidential Proclamation to make July 2013 the official month for "ex-gays." On July 31, Voice supporters will take to Capitol Hill.

    "Voice of the Voiceless has only been around for a few months," Christopher Doyle, co-founder and president of the group, explained to The Huffington Post during a phone conversation Tuesday morning. "We formed an anti-defamation league for former homosexuals like myself. ... I was once one of those persons. I am now married to a woman. So basically, we've just been really marginalized by the LGBT activist groups because they're threatened we are seeking a different path. We aren't trying to take away anyone's rights."

    Doyle does not approve of his group being lumped in with religious programs like Exodus International, which recently announced it will shut down after over 30 years of preaching a purported "cure" for homosexuality. Exodus' closing came with an apology from founder Alan Chambers -- the man behind the controversial Christian ministry that used tactics like prayer, devotion and so-called "reparative therapy" in an attempt to turn gay people straight -- for those he has hurt along the way.

    Doyle told HuffPost he doesn't believe in the practice of, as he referred to it, "pray the gay away." Nor does he believe in taking a religious approach to changing one's sexual orientation.

    "You have to realize that sexuality is a very complex subject," he said, when asked what the cornerstone of his program is, if it is not religious. "It's just not about sexual drives and feelings and desire and arousal. It's all about attachment and bonding and gender identity. These theories are based on hundreds of years of psychological research. There's always going to be a portion of people who aren't going to be comfortable being outside the norm. ... There are always going to be people who are going to say, 'This is something I don't want to take part in.'"

    "[Homosexuality] just wasn't for me," he concluded. "That's why I chose a different path. We really need to accept people in their choices."

    The Family Research Council could not be immediately reached for comment.

    Interestingly, this leads back to a long controversy about homosexuality. To the one, homophobes are upset that homosexuality was stripped from the DSM decades ago. To the other, the homophobes loathe being called homophobes. They also complain about the fallback generalization of bigotry. So let us be specific, then, and revisit the diagnosis of ego dystonic homosexuality, a.k.a., the self-loathing gay.

    Jillian Rayfield of Salon reports:

    “This will be a historic day for ex-gays across the country as we unite on Capitol Hill to lobby Congress to recognize former homosexuals,” said the president of Voice of the Voiceless, Christopher Doyle, in a statement. “Now that former homosexuals are a protected class against discrimination in Washington, D.C., this opens up the door for our unique stories to be heard and achievements recognized as we celebrate the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month!”

    Voice of the Voiceless describes its mission statement as “to defend the rights of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction and their families.”

    Given the marquee lineup, with only ego dystonic homosexual religious and political figures like Michele Bachmann (whose name they can't even spell right), Tim Huelskamp (sponsor of the current heterosupremacy constitutional amendment), Bishop Harry Jackson (a think-about-the-children advocate who has no use for facts), and other high-profile homophobes bigots hatemongers ego dystonic homosexuals, it's hard to see how this is a Pride event instead of a persecutory pep rally.

    And the straw man doesn't help, either: "Now that former homosexuals are a protected class against discrimination in Washington, D.C.," explained VoV president Christopher Doyle, "this opens up the door for our unique stories to be heard and achievements recognized ...."

    But what does that even mean?

    Coming in the wake of Exodus International, these new FRC organizations show themselves for what they are. Ex-Gay Pride Month is nothing more than a celebration of traditionalist bigotry hatred self-loathing intended to inflict their malady on everyone else.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Sieczkowski, Cavan. "Family Research Council To Hold 'Ex-Gay Pride Month' Dinner; Michele Bachmann Invited". The Huffington Post. July 2, 2013. HuffingtonPost.com. July 5, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/02/ex-gay-pride-month-dinner_n_3533167.html

    Rayfield, Jillian. "Family Research Council plans 'ex-gay pride month'". Salon. July 3, 2013. Salon.com. July 5, 2013. http://www.salon.com/2013/07/03/family_research_council_plans_ex_gay_pride_month/
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    There's no such thing as a "former homosexual." Sexuality is a spectrum. Most of us are up near the 100% heterosexual end, people who can't even comfortably contemplate engaging in homosexual activity and who would throw up, faint, or fight violently if forced into it. But as you go down to the other end (and excuse my arbitrary choice of "up" for straight and "down" for gay, no offense intended) there is a considerable demographic that is on the cusp. Bisexuality is real. Some people are more straight than gay and only occasionally consort with a member of their own gender, while others are more gay than straight and do just the opposite. Sure there are a few who are almost exactly 50/50, or "different ways on different days" as one friend described it to me. And of course there are the gay people who are just as staunchly gay as most of us are staunchly straight, and would never voluntarily engage in heterosexual activity.

    But back to those people on the cusp. It's not a large demographic, but 2-3% of the population is still a whole lot of people. Here's where you find the people who were raised in strict Christian homes and taught that homosexuality is evidence of being under the influence of Satan. Since they are quite capable of having straight sex and being content with it, and because they have been indoctrinated, they can go years living as straight people, and whenever they get a twinge of "another" kind of thinking they shrug it off as Satan attempting to corrupt them.

    Then one day, far from home, in a big city that presents them with new experiences every day, they get a little tipsy and find themselves in the arms of someone of the same gender. And they realize that not only are they not disgusted, but it feels good. This is most likely to happen in one's 20s or 30s, but a friend of ours was in his late 40s when it happened to him--after marrying, being widowed, raising five children, and moving from Louisiana (if you think Protestant Rednecks are hard to take, you've never met a Catholic Redneck) to Los Angeles.

    These are the people who are most likely to be "cured" of their sexual orientation. Like anyone else they can be going through a troubling period of life and be seduced by religion. When their newfound co-religionists urge them to give up the "sin" of homosexuality and become straight, they are capable of doing it because they can swing both ways. It's these folks who unwittingly give the Bible-thumpers their evidence for insisting that homosexuality can be "cured."

    It's extremely unlikely that a person who is 100% gay could ever be "converted" to straight. It would be like you or me being "converted" to gay. (And again, forgive me if there are gay people out there reading this. I hope you'll excuse the difficulty of composing these sentences within the rhetorical constraints of the language of 2013.)
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    Africa's Righteous

    The Righteous
    African gay rights activist tortured, killed


    The evil face of the righteous:

    A prominent gay rights activist in Cameroon was tortured and killed just weeks after issuing a public warning about the threat posed by "anti-gay thugs," Human Rights Watch said.

    Friends discovered the body of Eric Ohena Lembembe at his home in the capital, Yaounde, on Monday evening after he was unreachable for two days, the rights group said in a statement Tuesday.

    One friend said Lembembe's neck and feet looked broken and that he had been burned with an iron ....

    .... A prominent gay rights activist in Cameroon was tortured and killed just weeks after issuing a public warning about the threat posed by "anti-gay thugs," Human Rights Watch said.

    Friends discovered the body of Eric Ohena Lembembe at his home in the capital, Yaounde, on Monday evening after he was unreachable for two days, the rights group said in a statement Tuesday.

    One friend said Lembembe's neck and feet looked broken and that he had been burned with an iron.


    (Corey-Boulet)

    As we in the States celebrate the rise of marriage equality, we must remember that, for many of our gay neighbors around the world, the fight for mere existence continues.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Corey-Boulet, Robbie. "Eric Ohena Lembembe, Gay Rights Activist, Tortured And Killed". The Huffington Post. July 16, 2013. HuffingtonPost.com. jUly 16, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/16/eric-ohena-lembembe-killed-dead_n_3604460.html
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    England! Wales!

    England! Wales!
    Royal Assent yesterday; weddings by next summer


    Although it is clearly improper address, there is some irony that Broadway comes to mind. Yesterday, Her Majesty gave Royal Assent to the Marriage Bill; same-sex couples have won their right to marry in England and Wales.

    Thank you, m'dear.

    It is expected that the first gay and lesbian wedding ceremonies will take place by summer next year.

    Under the terms of the the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, religious organisations will have to "opt in" to offering weddings, with the Church of England and Church in Wales being banned in law from doing so.

    Commons Speaker John Bercow announced the bill had received Royal Assent - the formal approval of the sovereign required for all legislation. The news was greeted with cheers in the Commons chamber.


    (BBC)

    God save the Queen? I'll raise a glass to that.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    British Broadcasting Corporation. "Same-sex marriage becomes law in England and Wales". BBC News. July 17, 2013. BBC.co.uk. July 18, 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23338279
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    Louisiana Wants to Have This Fight?

    Louisiana Wants to Have This Fight?

    In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sheriff's deputies have undertaken what is perhaps the most brilliant and original initiative in the twenty-first century gay-fray.

    Well, okay, it's not exactly original. Neither, to be honest, is it brilliant. These are, after all, ego dystonic homosexuals, and this is, after all, Louisiana:

    An undercover East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy was staking out Manchac Park about 10 a.m. one day this month when a slow-moving sedan pulling into the parking lot caught his attention. The deputy parked alongside the 65-year-old driver and, after denying being a cop, began a casual conversation that was electronically monitored by a backup team nearby.

    As the two men moved their chat to a picnic table, the deputy propositioned his target with “some drinks and some fun” back at his place, later inquiring whether the man had any condoms, according to court records. After following the deputy to a nearby apartment, the man was handcuffed and booked into Parish Prison on a single count of attempted crime against nature.

    There had been no sex-for-money deal between the two. The men did not agree to have sex in the park, a public place. And the count against the man was based on a part of Louisiana’s anti-sodomy law struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court a decade ago.

    The July 18 arrest is among at least a dozen cases since 2011 in which a Sheriff’s Office task force used the unenforceable law to ensnare men who merely discussed or agreed to have consensual sex with an undercover agent, an investigation by The Advocate has found.

    District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office refused to prosecute each one of the cases because his assistants found no crime had occurred. After inquiries from the newspaper last week, he arranged to meet with Sheriff’s Office investigators to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court ruling.

    Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, denied that investigators had been misapplying the anti-sodomy law, which remains among the state’s criminal statutes.

    “This is a law that is currently on the Louisiana books, and the sheriff is charged with enforcing the laws passed by our Louisiana Legislature,” Hicks said. “Whether the law is valid is something for the courts to determine, but the sheriff will enforce the laws that are enacted.”

    Meanwhile, the DA, while acknowledging he is unable to prosecute the arrested individuals, still defends the behavior: "The Sheriff’s Office’s intentions are all good," he explained. "But from what I've seen of these cases, legally, we found no criminal violation."

    Of course not. To the other, there is a criminal violation to prosecute, and he is turning a blind eye.

    This is the sort of thing that gets the U.S. Department of Justice involved. When local law enforcement shows the backs of two fingers to the Constitution, the feds eventually step in. And, as Peter Renn, an attorney with Lamda Legal noted, "The fact that this has been going on for a two-year period is unbelievable. This is basically like the police putting up a sign that says 'Please sue me.'"

    In addition to the lawsuits, the law properly respected would see the culpable individuals at the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office should be prosecuted for civil rights violations, as well as kidnapping and unlawful restraint, and racketeering charges. In other words, there are a number of people in that parish sheriff's office who need to be spending the rest of their lives in prison, and the sheriff's office should owe so much in punitive civil damages that the Louisiana public trust risks bankruptcy paying off the sums.

    They've had ten years to figure out what the actual law is, and quite obviously they either haven't bothered, or have spent years calculating and considering what they think they can get away with.

    Additionally, we are now at a point that Governor Jindal can either show leadership in addressing this problem, or sit back and wait for the feds. I would suggest it to his benefit to actually take a leadership role in snuffing this idiotic behavior. Crimes prosecuted from local arrests are still charged as State v. Defendant, so the governor's imprimateur is implicit. Jindal is guilty not by association, but by choosing to ignore his oath of office; he is aiding and abetting these crimes committed under color of law.

    They want to play hardball in Louisiana? It is my opinion that Attorney General Holder should grant them that wish, and pursue every culpable public official in Louisiana with criminal charges.

    I mean, really, this is absolutely absurd. There is no way the sheriff's department can reasonably plead ignorance. Circumstantially speaking, this must be calculated. And the DA is covering for them.

    It's time to raid the joint, and bring this racket down.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Mustain, Jim. "Gays in Baton Rouge arrested under invalid sodomy law". The Advocate. July 28, 2013. TheAdvocate.com. July 29, 2013. http://theadvocate.com/home/6580728-125/gays-in-baton-rouge-arrested
     
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Wait... Didn't you say this was Louisiana? Can't everyone in the whole state rightfully claim to be ignorant?

    As Jon Stewart once said, "It's a miracle they can spell the state's name correctly on their license plates."
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    The Paradox, of Sorts

    Well, yeah. There's that. But I'm tired of using punch lines as excuses for terrible behavior insofar as if nobody along this chain of command could figure it out, and if the department's own lawyers were unaware of constitutional law, and the district attorney's office didn't mention it because they had no idea ... well, why is it always this paradox with conservatives? I get their thing about the evils of invasive government, and all, so why are they doing their damnedest to demand that the federal government unseat the police and prosecutors in EBR Parish in order to install some competent people?

    I mean, if their best excuse is, "We're too stupid to do our jobs properly"?

    That's fine. But if that is the presupposition they demand, then we need to recognize "Louisiana born" as a handicap under the Americans with Disabilities Act as a form of mental retardation. And we'll have to secure the borders against Lou'siana folk sneaking into other states to have anchor babies.
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    37,048
    Update: East Baton Rouge Parish

    Update: East Baton Rouge Parish—You Wouldn't Believe ....

    One might wonder why, while District Attorney Hillar Moore III refused to press charges against the arrested homosexual men, he didn't take the time to tell the EBRP sheriff's department to knock it the hell off, but, really, why quibble over details?

    At any rate, it appears someone finally pulled Sheriff Sid Gautreaux aside and explained to him what was about to happen. And, of course, well, as daylight tends to ruin shady operations:

    East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux apologized Monday for a series of sting operations in which his deputies used an unconstitutional anti-sodomy law to arrest men agreeing to have consensual sex with undercover agents.

    Amid a firestorm of criticism, Gautreaux said he would push to have the unenforceable portions of the law removed from the state's criminal statutes — an effort some lawmakers said would be an uphill battle.

    "Our agency made mistakes," Gautreaux said in a statement, adding it was not the Sheriff's Office's intention to target gay men. "We will learn from them and we will take measures to ensure it does not happen again."

    The sheriff, who has been sharply criticized over his use of department resources, also said he has begun "a comprehensive evaluation of undercover operations made by our deputies" and vowed to "make changes to ensure better supervision, training and guidance.

    "I have informed all employees of the Sheriff's Office they are not to use these unconstitutional laws."


    (Mustain)

    Look, I'm not going to hammer Sheriff Gautreaux over his current tack. But I can't resist the sniggering comment that it's nice they finally got around to it ten years after the fact. So I guess the point would lead back to the question we've joked about, which has something to do with the fact that this is, after all, Louisiana.

    Indulge me, please, just so I can get this off my chest and leave it alone: How, exactly, did it take this long to figure out they were fucking up?

    The people harmed by this stupidity will most assuredly have their day in court should they wish it. I'll leave that to the lawyers, judges, and juries. But, you know, since there is that bit about repeating history if we don't learn from it, I'm hoping that we might get some hint of what went awry in East Baton Rouge Parish that doesn't run the circle back to, Well, it's East Baton Rouge Parish!

    I mean, c'mon. Please? Obviously, something was going through your minds as you equipped, coordinated, and executed these stings over a period of years. Honestly, what was it? I promise I won't laugh. I promise, I'll just nod, say nothing, and file it away in memory for future consideration of the wider complex of human societal behavior.

    But, come on. Please. It's important.

    I really, really want to know: What was the rationale, there?

    Please?

    Oh, and it's absolutely adorable that nobody thinks the unconstitutional law can be taken off the books. And state Sen. Dan Claitor (R-Baton Rouge) couldn't possibly make the point any better when he says it's not the legislature's fault that they won't pass a repeal of an unconstitutional law just for the sake of formality; it's those rascally, bigoted Louisiana voters.

    No, really.

    State Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, said changing the crime against nature law would be difficult even if it were not a controversial issue.

    "I don't know if it's anti-gay in the Legislature as much as they fear a fair amount of people who hold anti-gay sentiments," Claitor said.

    He really said that.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Mustain, Jim. "Gautreaux issues apology, begins push to have La. law erased". The Advocate. July 30, 2013. TheAdvocate.com. July 30, 2013. http://theadvocate.com/home/6641204-125/gautreaux-issues-apology-begins-push
     
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    20,656
    Most likely? "We've always done it this way." Some people don't change until they are forced to.
     
  23. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,049
    hang on, why wouldn't ANY law struck down by the courts be automatically invalidated, that's the PURPOSE of striking it down in the courts in the first place
     

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