In today's Express Gay News, James Merritt, a former pupil at Bob Jones University writes a letter to Dr. Bob Jones III. Merritt comes out to the fundamentalist preacher and chastises him for intolerance. An excerpt from the letter reads:
Indeed, through faith, hope and experience, I have made tremendous growth, both spiritually and personally, as I've overcome my "affliction." My affliction however, is not my homosexuality; rather, my affliction has been the tormented shackles of fundamentalist bigotry.
(Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero)
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero should be applauded - no worshiped - for standing up to the Catholic Church's rabid and embarrassing attacks on a new law in Spain allowing gay couples to marry. The Church has gone on an all out PR (Perverted Response) offensive to smear gay people and threaten the careers of wise and courageous politicians like Zapatero. After the Crusades, The Inquisition, the treatment of Jews and women, one would have thought the Vatican has learned something. Alas, it hasn't.
Last month, the Spanish parliament gave initial approval to a law granting gay people the freedom to marry. The Spanish Bishops' Conference, in typical hysterical fashion called on Catholics to break the law and resist implementation.
In one of the most moving and bold political expressions of my lifetime, Zapatero did not cower, but spoke truth to power when he addressed parliament in a state of the nation address.
"I will never understand those who proclaim love as the foundation of life, while denying so radically protection, understanding and affection to our neighbors, our friends, our relatives, our colleagues. What kind of love is this that excludes those who experience their sexuality in a different way?"
How refreshing to hear a politician tell the truth and not pander to ignorance and exploit fear.
After witnessing this act of courage, I'm ashamed of the politicians in America. Few of the GLBT community's allies support marriage. Even pols with gay children, such Cheney and Gephardt have acted like dicks by choosing their own political ambitions over their families. I think it is fair to assume that both men want happiness for their children. But when it came down to it, they selfishly chose timidity and silence, leaving their daughters second-class citizens. It is tragic when presidential and Vice Presidential desires, win out over parental duties.
As impressive as it is surprising to watch the Spanish PM champion equality and fairness, what is really astonishing is to see a politician who actually takes his job description literally, and leads, rather than follows.
A monumental new study released by Swedish scientists this week shows that biology plays a pivotal role in determining a person's sexual orientation. With this new research, can the brainwashed finally abandon their bigotry and admit that the brain, not the Bible, decides sexual attraction?
It must be difficult for the right wing to accept that God did create Adam and Steve, after all. Instead of anti-gay political campaigns, the extremists should call it a day, visit the mall and buy this oft-maligned gay couple nice wedding gifts. No matter how they spin it, a growing body of scientific evidence points to the obvious: Homosexuality is not a choice.
According to the New York Times, a German cannibal known only as Ralf M. was sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Berlin court. The killer met the victim, a music teacher, on a gay Internet site and dismembered him, storing his organs in the refrigerator. In the end, however, Ralf M. was uable to eat the guy. Perhaps, the victim was too larrge to fit in the wok. Is there nothing more frustrating than a person who always cancels dinner plans at the last minute?
The bottom line: What the hell do you have to do in Germany to get a life sentence?
(Sen. Harry Reid Leads Showdown Over Republican Government Shutdown)
It is amazing that the Republican Party learned nothing from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's failed government shutdown in the early 90's. They are up to their old tricks, once more threatening to bring America's business to a halt.
This time, it is over their arrogant attempt to rid the nation of checks and balances by abolishing the filibuster against Bush's radical judicial nominees. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has basically given the Democrats, and the nation, an ultimatum: Rubber-stamp our nominated nuts, or we will destroy the Senate with the so-called nuclear option. The showdown could come as early as next week, when the Republicans call for a vote on rejected, extremist nominee Priscilla R. Owen.
Under Frist's leadership, negotiation has been replaced by nuclear. This is a man whose actions undermine his ambitions to be president. Clearly, Frist does not have the temperament or leadership skills to hold America's highest office.
Tragically, Frist is taking political marching orders from the fanatical fringe. A possible compromise was all but ruled out when Focus on the Family founder James Dobson blasted the notion of cooperation or a deal to avert disaster.
"If this is true," Dobson said of a potential deal on American Family Radio, "it will represent an end run around the majority leader and will quite frankly be seen as a betrayal of millions of people who put George Bush and the Republicans in office."
It is not surprising that Dobson would put his selfish theocratic desires over what is good for the country. However, it is disgraceful that Bill Frist would rather pander to the Right, than do what is right for freedom, democracy, fairness and common decency. If Frist causes a government shutdown, he ought to step down and resign.
Gay men's brains respond differently from those of heterosexual males when exposed to a sexual stimulus, researchers have found. The homosexual men's brains responded more like those of women when the men sniffed a chemical from the male hormone testosterone.
"It is one more piece of evidence ... that is showing that sexual orientation is not all learned," said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.
Another kick in the groin to James Dobson, Jerry Falwell and others who profit off the myth that homosexuality is a choice. And to you so-called ex-gays: Give it up and stop wasting your time. You can't pray away the brain God gave you. But you can start using it.
Congratulations to Microsoft for reversing course and supporting a gay rights bill in Washington State that would prohibit discrimination. I want to thank the dozens of my daily readers who wrote to Microsoft to express their outrage. Microsoft employees who bravely stood up to the corporate brass deserve special credit.
But most of all, Microsoft should be given credit for doing the right thing. The company is so damn rich, that Bill Gates could have told our community to get lost. And even with Bush's plan to dismantle Social Security, a gay Microsoft boycott likely wouldn't have affected Bill's ability to retire comfortably. Saying I'm sorry is never an easy thing to do, but Microsoft's Steve Ballmer did so:
"After looking at the question from all sides, I've concluded that diversity in the workplace is such an important issue for our business that it should be included in our legislative agenda."
Microsoft has now paved the way to make it easier for Magellan Health Services to reverse course and get rid of an ex-gay therapist that the company didn't want in the first place. It is time for Magellan to dump Dr. Warren Throckmorton, before the type of "therapy" he supports hurts more people. Magellan, it's up to you to do the right thing...
Kicking off what may be the earliest campaign in the nation's history, Sen. John Kerry has already stumbled out of the gate by offending gay voters and their allies. On an unofficial campaign stop in Louisiana, Kerry scolded the Massachusetts Democratic Party for its anticipated approval of a party platform plank supporting the freedom to marry.
"I think it's a mistake. I think it's the wrong thing, and I'm not sure it reflects the broad view of the Democratic Party in our state," said Kerry.
Actually, a mistake was choosing a war hero as the Democratic nominee who inexplicably allowed his Republican opponents to paint him as a war zero who didn't earn his medals. But that is a story for another day.
Fortunately, chairman of the Massachusetts Democrats, Philip W. Johnston, rebuked Kerry's stance.
"I have great affection and respect for John, but I disagree on this issue," Johnston said. "It is important that the state Democratic Party support civil rights. We need to take a stand."
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said he supports the inclusive platform language.
Apparently, so do people in Massachusetts. A poll recently taken by the Boston Globe highlights strong statewide support for the freedom to marry, with 56 percent in favor and only 37 percent of residents in opposition. The poll also found that 71 percent of Democrats, 53 percent of Independents, and 35 percent of Republicans all support marriage equality.
One reason John Kerry lost the election is because people viewed him as a waffling flip-flopper who would choose the politically expedient over what was moral and just. One of Bush's biggest applause lines was when he said that you might not agree with him, but at least you knew where he stood.
Kerry should have stolen a page from Bush's playbook and supported same sex marriage. He could have used it to his advantage by saying, "I've always made tough choices, because that is what leadership is about. It was unpopular when I spoke out against the Vietnam War, after I returned home from service. And it might not be politically popular today, but I support the freedom to marry because it is the right thing to do."
Instead of such a bold statement, Kerry equivocated on the issue and played right into the hands of the Bush campaign. Kerry claimed that he did not support a Constitutional Amendment to the federal Constitution barring same-sex marriage. Yet, he expressed support for a Constitutional ban in Massachusetts. This politically calculated stance didn't fool anyone. Kerry looked like a flip flopping political opportunist. His position on same-sex marriage helped solidify the public's view of him as untrustworthy.
When people said that "moral values" were important, they were not just talking about opposition to homosexuality and abortion. They were speaking of integrity, honesty and having the spine to do the right thing. Kerry clearly hasn't learned the lessons of 2004, as he prematurely lurches towards 2008.
With nearly four years until Election Day, Kerry has already lost my vote. In this case, the early bird turned out to be a worm. Kerry can be a leader or a loser, and unfortunately, he chose the latter.