Friday, September 15, 2006
In a speech
on the five-year anniversary of 9/11, the president described our enemies as "extremists" who have perverted religion into "a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom [and] rejects tolerance." It is long past time that our activists explain to the country what we, as gay Americans, know to be true: on the issue of homosexuality at least, Bush and his conservative allies are practicing what they preach against.
Our president rails against "radical imams" enshrining their religious edicts into law, even as he calls on Americans to amend our nation's founding document to enshrine the "sacred institution of marriage" as limited to heterosexual couples only.
There are more than one thousand ways the federal government bestows opposite-sex couples with rights and responsibilities denied their same-sex counterparts. One of them is in U.S. immigration laws, which allow straight Americans to bring to this country their foreign spouses and fiancees -- even if they've never met. Gay Americans, meanwhile, are powerless to be united with their foreign-born partners, unless they are willing to live in exile abroad — and thousands of them do.
That's the choice I face, and I make it with very mixed emotions. I will leave behind my friends, my job, my pets and my family -- my life -- and move to another continent to be with my partner.
It may sound melodramatic, but for me it was the last identity domino left standing. I will always be an American, but I will share that identity with a newfound home, at least until our government lives up to the promise of "freedom and tolerance" about which the president speaks with such conviction.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
A young boy sings about his two fathers and it is quite memorable and moving.
There is this little evil cult church
on South Beach where young people are recruited to jump around and bang tambourines like wild savages while condemning other people. South Beach Ministries is all fire and brimstone and no love. They are all about the death of Jesus and don't seem to care much about his life and message.
But, I will give them credit for one thing: They are great at marketing.
South Beach is a party town that attracts a lot of interesting characters. Knowing the marketplace, this demonic ministry has wisely gone after the skater/meth crowd. First, they lure impressionable messed-up kids with modern music. Then, they hand out a slick card that proclaims, "BODY PIERCING SAVED MY LIFE."This headline is followed by the text: "He was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities (ouch). The punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed. If you accept JC's piercing (JC???? hahahaha) in proxy for your sins you will have a more abundant life now and an eternal one when he returns. If you reject Him now then you will have to pay for your own sins. The penalty for Sin is death. (Ouch, again)
Nothing like the power of scaring the daylights out of rolling ravers! Talk about a buzz-kill.
Send Wayne to speak at your Alma Mater. To book Wayne For An Event CLICK HERE
Gay rights activists are applauding the September 13th decision of a Bloomington, IN nightclub to cancel the scheduled September 14th performance of Buju Banton, a dancehall musician who has become infamous in some circles for his graphic advocacy of murdering gays. In his song "Boom, Bye Bye," for example, Banton urges people to shoot gay men in the head, pour acid over them, and burn them alive.
Gay rights activist Morgan Tilleman of the Hoosier Rights Campaign reports that the manager of "The Blue Bird" Club in Bloomington said that he had not heard of the controversy about Banton until news reached him of the pending protest in Chicago, and that it was in response to community concerns about Banton's advocacy of violence against gays that he cancelled the performance just 24 hours before it was to have taken place.
Tilleman reports that in place of the cancelled performance, gays and other supporters of equal rights plan to pack the club with patrons as a thank you to The Blue Bird management for its opposition to violent hate.
In Chicago, activists with the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) protested outside the near north House of Blues club on September 13th in advance of a Buju Banton performance there a little later that evening.
In August, upon learning that the House of Blues chain was in the process of being purchased by a firm called Live Nation, GLN contacted Live Nation with an offer to discuss the issue of Buju Banton and other "kill gays" performers that House of Blues has sponsored over the past few years.
While Live Nation said that it was "happy to keep the lines of communication open for further discussion," it avoided the issue of a negotiation session, let alone affirmatively pledging to never book performers who advocate violence against gays or any other group.
In response, today the Gay Liberation Network issued the following statement:"We demand that the House of Blues and Live Nation agree that henceforth they will book no performers who advocate death or other violence against Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgender people or any other group.
It is not 'free speech' to advocate violence and murder of anyone, any more than it is 'free speech' to yell 'fire' in a crowded theater."
The following entertainers have repeated advocated killing gay people, and have thus far adamantly refused to distance themselves from these remarks, let alone repudiate and apologize for them: Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Capleton, DMX , Elephant Man, Sizzla Kalonji, TOK, and Vybz Karbel."
"House of Blues and Live Nation are under no constitutional obligation to provide a lucrative venue to any violent hate group, whether it be Buju Banton or the Ku Klux Klan. Proactively agreeing to never again sponsor or promote violent hate groups should not be a difficult commitment for any reputable business to make. We call upon House of Blues and Live Nation to respond to this message and make such a proactive commitment by Saturday, October 7th."For more information the Chicago or Bloomington protests, contact the Gay Liberation Network at, LGBTliberation@aol.com
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Same-sex marriage got a much-needed boost this month with former NBA basketball star Charles Barkley
and movie star Brad Pitt offering their endorsements. While it is too soon to call this a trend among heterosexual men, all cultural tsunamis start with trendsetters such as Barkley and Pitt.
On Fox SportsNet's "CMI: The Chris Meyers Interview," Barkley said, "I think if they want to get married, God bless them. Gay marriage is probably 1 percent of the population, so it's not like it's going to be an epidemic. Hey, trust me, I'm never going to kiss you and say, 'Chris, you're sexy.'"
What makes the former National Basketball Association MVP's remarks special is that Barkley is the consummate tough guy. As a player, Barkley was as ferocious as he was fearless, even once tussling with giant Shaquille O'Neal, who is nearly a foot taller.
When a man of Barkley's stature embraces same-sex marriage, it gives tacit permission to every other muscle-bound brawler to support fairness and equality. The message sent to playgrounds across America is clear and unmistakable: "You can have an inclusive view of marriage and still be the toughest, straightest, baddest man on the court or field."
What Barkley did for gay liberation may have the larger affect of liberating enlightened straight athletes who are encouraged to play the ridiculous game of degrading gay people to prove their manhood. Many of these men want to express their disgust with homophobia instead of homosexuals. However, they are afraid that by standing up for their gay friends, they will be labeled gay. Barkley has subtlety reversed this equation by showing that the new way to show one is completely comfortable with his sexuality is to support gay rights.
In an equally stunning revelation, matinee idol Brad Pitt took a bold stand
to stop marriage segregation. In an interview with Esquire Magazine, Pitt declared that, "Angie [Angelina Jolie] and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able."
In their efforts to "save" marriage, conservatives are really undermining the institution. As gay people gain more acceptance each year, it may soon become socially unacceptable in some circles to partake in a ceremony associated with sexual orientation apartheid.
Of course, this raises the issue of whether it is appropriate for gay people to attend weddings. There are already some gays who refuse to go to these ceremonies as a way to protest and educate their families and friends on the discrimination they face.
Wrestling with such a momentous decision can be excruciating and create a moral dilemma. On one hand, there is a deep desire to honor the people we love on the most important day of their lives. Skipping such an event means missing a rite of passage and the opportunity for deep emotional bonding with the people we most care about.
Nonetheless, each time we attend heterosexual weddings, we may be perpetuating the ugliest of prejudices and participating in a form of Jim Crow. Skipping weddings is a way of showing extreme sacrifice and can offer a rare opportunity to make our friends and relatives reflect on the injustice and inequality faced by people they love and respect.
The vast majority of GLBT people still attend weddings and view them as apolitical events. However, it will be increasingly difficult to maintain such a position when high-profile heterosexuals are saying that they won't wed until we can.
Although it sometimes appears that the marriage debate is a losing battle, if you look at the bigger picture we are actually winning. The GLBT community has spent the last several years highlighting our love and commitment and it is beginning to have an effect. Even men who define machismo, such as Pitt and Barkley, are recognizing the fundamental unfairness of denying gay people the freedom to marry.
The process of such enlightenment was vividly portrayed in a column by Russell Shaw on the Huffington Post
website. In his column, he explains a powerful moment on an airplane when he encountered a gay couple:
"Below the frequent cloud cover, I imagined all those Red state voters, who sincerely believe that the God they prayed to earlier that day (Sunday) would be offended by sanctified unions such as those of the two men I me...And as night fell, and as children slept, I passed the two married gentlemen while on my way to the commode. They were asleep, too. Hand in hand. And it was then I - a straight-but-not-narrow male, realized I was looking at love - a love as real as any in a world with not enough love."
Each day, as more straight people find the concept of two men or women marrying less scary, the religious right should be more and more unsettled that their war against gay marriage is really one against love itself.
And that is one war they ultimately can't win.
Once again, President Bush has placed partisanship above his patriotic duty to represent all Americans. Instead of healing, we got a hack-job by a tacky tactician who turned his air-time into scare-time. Has there ever been a president so trenchant at sullying the solemn and the sacrosanct?
On the 5th anniversary of 9-11, instead of delivering a speech to unify the country Bush gave a sermon to justify his failed presidency. He portrayed opponents as trying to cut and run, but this is the same president who, in our national moment of sacrifice, cut taxes for the rich and ran up the deficit.
I think this speech was the final nail in his presidential coffin. America has largely tuned him out and realized that Bush cares more about the RNC than the USA. On this day of remembrance, we needed a president and we got a politician.
Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee
, a moderate who has frequently clashed with the Bush administration, beat back a strong conservative challenger Tuesday night in the GOP primary in Rhode Island
came amid heavy turnout, after the same Republican establishment that Chafee has so often defied rallied to his side with money and logistical support for a vigorous get-out-the-vote effort. While there is little personal affection for Chafee at the White House, operatives there and in the Republican Party leadership calculated that he is the GOP's best chance of holding the seat in a Democratic-leaning state in November.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Brad Pitt has said that he won't marry
Angelina Jolie until the laws over marriage are changed in America. Pitt told Esquire magazine: "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able."
This is not just a Hollywood story, but a much bigger deal. In their zeal to "protect marriage" social conservatives have actually degraded the institution and made it less appealing for thinking straights. Increasingly, we are going to see people who view marriage as defined only by who it excludes, rather than for its merits. If marriage is seen as an unfair and discriminatory, it will have been greatly devalued and less families will participate.
Once again, the right wing is screwing up a good thing in the name of "family values."
In Germany, Pope Benedict XVI engaged in his now tired and familiar
routine of rebuking his fellow countrymen by saying they often shut their ears to his intolerant message. He also lambasted modern civilization for embracing science and technology in the fight against AIDS and other social issues.
What the Pope does not understand is that he and his predecessor are not part of the solution - they are often the problem. Since they have taken a hard right turn, it has offended much of Europe and the United States. There is also the feeling that the Pope is hustling to increase church membership by continued opposition to birth control, which leads to poverty and misery, particularly in developing countries.
"Put simply, we are no longer able to hear God, there are too many different frequencies filling our ears," Benedict whined to the crowd, which stood quietly shoulder-to-shoulder on a field on the outskirts of Munich, where he served as archbishop from 1977 to 1982.
No, actually people are hearing God more than ever (too much sometimes, such as President Bush). However, as the Vatican looks more like the 700 Club, the Pope is increasingly on the wrong frequency to reach modern humanity, which hungers for more inspiration and less fear-mongering.