Saturday, July 31, 2010

Same-Sex Reproduction...A Not So Far Off Possibility?

As much as anti-gay pundits bang the drum that gays cannot biologically reproduce, we are no strangers to the process. Many gay couples are raising children from previous marriages and others may have built their family with surrogacy or invitro Fertilization. Their are plenty of same-sex families out their raising children biologically related to at least one partner....but what if you could have a child that is biologically, a product of BOTH partners...think it can't be done? Well, not so might be catching up with us.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Generation Utopia

Reading aroung the blogs this morning while taking my nephew to a doctors appointment I came accross a Pam's House Blend post that gave me food for thought. The post itself covered the fact that only 10% of troops have responded to the survey meant to query their opinions about a repeal...and just what conclusions can we draw about such a low turn in rate. However the part that really made me stop and think was a comment included in the post made by the daughter of Iowa State Senator Mike Gronstal in which she expressed frustration with her fathers generation and their resistance to gay marriage. Its a comment that shocked her father changed his viewpoint on the issue entirely. The magic words were...

"You guys don't understand. You've already lost. My generation doesn't care."

Now I don't think that this girl speaks for the entirety of her generation...but...Following her comment into a line of thought, one paints a mental picture of a day when it doesnt matter what your sexual orientation is because for this young lady's generation...its a non issue. But is it?...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Surrogacy vs Adoption

By: Craig Rigby
As you may or may not be aware my partner Jake and I have decided to adopt. We are currently desperately trying to pay off everything we owe to anyone so that one of us can give up work when the time comes.

When we were considering children, we had all gay people, make a choice. We had to choose between surrogacy and adoption. Here in the UK surrogacy is not really possible locally. It is not legal for a mother to sign away all rights to her child, she can always assert them. People who want an absent surrogate and egg donor for the child have to go to the USA.

There was recently a documentary made by Channel 4 about a gay couple in the UK who first had children by surrogate and egg donor 10 years ago called “My Weird and Wonderful Family”. It followed their story as they followed the process again to add twins to their family.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Update: Clay Greene Vs. Sonoma County

Back in April, we reported on the story of Clay Greene Vs. Sonoma County as an example of why marriage equality is an important goal for the gay community. For those of you who don't recall, Clay Greene and Harold Scull were two elderly gay men who lived together for many years, without marriage or domestic partnership, here in Sonoma County California....yet they had drawn up powers of Attorney and all neccesaary documents naming each other as benificiaries of each others estate, clearly defining their relationship to each other. Yet, when an incident occured in which Harold Scull fell from his front steps, requiring 911 to be called....all that documentation came to naught as the county ignored their relationship to each other. Clay Greene maintains that it was accident....that Harold lost his footing. The county however, claims that it was domestic abuse,siting an april 12th police report, and immediately removed both men from their shared home and involuntarily placed them into separate nursing homes....claiming that it was to protect Harold from Clay. The county then proceeded to assume control of Harolds finances, sold their home, and auctioned off their shared belongings. Harold eventually died a few months later apart from his longtime partner Clay Greene. Clay and Harolds cause was eventually picked up by attorney Anne Dennis and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who now advocates for Clay Greene. They sued the county on the basis that the counties actions were based off homophobia and that a similar scenario would not have occured had the individuals involved been a heterosexual couple. It was a hard road for Clay Greene that has finally come to completion....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Connections: NOM...The LDS Church and Lies

The National Organization for Marriage is back in the news (is it ever not?). This time for heading up a tour around the U.S. in a bus covered in stock photos of opposite sex families and American flags. The same great people that brought you the Prop 8 Trial Tracker now give us the NOM Tour Tracker. So far the "Summer for Marriage Tour" has been and unqualified failure marked by low turn outs. I guess without a marriage initiative to scare the pants off of people its hard to get your message out....but then, Nom had to get its face out there somehow.

In California and Maine, Nom's profile had been inescapable. They were THE driving force behind the anti-marriage equality movement. Commercials like the "Gathering Storm" set the tone for Noms tactic of scaring people into believing that gay marriage would somehow result catastrophic consequences. At the time of prop 8 in California, it was also known that the Mormon Church was also a big backer of the movement, donating vast amounts of money and..."volunteers"(wink)... to the cause. We saw the same plays repeated with success in Maine, leading most of us to gape in wonder that it could happen a second time with the same lies. Everywhere you went...Nom was there...Maggie Gallagher becoming the ever present face of discrimination against gays in America second only to Anita Bryant. But where did NOM itself come from?

While watching 8 The Mormon Proposition, I learned the answer to that and an interesting fact that was not apparent to me in the campaign against Prop 8. read on...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ireland Passes Civil Partnership Bill

By: Craig Rigby
So I spotted some good news buried in the back of my news paper a week ago. The Republic of Ireland parliament has passed a civil partnership billed extending some of the legal rights associated with marriage to gay people. This Irish President has now signed the law having found it fully compatible with the Irish constitution. This is no mean feat for a country in which the catholic church still has so much influence.

The Irish Justice Minister has called the legislation “one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence.” And who can disagree?

I don’t much follow Irish politics, it doesn’t make the news much over here. Normally the only Irish news I get comes from my grandparents, who despite being English back through the bloodline and never having lived in Ireland manage to have become Irish community leaders in the UK. They even once had dinner with the Irish President… crazy…. Anyway, here is my uneducated understanding of the situation. I am sure my Granddad will read it and call me up to put me right if I get too much wrong.

Monday, July 19, 2010

In Need of Repair

We'v talked alot about reparative therapy on this blog. We've covered organisations like the Mormon based Evergreen program. We've talked about the Psychological cost to individuals who undergo this sham process as well as discussing how ex-gay groups themselves, sometimes serve as ways  for young gays in denial to meet other young, scared gays. We have talked about the founders of Exodus international and how some are now coming out and declaring that the process never even worked for of the most influential ex-gay ministries ever. Its been proven..scientifically and anecdotally that reparative therapy does not work and that those who espouse it, know that fact. Well guess what?...if you needed more proof, you got it.

Truth Wins Out has posted a video to Youtube featuring testimony from two young men who have come forward to claim that Allen Downing, an ex-gay counselor with JONAH(Jews Offering New Alternatives To Homosexuality), Had them strip down in front of a mirror and fondle themselves as part of there conversion from gay to straight....Oh yeah...I can see that totally working.../ after the fold.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Take A Sip!

Jay took me out on a "date night" last night. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, most of us parental types dont have the ability to just get in the car and spend a night out with our loved one, so these things must be scheduled.....and usually happen nowhere as often as you need them.

For our night out Jay and I went to see Sex and the City 2 which had recieved horrible reviews...but we loved the series, so we gave it a shot. I have to say, that on the whole, I enjoyed the movie....but never so much as this scene between Charlotte and Miranda discussing the pressure of being a mother. Yes I know....I am NOT a mother...but...I am a stay at home parent and I get the feelings these ladies expressed while commiserating over cocktails. I laughed so hard I nearly passed out. All I could think of while watching was,...." Wheres my sip?!"... so get your drinks handy and pull up to the bar. You don't have to be a woman...or a parent to join. Just have a good ear and a stiff the clip after the fold....

(Take a sip!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

First Loves

What is it about our first relationships that makes us into people we don't recognize when we look in the mirror? Normally when we think of first love, we think of sweet things and a time when our lives are full of endless possibilities. But...when looking back, does anyone else have those moments when you ask yourself, "What the hell was I thinking?" I don't know if this is a universal phenomenon or really just something that pertains to me, but it seems that Our first loves have a way of becoming our moon and sun to the point where we behave in ways we might not overlooking glaring flaws in the relationship, ignoring our friends, and doing things that push us beyond what we thought we were capable of. First loves always teach us lessons by the mistakes we make within them. Oh snap Toto...I don't think we're in Kansas anymore...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Being Friends with Christians

By: Craig Rigby

For most of my adult life I haven't really known any Christians. I am sure that some people at work believe in some sort of god and afterlife but they don't really buy the whole bible and Jesus thing. I know because we have talked about it. There is only one person who calls himself “Christian”, but he never goes to church and knows less about the bible than I do. I didn't go to college with any Christians either. There just aren't that many around.

Bryan and Jay have a lot of trouble with anti-Christian feeling, being both gay and God squadders. Many people who ask me about them feel uncomfortable with their religion. I know quite a few people who don’t like to watch their videos in which they mention God. I thought I would try to explain how I, as a judgemental atheist, manage to get along with the Christians in my life.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

DADT....Survey Says?...Epic Fail!

Well....remember that study the Pentagon wanted to do before it could sign off on a repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell? Thats underway and boy is it riviting stuff. The survey sent out to soldiers has been leaked and it has some serious built-in bias. Its so bad that gay servicemens organizations are advising gay and lesbian soldiers not to go anywhere near it. So just for some saturday giggles I thought we'd take a look at what was so bad.....pour yourself a tall one and prepare for the smell of failure

Friday, July 9, 2010

Which Way Will The Chips Fall?...

If you haven't been keeping up with the rather momentous news that, Yesterday, a Massachusetts District Court Judge Ruled that DOMA(the defense of marriage act) violates the U.S. constitution. On the one hand I want to offer a hearty WAHOOO!...on the other, I am saying, "well duh...haven't we been telling you this all along?".

The decision was handed down by Judge Joseph Tauro of the the U.S. District Court of the District of Massachusetts, for the cases of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services. In his rulling, Judge Tauro explains his decision:

“indeed, Congress undertook this classification for the one purpose that lies entirely outside of legislative bounds, to disadvantage a group of which it disapproves. And such a classification, the Constitution clearly will not permit.”

This is a fabulous outcome by itself and one to celebrate. However, I was looking at this as only one step of a much larger journey up the federal court system....much like California's Perry v. Schwarzeneger will likely be. However, the story takes an ironic twist...and this is where our fierce advocate will have to show his true colors...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

United Kingdom a Haven For Persecuted Gays

By: Craig Rigby
There is a long tradition of offering asylum in the UK. People who are persecuted or threatened with violence or death in the own countries are offered leave to live and work in the UK as long as they can prove they were actually being persecuted. They are housed and fed by the government until they can find their feet.

This is a political hot topic. Bogus asylum seekers...who are in reality economic migrants, are often accused of trying to hijack the asylum system to live off the UK state. Unlike some liberal people I am absolutely sure that this is not quite all hot air. Some asylum seekers do take the mickey out of the system; a particularly bad example lives next door to my grandmother. However I do believe the system has value and that genuine asylum seekers should continue to be helped.

It was against this backdrop that the previous government denied sexuality was a valid reason for asylum.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fixing What Isn't Broken...Homosexuality and Eugenics

Why do we always mess with that big shiny button that says "DO NOT PUSH!"? Is there something genetic within the human species that sees something that looks like a bad idea and absolutely feels compelled to be mess with it?

I read a post recenty, via queerty, siting an article in the Bioethics Forum concerning one Dr. Maria New and her use of Drug she believes will reduce the "masculinazation" of female fetus's in the womb. The drug, dexamethasone, was origially used as a way to treat Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia(CAH) which causes female fetuses to have ambiguous genitalia. Other symptoms may appear later in life such as:
  • Abnormal menstrual periods
  • Genitals that look both male and female (ambiguous genitalia), often appearing more male than female
  • Deep voice
  • Early appearance of pubic and armpit hair
  • Excessive hair growth and facial hair
  • Failure to menstruate
Dr. New believes that an excess of Androgens in the womb is what accounts for the condition...The Problem? She also believes that the drug used to treat CAH can also potentialy be used to treat other forms of "masculinization" in the womb. The assertion has been made that this could eventually be put to use as a way to prevent lesbianism in the womb. Although Dr. New has made no such  DIRECT claim..what she does say certainly leads us in that direction...and the ramifications for future use of this drug a more than a little scary.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

...Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond Of Each Other....

Hey!...Its Independence Day here in the states!...Which means most of us are totally absorbed in holiday activities.....including us...but I wanted to throw a little authentic American Lols your way in the form of this really awsome gem from Willy Nelson I discovered through Wicked Gay Blog. Enjoy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Coming Out Late In Life

Coming out is a right of passage for every gay, lesbian, and trangendered person. Its very often a scary and risky experience.  I'm sure that most of us who have been through the process can recall the feelings of hope and fear that mingle together with pure need. After all, your revealing  something about yourself that could potentialy result in losing the love and respect of those closest to out partents, siblings, and friends. Many are the stories of those who have come out only to walk away from the experience with a handfull of accepting friends and an icy relationship with their family. Rare are the stories of complete acceptance but they are becoming more frequent with time. Coming out usually costs us all something for the gains we make in the ability to live honestly....but what happens when we cant find the strength to meet this rite of passage until we are 40? 50?...60? How much harder must the road be when you have the added responsibility of coming out to a spouse and children?

In a wierd synchronicity this topic hit My husband and me square in the face this week. First through a email sent to us through Youtube from a man seeking help...and secondly through the discovery  of an awsome Youtube channel...Coming Out Late (but Great), chronicling the stories of people coming out later in life. More after the fold...