Saturday, March 30, 2013

Like David and Goliath

This blog will be kind of a difficult one to write for me. I was raised...and still consider myself...Christian regardless of the path my life has taken. I will be discussing faith and if you are offended by those topics than perhaps this is not the post for you. I know that these are deeply personal topics, but I encourage anyone who reads on to be respectful and to remember that this is written from the point of view of one human It will be flawed, it may make you facepalm, but that's just the nature of discussing religion or politics, which is why people caution never to do it. Yeah...we never listen to those people. That said...

How did gay people end up being the single most important issue to religion? As I have lived my life as an out gay man, and been involved in advocating for marriage equality, I have seen this issue grow from being one of many issues the church frowned upon to somehow transforming into an apocalyptic battle for the survival of the world. It makes little sense to me. I mean, to be against it because of your interpretation of the Bible...sure, I'm used to that opinion...but to hear the way religious voices talk about the gay community is to have them paint the image of them as David facing down the us as the big mean Philistine, Goliath. There is no one else and no other issue as galvanizing to the religious community than stopping gay people....not poverty, not economical inequality, not hunger, not spiritual well being....just holding off the end times by holding back the tide of gay rights. Further more any other religious group or tradition that decides to support and affirm LGBT people gets branded as traitors and heretics.

For many this will seem like a no-brainer relationship between traditional attitudes to homosexuality being threatened by the advancements that have been made by LGBT people of late. However, rather than just accept that as a given fact...I'd like to take a minute to look deeper at why we have become the arch nemesis of organized religion and how I believe that is a mistaken view

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kids of LGBT Families In The Spotlight

It's the eve of the beginning of oral arguments for the Supreme Court on the issues of Prop 8 and DOMA and here I am on a Saturday already holding my breath. It's been a whirlwind week in which the pending cases have been front and center for us all week long. As most of you know...since our Facebook wall is practically wallpapered with son Daniel's letter to Chief Justice John Roberts has gone viral and gotten a lot of attention. Thankfully, the lions share of that attention has been positive and we have been very happy to pass that along to him. I was/am very proud of him and I feel he earned every bit of the praise he has received from this.

However, when it comes to kids and the public eye, there are many who ask if showing our children in such a public way is good for them. This question was brought to me just this last week in a brief spot that Daniel and I were in for CNN's Starting Point. The one and only question I received from the anchors was nothing to with DOMA or Prop 8 but everything to do with why we as parents would chose to put our kids in the spotlight:
...Tell me a little bit about putting your family out there for the world to see. There can be down sides to that too. People can say, "Look, you're showing what it's like to be your family"....There are others who say, "Maybe kids shouldn't be in the spotlight."
It's a fair question...and one that I had a specific answer for but as a parent first and marriage equality advocate second I think the topic is one that bears further discussion. So grab your favorite beverage and follow me after the jump....

Saturday, March 16, 2013

No Second Best

The National Organisation for Marriage must be wishing that Maggie Gallagher would come out of retirement because the guys speaking for them today have a terminal case of hoof-in-mouth disease. At least in the web of lies and misconceptions Maggie spun for the public, she never insulted  a Supreme Court Justice , nor a vast swath of Americans who she hoped to reach with her "gays are taking over marriage" tear tactics.  And yet, the people who have taken over her job of talking to the media simply do not seem to run their comments through any kind of internal editing process before letting them out in the sunshine to run around and terrorize the public. Case in Point: this week I read, via Towleroad, and story from the AP that made my blood boil. Apparently John Eastman, of the National Organisation for Marriage was waxing philosophic about the likely hood that the personal lives of the Justices could effect their decisions in the upcoming Prop 8 and DOMA trials...and let slip that he considers adoption a "second best" option. Check out his comments and my take on them after the jump...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Politicians and After The Fact Apologies

"The quality of mercy is not strained, 
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven 
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:"
        ~William Shakespeare....The Merchant of Venice

At least so saith the poet...

Forgiveness is an incredible force for healing as well as human progress that many often write off as a weakness. Yet, without mercy and its close cousin, forgiveness, we would fight blood feuds without end...and in my opinion the world is filled with enough examples of that. So it is with some internal conflict that I read this week that Bill Clinton is kinda-sorta non-apologizing for signing DOMA into law and urging the Supreme Court to strike it down. I mean, the man signed it into law, so I should be jumping up and down in celebration that he is going public condemning it....right?. Well, given the spate of politicians that have recently come out to support abolishing DOMA and prop 8 who previously supported enacting those laws when they were in feelings about Clinton's actions are mixed and anything but poetic.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

In Brief...The 8 State Solution Isn't One At All

The news this week has been nearly dominated by accounts of the many individuals and organisations submitting amicus(friend of the court) briefs to the Supreme Court, asking them to strike down The Defense of Marriage Act and/or California's Prop 8. Among those who have file include 212 Congressional Democrats, some 100+ republicans, Several corporations from major tech firms to investment banks, Footballers Kris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo, and yes...even Ellen Degeneres got in on the act. Finally, and among the most anticipated, as well as most analysed briefs, is that from President Obama.

Now, an amicus brief is little more than an opinion, and like all opinions it's primary purpose is to exert influence...but that's all. And as the saying goes..."opinions are like *rseholes, everyone's got one."  Being that they are attempts to sway opinion, the Justices of the Supreme Court don't have to pay any attention to them what so ever. Yet, it seemed as if anyone who had a stake in the issue was lodging their opinion for formal review. As the week progressed and more politicians and celebrities jumped on the bandwagon, I began to wonder how many of these filings would get simply get ignored...except for one. A great deal of attention has been granted to President Obama's recent filing. Being that he is an equal branch of government and the head of the nation, one would hope that Scotus would consider his opinion with the due weight of the office he holds.

Given that the President has "evolved' on the issue of marriage equality...and that he has been willing to be vocal about that support to the was with some surprise and consternation that I read what is being called the "8 state solution", or as it is heralded in headlines "limited gay marriage". What the hell does that even mean?! Well, it goes something like this...