“My Friends Are Gay, Not Broken.”

 

You may have heard of Exodus International, the “pray the gay away” ministry. They have a controversial iPhone app- and they also get under the skin of my friend Kathy Baldock. From their website:

Exodus International is the world’s largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by homosexuality.

With over 35 years of ministry experience, Exodus is committed to encouraging, educating and equipping the Body of Christ to address the issue of homosexuality with grace and truth.

Besides the awkward phrase “impacted by homosexuality”- Exodus has a lot of explaining to do. And Kathy asks for clarification:

I spent quite a bit of time going through most of the pages on the Exodus International website and they are not straight forward (pun not intended) in the message.  I am trying to understand what it is that Exodus does, says and promises. It is not clearly stated, so I wanted to come and observe for myself at yourJune Freedom Conference, but you uninvited me.

I see that Exodus believes that the opposite of homosexuality is holiness.  That has bothered me since you wrote that in  ”Leaving Homosexuality” on page 23; yes, I read the whole book.  I agree that God wants us to be holy as He is holy (I Peter 1:16), but that in no way indicates that holiness is the opposite of homosexuality.

Read her whole post here. I love how she stands up!

Progress, But Still Disappointing

March 29th, from Diane Sands:

Friends…

Today I attempted to “blast” SB 276 out of hostile Judiciary Committee and onto the Floor for a vote. This is Senator Facey’s bill to remove offensive language about “Deviate Sexual Conduct”….the law was ruled unconstitutional in 1997 but the legislature insists on keeping it on the books as part of sentence in the Sex Crimes part of MCA that includes bestiality.

Rep. Ken Peterson still claims that the Court didn’t address this issue entirely and that the crime should stay on the books, including the FELONY status with a penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine up to$50,000 or both.

While we didn’t get the 60 votes required, we did get 51, including a number of Republicans who believe it is a privacy issue.

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN THE 20 PLUS YEARS I HAVE WORKED ON THIS TOPIC THAT WE HAVE EVER WON THE MAJORITY OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE!!!!

I view this a great progress, especially with the ultra conservative make up of the current legislature.

Sands, the first openly gay member of the Montana Legislature, is a force of nature and a champion of human rights. The words she chose to introduce her motion are powerful and deserve a look/listen:

The words of the opposition also need to be heard- the ignorance and intolerance are epic, an embarrassment to the State of Montana and, indeed the whole country.

Be F*<#!^g Nice To Each Other

One man’s campaign to conquer the frigid Danish psyche is being heralded by the Copenhagen Post:

Danes have a harder time opening up to others, according to Lars AP, who has started a nationwide niceness campaign

Lars Pedersen’s has a message for Danes: be nice

Only in Denmark can you get away with using the F-word in your book’s title and cause absolutely no uproar over it.

But the title of the new book from Lars Andreas Pedersen – who goes by the moniker Lars AP – isn’t meant to offend. ‘F**king Flink’ is aimed at giving Pedersen’s fellow countrymen tips on how to be more open and polite to strangers.

‘Flink’ is the Danish word for ‘nice’, and as the son of an American father and Danish mother, Pedersen thinks he understands what the concept is all about.

‘Year after year Danes are rated as the happiest people in the world,’ he writes in the book. ‘But try standing in the supermarket queue on a Monday afternoon or driving during rush hour traffic. Danes can be some of the least tolerant people around.’

As part of promoting the book and what he calls ‘a movement’, Pedersen dressed up as a traffic warden and issued ‘tickets’ to people who were extra nice.

And Pedersen points out that Danes are generally nice – to each other. A survey in the book indicated that 42 out of 100 Danes said the reason they were not more open to others was out of respect for the person’s private life.

I like it when human beings work for understanding, compassion and civility. We’re all in this together, after all.

Some good advice from Lars on how to accomplish the niceness project:

1) Be atypical – don’t act cool. Be nice with a ‘twist’.

2) Use the ‘cracks’ – finding the right places and situations in which to be nice. Take advantage of social fissures – or try to create them yourselves.

3) Complain nicely – it’s okay to carry on the Danish national sport of complaining – as long as you do it in a ‘f**cking flink’ way.

4) Be an individual. Don’t be afraid to leave yourself vulnerable – expose yourself.

5) Give more – try to give more than people would expect. Take an extra umbrella with you when you go out. Then when it rains you can offer a place of refuge to a stranger.

Full story here.

Even Fox News Mocking The MT Legislature?

From Cowgirl:

Remember way back a long time ago earlier this session when the GOP tried to portray themselves as the party of the Constitution, even hosting a “seminar” about the Constitution from the conservative National Center for Constitutional Studies. Even now, you’ll still see one of these legislators occasionally whip one out, although it is usually only to try to brush some snack cake crumbs off of their other papers or to misapply it to justify their own kooky ideas.

No, the hypocrites in GOP can’t hide utter disdain for the actual document. Take Rep. Greg Hinkle (R-Spearhunter) who, when confronted in his anti-constitutional stance by Fox News of all things in a segment titled with the double entendre “Taking Liberties,” immediately dismisses the document.

Read the full story here- and watch the crazycrazy video.

Presbyterian Pastor Stops Preaching Against Gays

Excellent Story from Salon.com:

A recent poll shows a huge shift in American attitudes toward gay marriage, from a 32 percent approval in 2004 to 53 percent today.

I am one of those people who changed their minds.

In 1989 when I was ordained as a minister to serve a small church in North Carolina, homosexuality was an invisible issue. Gay rights were barely on the radar of mainstream churches. The idea of an openly gay pastor was beyond the pale. 
 I knew there were “gay churches,” of course, but I did not believe one could be a practicing homosexual and a Christian. The Bible was straightforward on this issue. It all seemed incredibly obvious to me.

But over the next five years, homosexuality not only became an issue — it became The Issue. Sides were drawn, and those of us in the middle were pulled to either end. I was a biblical Christian, of the “hate the sin, love the sinner” crowd. And so it seemed clear that I could not fully accept, ordain and marry gays. If I was going to be forced to choose a side, that was mine.

The truth is, I was put out that this was an issue. Feeding the hungry, preaching the gospel, comforting the afflicted, standing up to racial intolerance — these were the struggles I signed up for, not determining the morality of what adults did in their bedrooms.

Interesting, especially since the Coastal Carolina Presbytery voted to refuse to ordain homosexuals just two days ago. Read the rest of Pastor Murray Richmond’s essay here.

Scooby Mix: Pop Goes The World II

More from my workout mixmaster, DJ Scooby!

  1. On The Floor (Mixin Marc & Tony Svejda LA to Ibiza Mix) – Jennifer Lopez
  2. Better Than Today (Yiannis Reinvention Remix) – Kylie Minogue
  3. Rolling In The Deep (Oliver Watt JBH Vocal Club Mix) – Adele
  4. Till The World Ends (Liam Keegan Club Mix) – Britney Spears
  5. E.T. (Manhattan Clique Remix) – Katy Perry
  6. Just Can’t Get Enough (Suneil S Club Mix) – Black-Eyed Peas
  7. Moment 4 Life (DJ JST Club Mix) – Nicki Minaj feat. Drake
  8. All Of The Lights (Dustindl Bootleg Mix) – Kanye West feat. Rihanna
  9. Someone Like You (eSQUIRE vs. OFFBeat Club Mix) – Adele
  10. Fuckin’ Perfect (Funk3d Club Remix) – P!nk
  11. Born This Way (Funk3d Club Remix) – Lady Gaga
  12. What The Hell (Funk3d Pop Extended Mix) – Avril Lavigne
  13. Good Girl (Bimbo Jones Club Mix) – Alexis Jordan
  14. Coming Home (Dave Nicholson Remix) – Diddy-Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey

Download it here (click the title).

Same Sex Sunday, 3/27/11


#SSS: An immigration slam dunk: has the game officially changed?

President Obama has had his critics from within the LGBTQ community, but will he go down as the hero of same-sex binational American couples? We’ve already discussed the Justice Department’s decision to no longer defend the Constitutionality of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Acts’ in the courts, but this week one of America’s top immigration attorneys for same-sex couples won a delay in a deportation case that may have far reaching effects for a long time to come.

Lavi Soloway returns to the interview chair this week to discuss his legally married clients Monica Alcota and Cristina Ojeda; their win in immigration court, and why the prosecutor and the judge both agreed with Soloway over the need for delay in light of new DOMA developments.

However, that’s not all. Two immigration districts have put all cases on hold involving legally married same-sex binational couples. Are we about to see a total halt to the break-up of binational families based on DOMA’s discrimination?

We’ll takle this on our round table as well as get the skinny on state-wide developments, strategies on ENDA, and a whole lot more. Find out the who and the what and give it a listen after the jump.

Once again, our brilliant round table breaks down the news of the week:

  • Relationship recognition news from Colorado to Rhode Island, and discrimination in Indiana
  • The reintroduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and how we can use a Republican-controlled House of Representatives to build for victory
  • The President’s promise to create an LGBTQ watchdog at the Organization of American States with his Brazilian counterpart
  • Polls and reports on the Americans and their gays, and the DOJ finds the New Orleans Police Department been harassing residents based on their gender identity and sexual orientation–what does it mean that the FBI and DOJ have come to our aid?
  • And, the first Republican to file with the FEC to run for president is… gay?

Joining us this week are:

  • Executive Directors of Catholics for Equality, Phil Attey
  • Senior Political Writer at MetroWeekly in DC Chris Geidner
  • Co-Founder Swish Sue Sena and
  • State Legislative Director at the Human Rights Campaign, Sarah Warbelow

If you’re not subscribed in iTunes yet, you can do so super-quick and super-easily athttp://ituenes.samesexsunday.org/. We’re also on Facebook and on Twitter: @SameSexSunday. ‘Like’ and ‘Follow!’

Email us at info@samesexsunday.org and tell us what you think about the show and about what you’d like to see more of. Join us next week when Joe will be on his own!


(Gasp) Hypocrisy In The Legislature!

…about health care. Apparently, the legislators decrying health care reform with the loudest voices, have chosen to receive state financed health benefits worth up to $733.00 a month- and they’re on the run.

From Mike Dennison at The Missoulian:

Legislative officials agreed Friday to a Lee Newspapers request to release the names of all legislators accepting health insurance benefits from the state, revealing that all but seven of the 150 lawmakers chose to receive the health benefits, worth up to $733 a month.

Within hours of the information’s release, the Montana House refused to consider a bill putting into state law that the information on lawmaker health benefits should always be made public.

Don Pogreba had this to say from Intelligent Discontent:

As always, Representative Knox best  represented the values of today’s Republican Party. He voted against the blast motion on SB 284 today, despite championing transparency about state spending two days earlier:

knox transparency

But let’s not end with Representative Knox today. Another well-known champion of liberty has apparently been seduced by the Marxist wiles of state bureaucracy and largesse. Even Representative Derek Skees has been transformed from a Galtian hero into a puppet of the state, gladly accepting benefits he knows to be socialistic.

Sigh.
I see chickens circling the henhouse- and the sun is going down…

Meditation Poetic

Boast of Quietness
by Jorge Luis Borges

Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors.
The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside.
Sure of my life and death, I observe the ambitious and would
like to understand them.
Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air.
Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack.
They speak of humanity.
My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of that same poverty.
They speak of homeland.
My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old
sword, the willow grove’s visible prayer as evening falls.
Time is living me.
More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude.
They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow.
My name is someone and anyone.
I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t
expect to arrive.

From Moon Across the Way by Jorge Luis Borge, (c)1925

Illustration: Walking Meditation III by Jenny Waelti-Walters ~used with permission

Queering Ecology: One Goose At A Time

If you’re an amateur naturalist, like me, you’ve probably spent some time in the library or online looking for sexual ambiguity in nature- after all, one of the biggest arguments against the biodiversity of sexual orientation is this: Natural Law.

The argument basically says nature dictates what is (and what isn’t) natural. The basic premise for years had been that animals and plants have clearly established sexual roles and are completely hetero-oriented. And that was a basic premise of my high school science and biology classes.

Because my own experience doesn’t bear this out, I’ve always known that science would soon catch up- destroying the faulty premise of hetero-only natural law. My friend Alex Johnson- a bona fide environmental scientist, also had the itch to find the versatility of nature.

In his fascinating piece for Orion Magazine, Alex writes:

Where is the line between what is Nature and what is Human? Do I spend equal times in the parking lot and the forest? Can I really say the parking lot is separate from the forest? What if I end up staying in the parking lot the whole time? What if it has been a long drive and I really have to pee?

The problem is, the Nature/Human split is not a split. It is a dualism. It is false.

I propose messing it up. I propose queering Nature.

As it would happen, I’m queer. What I mean is this: A) I am a man attracted to men. B) Popular culture has told me that men who are attracted to men are unnatural, and so C) if my culture is right, then I am unnatural. But D) I don’t feel unnatural at all. In fact, the love I share with another man is one of the most comfortable, honest, real feelings I have ever felt. And so E) I can’t help but believe that Nature, and the corresponding definition of “natural,” betray reality. From my end of the rainbow, this thing we call Nature is in need of a good queering.

Like I said- fascinating.  Read the full piece here.
Then forward it to your high school science teacher.