Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Same Sex Cheeseburgers

Rabbi Brian over at Street Prophets posted this excellent analogy last year and I just wanted to share it here.

Same Sex Cheeseburgers
by Rabbi Brian

Wed Jun 27, 2007 at 11:31:15 AM PDT

Same Sex Marriage as a Bacon-Double Cheeseburger.

Many Americans will not eat pork. Many Americans site biblical injunctions as their reasoning for not eating pork. And, many Americans will not eat pork for other religious or health reasons as well.

Nonetheless, in America the sale of bacon is still legal.

Similarly, there are Americans who interpret the biblical prohibition against boiling a kid in its mother's milk as meaning that they should not consume milk and meat in the same meal. But it is still legal for Americans who enjoy milkshakes with their cheeseburgers to do so.

The Bible is not and must not be the basis upon which laws of this country are made. The basis of the laws of this country are to be found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as well as the hearts of our elected and appointed representatives.

Why shouldn't we use the Bible as a basis for our laws? Because our society is thousands of years more complex than that of Biblical days. Because the Bible tolerates slavery, the slaying of disobedient children, and ownership of women. Moreover, countries in which religious doctrine is used as the basis of law have been governments that the United States of America has historically opposed.

Consequently, any citation of the Bible with regard to the civil law of marriage especially with regard to same-sex marriage, is moot.

Simply put: much like those who believe that God doesn't want them to eat dairy and meat simultaneously abstain from eating bacon-double cheeseburgers, if you disapprove of homosexual unions, don't enter into one.

With love,

Rabbi Brian

Permanent link to this article is here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Newpapers That Endorse Equality!

Following is an extensive list of newspapers that have published endorsements for its readers to vote "NO" on California's Prop. 8, Arizona's Prop. 102 and Florida's Amendment 2.

Many thanks to the fine folks over at the Box Turtle Bulletin and its readers for doing the bulk of the research on collecting most of these newpaper endorsements!

Newspapers Opposing California's Proposition 8 - I.E. Vote "NO" on Prop. 8!

  1. The Los Angeles Times

  2. The San Francisco Chronicle

  3. The San Diego Union-Tribune

  4. The San Diego Union-Tribune - 2nd Editorial!

  5. The Orange County Register

  6. The Sacramento Bee

  7. The San Jose Mercury News

  8. The New York Times

  9. La Opinión - English

  10. La Opinión - Español

  11. La Prensa

  12. The Redding Record-Searchlight

  13. The Ventura County Star

  14. The Vacaville Register

  15. The Desert Sun

  16. The Napa Valley Register

  17. The Tracy Press

  18. The Contra Costa Times

  19. The Santa Cruz Sentinel

  20. The Milpitas Post

  21. The San Gabrial Valley Tribune

  22. The Pasadena Star-News

  23. The Press-Enterprise

  24. Los Angeles Daily News

  25. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat

  26. The Stockton Record

  27. The San Francisco Bay Guardian

  28. The Bakersfield Californian

  29. Eastern Group Publications - Publishers of: Bell Gardens Sun, City Terrace Comet, Commerce Comet, East Los Angeles Brooklyn-Belvedere Comet, Eastside Sun (Boyle Heights, East LA), Mexican American Sun, Montebello Comet, Monterey Park Comet, Northeast Sun (Highland Park, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights) and Wyvernwood Chronicle

  30. The Berkeley Daily Planet

  31. The Silicon Valley Metro

  32. San Diego City Beat

  33. Marin Independent Journal

  34. Asian Weekly

  35. Fresno Bee

Newspapers Opposing Arizona's Proposition 102 - I.E. Vote "NO" on Prop. 102!

  1. Tucson Citizen

  2. The Arizona Daily Star

  3. East Valley Tribune

  4. Marana Explorer

  5. Sierra Vista Herald

  6. Tucson Weekly

  7. Yuma Sun

  8. The New York Times

Newspapers Opposing Florida's Amendment 2 - I.E. Vote "NO" on Amendment 2!

  1. The Miami Herald

  2. Bradenton Herald

  3. Florida Today

  4. Ft. Myers News-Press

  5. Gainesville Sun

  6. Lake Wales News

  7. Lakeland Ledger

  8. Ocala Star-Banner

  9. Panama City News Herald

  10. St. Petersburg Times

  11. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

  12. The Tampa Tribune

  13. The Daytona Beach News-Journal

  14. Palm Beach Post

  15. Tallahassee Democrat

  16. Orlando Sentinel

  17. Sarasota Herald Tribune

  18. Naples Daily News

  19. The Florida Times-Union

  20. The Florida Times-Union - 2nd Editorial!

  21. TCPalm

  22. Pensacola News Journal

  23. The New York Times

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Asian Americans Plan to Vote No on Prop 8

The fine folks over at the Box Turtle Bulletin. Have a story about how the majority of the Asian community in California supports same-gender marriage and are going to be voting "NO" on Prop. 8 in huge numbers! Read about it here!

A school bus driver is charged in a homophobic attack on a student

From the website 365Gay.com comes this story:

10/10/2008, 10:35 am

(Bourbonnais, Illinois) An elementary school bus driver has been charged
with leading a homophobic attack on a 10-year old student passenger.

The Kankakee Sheriff’s Police Department said that the boy was taunted
by the driver who then encouraged other students to chase and beat the

Chief Deputy Ken McCabe said the incident occurred on a Bourbonnais
Elementary School District bus which was returning students to their homes last

McCabe said the driver repeatedly called the boy “gay.”

”When the boy got off the bus, the driver encouraged several other
students to go after him and tackle him. Our investigation shows that occurred,”
McCabe told The Daily Journal.

He also said the driver is under investigation for joining the students
in chasing the boy and grabbing him.

Bourbonnais School District officials would only say the driver has
been terminated.
Charged with mob action, endangering the life of a child and
battery is Russell A. Schmalz, 46.

I just cannot fathom that a 46 year old man that is responsible for the lives of dozens of children on his school bus would sink to the level of a schoolyard bully and taunt a 10 year old child by calling him "gay". Then to encourage the other children on the bus to go and tackle him after he gets off the bus and possibly (most likely he did) join the other kids in beating him up!

Don't they screen these bus drivers to see if they're mentally deranged and determine if they'll be a potential threat to the children they'll be transporting to and from school? I guess not.

The State of Illinois has a hate crime statute that includes crimes against people based on their sexual orientation, real or perceived. Hopefully this man will be charged with this obvious example of a hate crime.

The Village of Bourbonnais' motto is: "Village of Friendship", sure doesn't seem very friendly. Especially if someone is gay or perceived to be gay. It wasn't for one 10 year old boy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When you say, "That's so gay". Do you realize what you say? Knock it off.

The AD Council in conjunction with GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), has put out some commercials that address an issue that really bothers the heck out of me. Especially when my very own friends use the term "That's so gay" right in front of my face! Extremely upsetting and annoying, to say the least. Especially since it's grammatically incorrect!

They also launched a new website that contains more videos and tons of helpful information. http://thinkb4youspeak.com/

From their new website:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens experience homophobic remarks and harassment throughout the school day, creating an atmosphere where they feel disrespected, unwanted and unsafe. Homophobic remarks such as “that’s so gay” are the most commonly heard; these slurs are often unintentional and a common part of teens’ vernacular. Most do not recognize the consequences, but the casual use of this language often carries over into more overt harassment.

This campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and consequences of anti-LGBT bias and behavior in America’s schools. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce and prevent the use of homophobic language in an effort to create a more positive environment for LGBT teens. The campaign also aims to reach adults, including school personnel and parents; their support of this message is crucial to the success of efforts to change behavior.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Same-Gender Marriage Now Legal In California!

Well, we finally got here! Same-gender marriage is now legal in the great State of California!

I think George Takei put it best when he was quoted as saying
"may equality live long and prosper."

Perhaps Fred Phelps and his kind can ask the gentle Lord to "Beam them up" and take them away to a special place. I think our world would be a much better place in their absence.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day of Silence: Suspended? Was it Legal? Lambda needs to hear from you.

A message from the GLSEN Student Organizing Department.

Day of Silence: Suspended? Was it Legal? Congratulations on a successful Day of Silence!

Although we have heard many Day of Silence success stories, we know that some students faced problems during the day. Did you receive unfair treatment? To help you find out, Lambda Legal, our legal partner, has some questions for you:


Did someone threaten or punish you for participating in the Day of Silence?

Sometimes students are threatened with suspension or are suspended for handing out Day of Silence speaking cards and/or promoting the day of action.

Did you/your club get treated differently from other students/clubs who engage in school activities?

Are other clubs allowed to post on billboards or make announcements about their activities, but you were not able to do so?

Were your rights to express yourself restricted? For example, did the school make you take off your Day of Silence t-shirt?

All students have a right to express their thoughts (as long as they are not obscene or deeply offensive), and you have the rights to express yours too, even if some people disagree or don’t like them.

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, contact Lambda Legal. Write to schoolhelp@lambdalegal.org or call 212-809-8585 and ask for the Day of Silence Help Desk. If you can't make long distance calls, or if you have legal questions about LGBT issues that are not related to the Day of Silence, call Lambda Legal's regular help desk at (866) 542-8336

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California State Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Same-Sex Marriage!

On Thursday, May 15th 2008 at 10:00 AM PDT the Supreme Court of California ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in the State of California!!!

For a link to the full 172 page PDF text document of their ruling, click here

Some of my favorite excerpts from their ruling are:

"Under the strict scrutiny standard, unlike the rational basis standard, in order to demonstrate the constitutional validity of a challenged statutory classification the state must establish (1) that the state interest intended to be served by the differential treatment not only is a constitutionally legitimate interest, but is a compelling state interest, and (2) that the differential treatment not only is reasonably related to but is necessary to serve that compelling state interest. Applying this standard to the statutory classification here at issue, we conclude that the purpose underlying differential treatment of opposite-sex and same-sex couples embodied in California’s current marriage statutes — the interest in retaining the traditional and well-established definition of marriage — cannot properly be viewed as a compelling state interest for purposes of the equal protection clause, or as necessary to serve such an interest."

"A number of factors lead us to this conclusion. First, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage clearly is not necessary in order to afford full protection to all of the rights and benefits that currently are enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples; permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive opposite-sex couples of any rights and will not alter the legal framework of the institution of marriage, because same-sex couples who choose to marry will be subject to the same obligations and duties that currently are imposed on married opposite-sex couples. Second, retaining the traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples. Third, because of the widespread disparagement that gay individuals historically have faced, it is all the more probable that excluding same-sex couples from the legal institution of marriage is likely to be viewed as reflecting an official view that their committed relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex couples. Finally, retaining the designation of marriage exclusively for opposite-sex couples and providing only a separate and distinct designation for same-sex couples may well have the effect of perpetuating a more general premise — now emphatically rejected by this state — that gay individuals and same-sex couples are in some respects “second-class citizens” who may, under the law, be treated differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals or opposite-sex couples. Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest. Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional."

And the best part was
"Accordingly, in light of the conclusions we reach concerning the constitutional questions brought to us for resolution, we determine that the language of section 300 limiting the designation of marriage to a union 'between a man and a woman' is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute, and that the remaining statutory language must be understood as making the designation of marriage available both to opposite-sex and same-sex couples."

California here we come!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. PDT

This is the date and time that the Supreme Court of California will issue it's ruling on the future status of same-sex marriage in the State of California.

The court heard oral arguments on 03-04-08 and had until June 2nd 2008 to issue it's ruling. It's interesting to note that they have accelerated their schedule and is a couple of days before the historic May 17th 2004 date when Massachusetts became the first State in our nation to issue civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This was after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling on November 18th 2003 that legalized same-sex marriage in that State.

We hope that the news is good and we can start having June weddings in California this year!!! Starting with ours! My partner and I have been together for twelve years and we are really looking forward to having our relationship legally recognized, even if it is just at the State level.

The sad news is that it looks like California will have an anti same-sex marriage Constitutional amendment on the November ballot. I just hope that society has progressed enough that the majority of voters vote against this hateful amendment to the Constitution.

Minority rights should never be put to a vote of the majority. Why do you think they call us a minority to begin with!