Sunday, January 17, 2010
I have one ultra conservative friend. I don't like her. I don't like anything about her. How can she be my friend? Great question. She's not really, but neither one of us will say it.
I feel like if I walk away then she'll have something to spout about tolerance and if she walks away then she won't have any lesbian friends. It's not cool to live in CA and not have lesbian friends.
So we keep each other.
I'm thankful to get a first hand account of right-wing crazy. The ultra right is actually crazy. And she is ultra right wing (she dressed up like Sarah Palin for Halloween for the love of all things holy.)
I have been all done with her many times, but still I stay.
Her most recent offense was her employment with ExxonMobil. The Mobil part isn't so bad, but Exxon is the sole remaining Fortune 500 company that doesn't recognize sexual orientation in their discrimination policy and of course does not offer domestic partnership rights or benefits. Furthermore, when they acquired Mobil in 1999 they absorbed the employees but did not extend the policy of Mobil and so LGBT employees lost their benefits.
Exxon sucks and now my right wing acquaintance gets her paycheck from them. A perfect match.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
They have had a presence in Haiti for 10 years. This is their plea.
Heifer International issues appeal to aid Haiti earthquake victimsAid will follow first-responders to help families rebuild lives, livelihoods
Heifer International is issuing an emergency appeal for funds to help families in Haiti recover and restore their lives in the wake of the catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the tiny Caribbean nation on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010.
“Heifer is by no means a traditional first responder,” said Steve Denne, chief operating officer of the global hunger and poverty organization, “but we have projects and partner families in Haiti who likely have lost everything, and now, with this devastation, the need is even greater than before. This appeal will help us help our current families begin to rebuild their lives, and provide the chance to help even more families recover from this devastating blow.”
The massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti was the strongest to hit the country in 200 years and was felt as far away as Cuba. The quake brought down buildings including the presidential palace, hotels, a hospital, and the UN headquarters in the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince
“It's really a catastrophe of major proportions,” Haiti's ambassador to the United States, Raymond Alcide Joseph, told CNN.
Heifer International has worked in Haiti for 10 years, and currently has 16 projects under way with more than 16,000 families and several farmer associations. The projects in Haiti, which are scattered around the country, with none close to Port-au-Prince, range from training in sustainable farming and crop diversity to gifts of livestock, seeds, trees and grains to training in nutrition, aquaculture and fish production.
Heifer International has seven employees in Haiti, with offices in Cap-Haitien in the north and Les Cayes in the south. The epicenter of the earthquake was near the capital of Port-au-Prince, where Heifer’s offices had been located until June 2009.
At the time of this writing, there has been little contact with Heifer staff or partners in Haiti, though efforts continue. “Our thoughts are with them, and we are preparing to respond with the most appropriate and most needed help we can,” said Denne. “This is a country that even in the best of times faces hardships most of us cannot imagine.
“We, all of us, have an obligation—a duty—to help any way we can.”
Funds raised in this appeal will be used in the recovery and rebuilding effort in Haiti in the wake of the earthquake. Any funds that exceed the level needed to provide relief in this rebuilding effort will go toward the disaster relief fund and for the entire mission of Heifer International.
Friday, January 15, 2010
I just read about Pride House.
Do you think they'll let me in? Yeah, I doubt it, but wouldn't that be a crazy cool place to hang out in the evenings after a long day of skiing or in my case sliding my face down the side of a mountain?
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I can stand a lot of things. I can chuckle and shake my head and turn the other cheek to some horrible stuff, but this guy brings up bile. I want to puke my guts out and mail it to him. I want to punch him in the face - I want to use the millions of dollars he coerces from the elderly to rebuild the hospitals in Haiti. I want him to fade away and stop putting face and voice all over the television. I want a new, kinder face for Christianity. Afterall, it's a religion of love, love, love. Why doesn't he just love?
13th, 2010 | By Michael Hinckley | Read more in: Fearless History
“And you know Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, uh you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French. True Story. And so the Devil said “OK, it’s a deal.” And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Prop 8 is simply unconstitutional
- Lisa Bloom: Heterosexuals may marry in jail, after one-night stands, many times over
- Yet, Bloom says, longtime same-sex couples with children can't marry
- Bloom writes that the Constitution demands end to discriminatory Proposition 8
- She says Prop 8 violates the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law
Editor's note: Lisa Bloom is a CNN legal analyst and is the managing partner of The Bloom Firm, where she practices civil and criminal law.
(CNN) -- A pop star could have a quickie Vegas wedding tomorrow, to a man she meets tonight, if she so chooses. Scott Peterson, convicted of the murder of his pregnant wife and on death row, has an inalienable right to a prison wedding with a female pen pal if the mood strikes him.
Indiana grandmother Linda Wolfe holds the Guinness World Records title for most marriages: 23. One lasted just 36 hours. She's on the lookout for No. 24, and when she finds him, no law can stop her from marrying him.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held unanimously that "the freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man."
So basic, so important, so fundamental, in constitutional parlance, that no state can interfere with even the most reckless heterosexual nuptials.
Yet in most states, my friends Wilbert and Carlos, "free men" together 16 years and lovingly raising a son, are shut out of the 1,100 federal and hundreds of state legal benefits that come with marriage. These include the right to visit a spouse in a hospital and make medical decisions; employer sick and bereavement leave; inheritance rights; the right to give unlimited gifts to a spouse without gift tax; disability, pension, and Social Security benefits; the right to bring a wrongful death case; the right to refuse to testify against a spouse; or the right to prevent the deportation of a foreign-born partner by marriage, among others.
Perhaps most poignant, and often lost in this debate, are children in same-sex families: kids like my friends' son Dorian, growing up with the sting of knowing that his parents are second-class citizens in their own country.
Study after study finds that something about marriage makes us live longer, healthier lives. Married folks have significantly better mental health, engage in fewer risky behaviors, eat healthier, have less illness and are just plain happier.
And don't tell me that civil unions are exactly the same as marriage. If that's true, then let's let gays and lesbians pick first. If they pick marriage, and heterosexuals are relegated to civil unions, no problem, right, since they are exactly the same?
The trial challenging Proposition 8, the law that bans same-sex marriage in California, started Monday in San Francisco.
This will be the first federal trial in U.S. history in which testimony will be heard and recorded about the harm to gay and lesbian citizens caused by laws like Prop 8.
As a civil rights lawyer for 23 years, there is no question at all in my mind that as a matter of constitutional law, the federal court must strike down any law that creates a subclass of Americans, shutting them out of legal privileges and protections available to others, merely because they are gay.
Demeaning and disrespecting gay people is a constitutional affront.
Seven years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Lawrence v. Texas, the gay community's Brown v. Board of Education, striking down state laws that criminalized private, consensual gay sex, saying: "The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime."
When all the testimony about legal rights, benefits and protections in the Prop 8 trial is said and done, Perry v. Schwarzenegger is ultimately about just that.
Our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors are entitled to respect for their private lives, and the state cannot demean their existence, even by majority vote. Seven out of 10 Americans supported laws banning interracial marriage at the time our president's black father and white mother married.
But the Supreme Court knew that our federal Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the law was a bedrock American principle that sometimes requires the courts to lead, and so lead they did, striking down antimiscegenation laws in 1967. Now, only lunatic-fringe bigots would support those laws.
My favorite anti-Prop 8 placard read: "When do I get to vote on your marriage?" Same-sex marriage may be a politically volatile and complex issue, but as a matter of federal constitutional law, it's simple: Fundamental rights must be granted equally across the board to all American citizens. Equal means equal. The rest, constitutionally speaking, is just noise.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Lisa Bloom.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I might love this man.
Conservative and on our side.
I don't have a problem with conservatives as individuals. It just seems like all the folks who disagree with me on the most fundamental issues are conservatives. So as a group I kind of have a little problem - and not politically. I have a personal problem.
I want to GET MARRIED! And it's "conservatives" telling me I can't.
So, good job Ted Olson. I love a conservative who doesn't throw Leviticus at me.
But when one of those hateful people in the world gets caught doing something naughty I always have a good headshake and chuckle. Iris Robinson is one of those people.
She is a prominent figure in Northern Ireland. A prominent member her community in her own right, but also married to a prominent figure - a Minister no less.
She was recently caught in a scandal. A good one too, involving sex, money, lies, adultery - you know, the good stuff. And really I wouldn't think twice about it. I mean, she's a politician so a scandal is kind of par for the course. What I love about old Iris is that she if one of those "better than thou" politicians. She has been recorded on several occasions railing against homosexuality.
Again, nothing new - she's a politician. Old Iris just gets a headshake and a chuckle from me for thinking that my love for a woman is immoral or unethical and then she bangs a 19 year old (did I mention that she is 60) and falsely raises money for a business she sat on the committee to approve the land for.
Hey Iris - piss off.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
This is the guy who is deciding whether cameras will be allowed to capture the Prop 8 trial in San Francisco and then broadcast it several hours later on youtube.
The argument against cameras is made by the opponents of same-sex marriage. They hold that the presence of cameras may alter the testimony of some witnesses. I think that might be true - but I think it's only true because they are embarrassed about what they are being asked to say.
The good guys have until noon today to file their argument for cameras with Justice Kennedy.
I hope that we get to watch the trial. I have somewhat of an idea what we're dealing with here, but I could get into understanding the full evil of the other side.
Hey, not that all folks who don't want all people to marry are bad or evil - but the folks in charge of this national movement are.
So I'm cheering you for you Mr. Kennedy - don't let us down. Youtubers everywhere are counting on you.
Friday, January 8, 2010
THEY DID IT! PORTUGAL!
Can you believe it?
Maybe we should all move to Europe. They join Belguim, Sweden, Spain, The Netherlands and Norway in embracing same-sex marriage.
Many European countries, including Britain, France and Germany, permit same sex civil partnerships. Portugal will just be added to the numbers in Europe.
I say again - maybe we should all move to Europe.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
And now she goes after him and honestly I thought she did a fabulous job. Still, he's so scary sounding and that smile creeps me out. And I also just love Maddow when she brings homosexuality into her show (not that she can really help it.)
I thought he showed some balls trying to talk about tolerance and hate crime.
And by the way, Uganda? WTF.
Not the first Fed. appt. by any stretch, but I think it's perfect that Amanda Simpson is the first recognized transgender appointment made by a presidential administration. Her resume is amazing and flawless. She is exactly right for her position. If this was a political move it was brilliant.
But I don't think it was political.
The White House didn't comment on it. They have transgender employees, even appointees in other depts (Dept. Commerce was the first) and the most significant reason is that they have quietly changed the language on the federal employment website to include discrimination based on gender identity.
Pres. Obama is getting it done. It's not fast and flashly. But probably fast and flashly won't work. One step at a time. I'm happy with one step at a time. Amanda Simpson is a good step.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I worked closely with Sen. Dorgan in D.C. and am familiar with Sen. Dodd. It is potentially a great loss since the super-majority will be lost. There are few certainties in life and that definitely carries into politics. But one thing I will dare to say is that Democrats will have a hard time keeping those seats.
I, of course want Democrats to maintain the super-majority because the desperate turn in right wing politics scares the shit out of me.
I want to get married.
I WANT TO GET MARRIED. And I think it could happen with this administration and a super-majority to back it up.