Archive for June, 2011

Finally: Victory in New York

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2011 by scottsteaux63

It’s taken me a few days to get around to posting about the huge victory we just celebrated in New York, perhaps because it has taken me that long for it to sink in, even though the moment it was announced that the bill was passed, my husband got down on one knee, and said, “Will you marry me?” and without a moment’s hesitation I said “You’d better believe I will.”

Now we’ve been married, as far as we are concerned, since 2002; we had a Service of Union at a Unitarian Church in Summit NJ in December of that year. 

Will the passage of this law change what we mean to each other?  Not much; I think the fact that we are willing to do it all over again after nine years together is clear proof of our commitment to each other.  But the legal recognition of our relationship will have a powerful impact on our relationship to the State.

Most of it is practical stuff and has to do with taxes, inheritance, hospital visitation, medical decision-making, and a host of other things that heterosexual married couples take for granted.  These things come via the instant next-of-kin status that marriage conveys, with all the protections and responsibilities that implies.

Of course, the homophobic bigots have wasted no time in threatening to fight back and/or predicting dire consequences.  Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage have already pledged some two million dollars toward ousting the handful of Republican State Senators who changed their stance and voted “yes” at the eleventh hour.  And Pat Robertson, predictably enough, has opened his big yap and predicted that now that we have same-sex marriage in New York God is going to destroy America.

Really, Pat?  It didn’t seem to bother Him when Massachusetts adopted same-sex marriage.  And Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Iowa have all gotten there before us, with nary a peep from above.  Yet now that New York has it, God is going to make with the lightning bolts?  Come on, Pat.  I know you’re getting on in years, but surely you can do better than that.

But I digress.

I am forty-eight years old; John is fifty-four.  We grew up gay at a time when the idea of same-sex marriage was not even on the radar; we did not think such an option would ever be open to us.  I am not sure that anyone who is not LGBT can understand what this means.  Even now, with equality finally a reality, it is almost hard to believe, as if someone were going to take it away again (Sorry, Maggie, but I doubt you’ll have any more success here than you did in Massachusetts).

Anyway, it’s here, and we’re planning to get married legally this time.  We’ll probably do it quickly and quietly at City Hall; we already had a church wedding, and practically speaking, the license is what matters to us; the love has been there since the day we first met.

Hopefully this victory will lead to more.  It is my hope that the next generation of LGBTs will have the same access to marriage as heterosexuals do, across the country.  I even dare to hope that I may live to see it.

And to those of you who think it’s “icky” and “wrong” and “an abomination,” I have only this to say:  If you do not like same-sex marriage, do not marry someone of the same sex.  This isn’t rocket science, people.

And don’t throw the Bible at me either.  I know the Bible well, and I know that it says NOTHING about committed, loving same-sex couples; all it has are a few references to specific genital acts, usually related to rape, abuse, or idolatry (pagan temple prostitutes).  At any rate, times change, people learn and grow, and the idea of living by a Book that was written thousands of years ago without question is ridiculous.  And my husband and I are both Christians; yes, Maggie, we can be both.  And now we can even make it legal.



Another Hatemonger Comes Out of the Woodwork

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2011 by scottsteaux63

Just when you thought that Old Freddie Phelps and his Krazy Klan of Bigots was as bad as it could possibly get for the LGBT community in the Christian church, along comes some yokel from Hamilton, Alabama by the name of Damon Thompson, who makes the Phelps family look like the amateurs they are.

The following clip from YouTube sums it up quite nicely:

After viewing that, there really isn’t much more that I can add, except that I did a little digging and managed to locate the webpage of Thompson’s “ministry;” an organization called The Ramp whose target audience is kids.  Yes, that’s right:  the vile stuff you just heard him spewing is directed at kids.

As for Thompson’s credentials, it does not look to me as though he has any:

There is no mention of a seminary or even, God help us, a Bible college.  This guy is just some jackass who thinks that because he has read the Bible he is entitled to spread his interpretation of it all over the place and to hell with who it hurts.

Since the YouTube thing hit the Internet, his Facebook page has been quite active:

Well I’ll keep this one brief.  Just another asshole that LGBT kids have to deal with.  I hope he realizes that when some poor kid kills him/herself after listening to one of this bastard’s hateful rants, that child’s blood will be on his hands.

D-Day: Sixty-Seven Years Later

Posted in LGBT Issues and Stuff, Uncategorized on June 6, 2011 by scottsteaux63

Nearly seven decades have passed since that pivotal day in 1944 when US troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in France in one of the bloodiest battles involving Americans in the entire war.  Most of those who served during World War II and lived to come home and tell the tale are dead now, and soon there will be none left.  Which leads me to wonder:  have we learned anything from our experiences in that war?  If so, what are the lessons?  And what will they mean to future generations?

The most obvious answer to the first question is:  yes and no.  Clearly war is hell, but the message obviously got garbled along the way, since we have been involved in wars (or police actions) on plenty of occasions since.  Korea and Vietnam appear to have been largely forgotten, despite the success of the movie and television show “M*A*S*H” and the continuing plight of the Vietnam veterans.  The first Gulf War nobody talks about anymore, perhaps because it was short and the argument can be made that we “won” (though to my mind the end of a war is more about who died and who survived than who won and who lost).  And we’re still fighting in various locations in the Middle East despite the President’s campaign promise to end the wars in this region (one of my few real disappointments with the man, but I have adopted a “wait and see” attitude about him at this point in time).

As a member of the United Methodist Church, I am familiar with my church’s view of war as occasionally being a “necessary evil.”  I am not completely naive, so I do see the sense in that.  It is the unnecessary wars that we have either entered or gotten dragged into since the end of WW II that bothers me.  Korea solved nothing in the end; we were left with a divided nation, one side our ally and friend and the other our enemy whose deadliness has yet to be properly assessed.  Vietnam was even worse in some ways:  the outcome is similar to that of Korea, but the treatment of the returning veterans left a bad taste in many people’s mouths that lingers to this day.  And frankly, I confess I have no idea what we are still doing in Afghanistan and other countries in that region, despite the recent finding and killing of Osama Bin Laden after nearly ten years.

Let me be clear on one thing:  when 9/11 happened, and the best information we had was that OBL was in Afghanistan, I had no problem with President Bush’s decision to go in.  I didn’t like the man much, but really, what else could he have done?  It was what he did next that was reprehensible in my book.  He abandoned Afghanistan and even said at least twice that he didn’t know and didn’t care where Osama Bin Laden was, then turned around and convinced the UN (with the help of UK’s PM Tony Blair, whom I shall NEVER understand) that there were “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq (there weren’t) and that Saddam Hussein was a cruel dictator who needed to be overthrown (okay, there was some truth to that one, but the world is lousy with cruel dictators and mostly we not only leave them alone, we give them billions of dollars in taxpayer money in aid programs to combat hunger, famine, AIDS, you name it.  Just take a look at Africa in the thirty years that have passed since the AIDS pandemic began).

Okay, deep breath.  I am all over the map here, I know.  And as a student of American History (AP class under the terrifying Miss Rosellen Quinn, whose students loved her), in spite of my distaste for war, I can at least find plausible reasons for our involvement in the First and Second World Wars, particularly the Second.  But aside from W’s first foray into Afghanistan, I cannot really find a single good reason for all the wars we have gotten ourselves into since 1945.  Yet it still goes on, lining the pockets of defense contractors and getting thousands of our young people killed.

I am not sure what my point is in all this.  Remembering is important, especially WWII with the Holocaust in Europe and the consequences of using nuclear weapons on Japan (no judgment call here, but all actions have consequences).  If we forget either of those things, we do so at not only our own peril,  but that of the entire world.  And despite everything, genocide has continued to happen.  On this I confess I am of two minds; on the one hand I fail to see why the USA should be like the world’s policeman, yet on the other hand, to sit back and do nothing doesn’t work for me either.

Maybe if our politicians (are there any statesmen left?  I like and admire President Obama, but I am not quite ready to give him that title yet) would spend a little less time planning wars and a little more time trying to figure out ways to influence other countries without going to war, John Lennon’s dream of a world without war might just become a possibility.  I doubt I’ll live to see it, but someone needs to be giving more thought to the kind of world we are handing over to future generations.  We won’t care a bit; we will be long gone.  But I think posterity will judge us harshly for some of the choices we’ve made.

At any rate, if there can be any good that can come out of all the fighting that is going on “over there,” the best thing I can think of is that people will stop being so Goddamn hysterical about being “right” and think about being human.  It is easy to shoot and kill some nameless other that has been dubbed “The Enemy” by the powers that be; when you realize that this “enemy” is a man or woman not too unlike yourself with hopes and dreams and all the rest of it, it is not so easy to pull that trigger.  If future generations do not learn these lessons, the human race is in serious trouble.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  —  George Santayana