Tag Archives: sexual orientation
If the truth is told, I have to confess to being somewhat of a moderate. I lean to the left, hard to the left some would say, but many of my positions are decidedly more moderate than far left. On social issues, I am decidedly liberal, as if it is a “liberal” position to consider equal rights for all and “giving” women the right to decide their own medical decisions.
I believe in giving folks a hand up, not just a hand out. Most definitely a hand out is warranted at times, but it is my belief that most folks would just as soon have an opportunity to make a place for themselves and their families in this life. I believe in the intent of the Second Amendment, a pro-gun position, but I also believe in strong laws to punish those that use a gun in the act of committing a crime. I am against the Death Penalty but I believe in life without parole for those convicted of heinous crimes. I believe in fiscal responsibility but embrace Keynesian economics. I believe in low taxes, but only when they make economic sense. I believe in war, but only when it is in the (true) national interest of the United States.
So why am I “accused,” sometimes in vile terms, of being a far left socialist that is anti-American?
The positions that I have noted should be mainstream, not positions that are vilified as somehow being “fringe or radical.” Recently, I read on another blog that moderates, or independents, are cowardly and ill-informed. Eh? Somewhere, I got the “radical” idea that we are to educate ourselves on the issues and make an informed decision for ourselves. In 2010, apparently it is not enough to label liberals as evil, but moderates fall into that category as well.
The pendulum always swings right when the left is in control politically, and visa versa. This election season the pendulum is not swinging right, it seems to be stuck on far right. The Tea Baggers are purging RINO’s while attempting to win state-wide general elections without moderates and independents.
There is certainly something strange tainting the waters these days.
William Stephenson Clark
Well, I have been told, “Thank’s, but no thank’s!” That’s all good – I never push it too far, but, so far, this has never happened to me:
“When grasped by a male they do not want to have sex with, female cane toads will inflate their bodies so rival males can dislodge the unwanted suitor.”
So, what is it about men and women and sex?
Sex is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. I often say that “sex” is a little taste of Heaven so that we stay on the right track.
But why is there so much focus on sex? We are all human (well, except me) so sex comes naturally to most of us. We are attracted to the opposite sex (or the same sex) and we pursue sexual encounters. We buy flowers, candy, dinners and movies, all in pursuit of that “moment.”
Our airways and media are filled with sex. Movies, television, music, advertisements, magazines, bathroom stalls are all dedicated to the pursuit of sex.
In my not so humble opinion, there is no such thing as “bad sex,” so long as it is consensual among adults. “Doin’ it” is as natural as breathing. In fact, many would just as soon “do it” as breath.
So, why the goofy, puritanical views of sex in America?
Americans are fascinated by “who is doin’ whom.” At the same time, we are quick to condemn “who” for “doin’ whom.” What sort of hypocrisy leads us to condemn while secretly (or not so secretly) playing the numbers game?
Tiger? Bad boy. Bill? Dumbass. Wilt? Serial exaggerator.
George Clooney? Yeah! What a stud!
Come on! We can’t celebrate the bachelor without celebrating the bachelorette. If “he” is a stud, how is it that “she” is a slut?
It’s just “sex” boys and girls – or boys and boys or girls and girls.
Ease back on the hypocrisy and celebrate it for what it is.
William Stephenson Clark
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
“A Tale of Two Cities” – the opening line – Charles Dickens – 1859
Two wars. A fired commanding General. An economy that is stubbornly refusing to recover fast enough. A massive oil spill that threatens our Gulf. Illegal immigration. No progress on Gay Rights to speak of. Conflicts in the Middle East. Tin-pot dictators run amok. Global financial crisis. Congress in perpetual gridlock. Fred Phelps and the Phelp Tone-Deaf’s. Drug wars in Jamaica and Mexico. Global freakin’ warming. Sandra and Jesse back on speaking terms.
Are these the worst of times?
Absolutely not. Yes, the world has more than it’s fair share of problems right about now, but these are far from the worst of times. It is human nature to look at today and be dissatisfied. It is also human nature to look at yesterday with a certain fondness for times that “were better.”
I wrote a column published yesterday with that very topic.
No, despite the troubles of the world, we have a bright future. We may not get there soon, but it is there. Collectively, we need to move beyond pessimism and consider the optimistic signs that point the way to a “best of times” scenario.
The wars that we are engaged in will end. We will recover from the global financial crisis. The oil gushing in the Gulf will be stopped and we will find away to clean up the mess. The tin-pot dictators will die off and be replaced by slightly more sane alternatives. The slow progress of Gay Rights will accelerate as the more bigoted generation dies off. The illegal immigration problem will continue, but better solutions will come to the fore. Fred will die. Eventually, a saner approach to drugs will be adopted. And Jesse will screw up again and America’s Sweetheart will be back on the market.
Progress has been made, abet slowly. A historic, but flawed, Health Care bill has been passed. Medical science has moved to the point now that living to one hundred will be commonplace. The world will grow tired of perpetual conflicts in the Middle East and the white-hot hatred will cool. The world will change for the better.
The best of times – maybe not in our lifetimes – but they are coming.
William Stephenson Clark
The suggestion that someone is gay is usually taken as a direct accusation of homosexuality. Only being gay is not automatically a disqualification for office anymore. Indeed, many places have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and there are an increasing number of gay and lesbian officeholders at all levels of elected government. So why do we still think it’s bad to call someone a lesbian? Linda Hirshman, who admits to knowing nothing about the sexual orientation of Kagan, wraps up her interesting op-ed piece by saying:
Finally, and here’s a real dirty little secret, President Obama appointing an openly gay candidate for the Supreme Court would be political genius. Think about the prospect of watching the married Senator Ensign—who is under investigation for allegedly seeking lobbying work for the husband of his mistress—arguing that the high court nominee is “sinful” or “lacking in personal morality,” as the Focus on the Family suggests. The polls are clear: Regardless of their views on same sex marriage, most Americans do not think gays and lesbians should be discriminated against, and the numbers for gays on all issues are sky high among young voters. The Republicans don’t want to be caught in a Pat Buchanan-style culture war just as the mid-term elections loom, just like enough of them wanted to avoid the anti-Hispanic trap to confirm Justice Sotomayor. It’s a no-lose nomination.
There is nothing wrong with being gay (or lesbian). What hurts is the assumption that it hurts.
The University of Pennsylvania last week became the first school to announce that it will provide a spot on its application for students to indicate their sexual orientation. Is this a good idea? There seem to be some obvious objections—for example, hyper-competitive students will simply lie about their sexual orientations if they think it will give them an edge. But Gabriel Arana raises some more interesting points at the American Prospect: “Students who are out in high school live in communities that are more tolerant. Statistically, these communities are more educated, less religious, wealthier, and whiter. Having grown up in a conservative, largely Hispanic community on the U.S.-Mexico border, I would not have felt comfortable identifying as gay on college applications. So if the intention is to recruit gay students, the effect will be felt only by the subset of gay applicants who, at 18, feel comfortable identifying as such. It really becomes a proxy for other demographic attributes that on the whole are largely indicative of privilege.” Furthermore, Arana points out that elite schools like Penn already have large and active LGBT communities—in general, they don’t face the same problems in attracting gay students than they do with students of racial minorities.
Today is National Coming Out Day, an internationally-observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) issues.
So many people are open about their sexuality now, that equal rights under the law is at the forefront of the modern LGBT movement. Same-gender marriage is now recognized by several countries – Canada, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, and South Africa. Civil unions and domestic partnerships are recognized in 17 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, just to name a few. Unions are also recognized in some parts of Mexico, Australia, and Venezuela, and other countries.
On yet another issue, America is behind the curve!
The Phelps / Roper family was in New York to spread hate. Among other places in The Big Apple, they protested outside Walter Cronkite’s funeral yesterday. They even had a fancy sign made up that said “Cronkite in Hell.” Just like the Republican Party platform of exclusion and intolerance the Phelps-Ropers, founding family behind the Westboro Baptist Church, are against abortion, gays, they are white supremacists and they spread the word of a vengeful God.
In today’s op-ed piece titled, “Family of Hate,” John Avlon writes:
“The youngest daughter there, 16-year old Grace-Elizabeth, sports a navy blue “Priests Rape Boys” T-shirt and shuffled around on an Israeli flag. Despite that, she seems uncomfortable while her mother screams beside her. I ask Grace if she wanted to be there. “Oh yes, this is fun,” she gushes. “It’s the best thing we could be doing with our time.”
I asked her sister Megan—who just graduated from Washburn University this spring—what she thought of President Obama. Her eyes lit up. “Oh, he’s the Antichrist,” she says.
I ask for a little more explanation. “Well, he’s against Christ,” she says. Then mom swoops in, talking Deuteronomy and Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians before veering inevitably to abortion. “Reproductive freedom is a fluffy term for killing babies,” Shirley says. “Obama would support the murder of his grandchildren.”
Speaking of grandchildren, Megan and Grace are the grandkids of Fred Phelps—a Kansas attorney who started their church. They spoke of him prideful tones as a pioneering civil-rights lawyer who just happened to spawn a family of lawyers who are now dedicated to trying to deny civil rights to gays and lesbians. Apparently, a family that hates together stays together. When you’re brought up to hate the world and the world hates you back, it’s a self-reinforcing circuit that only the family can understand.”
How many self-professed Republicans see their party platform in the hate spread by the Phelps family? The Phelps family protests embody almost everything loathsome about the modern Republican Party. Is this another area today’s Republicans easily ignore?
The 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define and regulate marriage as it sees fit, so Massachusetts sued the U.S. government today.
Its lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, argues the act “constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law.” It says the approximately 16,000 same-sex couples who have married in Massachusetts since the state began performing gay marriages in 2004 are being unfairly denied federal benefits given to heterosexual couples.
“They are entitled to equal treatment under the laws regardless of whether they are gay or straight,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said at a news conference.
Massachusetts is the first state to challenge the federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The 1996 law denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
OK, ONE of the big differences — there are many!
Democrats are human and accept that every other person is human also. This means we know we say and do things that are wrong and we regret them, we pay the price, however high. But we don’t act like we’re above other people, we aren’t hypocritical because we know humans fail and make poor choices, act downright stupid and get caught.
Here’s Senator John Ensign (R-NV) admitting his adultery. Oh, he was sad and he was sorry. Probably really sorry that his lover’s husband was going to go public unless Ensign paid him not to. But here’s the deal — Ensign has been very outspoken and his actions and his words make him not just human, not just stupid, but a hypocrite!
He called for President Bill Clinton to resign because of his affair, saying, “He has no credibility left.”
“Marriage is the cornerstone on which our society was founded,” Ensign proclaimed from the Senate floor. “For those who say that the Constitution is so sacred that we cannot or should not adopt the Federal Marriage Amendment, I would simply point out that marriage, and the sanctity of that institution, predates the American Constitution and the founding of our nation. It predates the founding of our nation and even the landing at Plymouth Rock. Marriage, as a social institution, predates every other institution on which ordered society in America and the world as a whole, has relied, including even the church itself.”
Ensign concluded, “It is not right to mold marriage to fit the desires of a few, against the wishes of so many, and to ignore the important role of marriage.”
I could find many other examples of this human being who thought he was so special and so above other human beings. I could nudge our memory of Gingrich who was conducting his own liaison while blurting out stupidities. In fact, we could list examples of Republican hypocrisy all day long.
The big question in my mind is — Will they ever learn? Will they ever even recognize that they are humans, less than perfect, and karma really will bite them in the butt!?
President Obama will extend benefits to the unmarried partners of federal workers tomorrow. The move is a big win for gay rights advocates, who have long requested the change and have expressed disappointment with the President’s handling of other gay issues. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a similar benefits plan last month for State Department employees.
Why can’t humans be as understanding and accepting as other living breathing inhabitants of our planet?
“Two gay male penguins have hatched a chick and are now rearing it as its adoptive parents, says a German zoo.
The zoo, in Bremerhaven, northern Germany, says the adult males – Z and Vielpunkt – were given an egg which was rejected by its biological parents.
It says the couple are now happily rearing the chick, said to have reached four weeks old.”
Would many human children find loving homes if we were more accepting of gay couples? Would we move a step closer to solving the problems of unwanted pregnancies if couples who would love to be parents were given the opportunity?
PASS MARRIAGE EQUALITY LEGISLATION!
New Hampshire’s congress may send their governor a similar bill.
The bill also called, Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, passed the house today 249-175, over conservatives’ objections.
Hate crimes — as defined by the bill — are those motivated by prejudice and based on someone’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
A weaker bill died two years ago under a veto threat from President George W. Bush.
President Barack Obama, in contrast, urged support, saying it would “enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association.” Obama called for passage in the Senate, where Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., is the chief sponsor.
The Illinois Family Institute, a conservative Christian group, said, “The bill is not about stopping crime, but about giving sexual preference the same legal status as race. This legislation is just a stepping stone to regulate the speech of people who support family values.”
What would you like to discuss? This is the place to talk about whatever it might be!