Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Harvey Milk

My wife and I went to see Milk yesterday.

First of all - Sean Penn was amazing! He became Harvey Milk. When I see pictures of the real Harvey Milk now - my first reaction is "no, no, that's not what he looks like - he looks like Sean Penn"

This morning my wife asked me how the movie affected me. In truth, I have to confess that it really didn't have much of an emotional impact on me. Although, I must say I'm a bit surprised at that. Given the other reviews I read, I expected it to have a great impact on me. The only time I started to get chocked up a little was when Harvey Milk was talking on the phone with a suicidal teenager who said his parents wanted to send him away to 'fix' him.

We saw the movie in the local mega cinema. Out of 30 screens - Milk was showing on the smallest - probably because there were only about 12 people in the theater. Not really surprising given that I live in one of the reddest parts of a very red state - and in the thick of the bible belt. It was, of course, dark in the theater; so, I couldn't get a good look at the other people. But, it seemed to be mostly male/female couples. In the row behind us was a threesome - a boy and two girls - who looked to be of high school age. I suspect he was probably gay and he had his flame dames with him.

I'm rather embarrassed to admit that, although I was of voting age at the time and from California, I don't recall anything about proposition 6 nor the resulting controversy. Probably because I wasn't actually in California at the time as I was serving as a missionary for the LDS church - in other words, I was pretty much cloistered and oblivious to current events. It's a miracle I was even aware that Elvis died a year prior to Harvey Milk being assassinated - and that was only because one of our investigators was totally distrait.

So, the movie served as a good history lesson for me in the gay rights movement. I also felt it depicted the gay culture of the time fairly accurately - warts and all. And, I think, that may be why it didn't have the impact on me that I expected. I believe one of the reasons it took me so long to accept my sexuality is because of my view of gay culture - frankly, I'm not comfortable with certain aspects of gay culture; and, I think, watching this movie reminded me of that discomfort, thereby negating the expected emotional impact. Although, I understand why such a culture exists. What else can be expected when you have a group of people living in a society that tells them that they are perverts, deviants, and that God doesn't love them.

I also realize that, as a closeted heterosexually married gay man, I owe a great debt of gratitude to people like Harvey Milk - and those who came before and after him in the gay rights movement. It is because of them that we have increased societal acceptance - which led to me being able to finally admit to myself that I am, in fact, gay. It is because of them that I do not fear losing my job were someone to find out that I am a homosexual. Were it not for their sacrifices - I wouldn't even dare think about having a blog and discussing my life as a married gay Mormon man.

The 70's is when gay culture began to evolve from an underground culture to one that is more open. That evolution is ongoing - but with that evolution, others have been able to come forward to show the world - and me - that gay people are everywhere. They/we represent a cross section of society - be it rich or poor, religious or atheist, republican or democrat - and that was the epiphany I needed to accept that I too am a homosexual. It showed me that I do not have to change who I am - I can be the same as I've always been. The only difference being that now I accept my true self.

But, the fight is not over, the war has not yet been won. There is still a lot of bigoted hate that needs to be eradicated. My particular circumstances do not allow me to step out of my closet - yet; but, I do agree with Harvey Milk - that is what it's going to take. People need to realize that we're not all just a bunch of sexual deviants out marching the streets in thongs. They need to know that we are their next door neighbor, the person in the next cubicle at work. They need to have the same epiphany that I did.

In particular, Mormon's need to realize that gay Mormon's exist. They need to know that we are sitting next to them in church, we are teaching their children. We might even be sitting on the stand presiding over a meeting.

So, I look forward to the day when I too will be able to step out of my closet to show the world that even slovenly old fat married Mormon dudes can be gay too.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The spirit of the law

Our priesthood lesson in High Priests quorum this morning was based on a talk by President Eyring from the October 2008 general conference titled O Ye That Embark. As part of the lesson, the instructor went around the room and we were each to tell of some experience we had as part of a calling where we learned something.

When it came to me, I spoke of an experience from my mission. My companion and I had just opened up a new area. The branch president had called us into his office and told us of a part member family where the husband was an inactive member and his wife was very anti-Mormon. He then gave us explicit instructions to not visit them. A few weeks later, my companion and I both had a strong impression that we should visit the family - and, to make a long story short, the husband became active and his wife was baptized. The thing I learned from that experience is the importance of following our own personal inspiration. To this day, we still exchange Christmas cards with this family.

As I sat there listening to others tell of their experiences, it occurred to me that many of them spoke of a time when they had been asked to do something which was difficult for them and the blessings they gained from following their leaders counsel. I began to reflect on the contrast of our experiences. While others spoke of the importance of obedience - I spoke of open rebellion and doing what we believe is right regardless of what others are telling us.

I began to think of other things I've done throughout my life where my actions were not in harmony with what I've been taught - nothing big, just little things - but I did them because I believed it was the right thing to do. I've always felt it was more important to live the spirit of the law rather than blind obedience to the letter of the law. Mind you, I don't advocate disobeying the law simply because I think it's dumb; but, when it comes down to doing what somebody else it telling me to do verses doing what I believe is the right thing to do - I will follow my heart.

Authoritarians believe following the spirit, but not the letter of the law, is the same as disobeying the law - arguing that allowing others to follow their own interpretation of the law results in anarchy. I've always had a problem respecting authoritarian type people - another character flaw of mine.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Outcast

I was channel surfing and happened across a Startrek Next Generation episode The Outcast - where the crew of the enterprise visits the J'naii, a genderless society. Commander Riker falls in love with Soren, a J'naii who is experiencing female attraction -considered a deviant perversion in J'naii society. For this, she is taken into custody and 'treated' to remove her female attractions.

It was an obvious reference to the debate over homosexuality in our own society. Although, overall, I feel the episode fell short on social commentary. Perhaps this is why the Startrek franchise has floundered over the last few years - they've deviated from the formula that Gene Roddenberry used in the original series where many episodes had strong commentary on sexism, feminism, racism, as well as militarism and peace - all major social issues during the late 1960's.

The highlight of the episode was where Soren declares that she is female
I am tired of lies.
I am female. I was born that way. I have had those feelings...those longings...all my life. It is not unnatural. I am not sick because I feel this way.

I do not need to be helped, and I do not need to be cured. What I do need -- what all of those like me need -- is your understanding and your compassion.

We do not injure you in any way. And yet we are scorned, and attacked. And all because we are different.

What we do is no different from what you do. We talk and laugh...we complain about work and we wonder about growing old...we talk about our families, and we worry about the future...We cry with each other when things seem hopeless. All the loving things that you do with each other...that's what we do. And for that, we are called misfits, and deviants...and criminals.

What right do you have to punish us? What right do you have to change us? What makes you think you can dictate how people love each other?
I think this episode would have been much more profound had they not had Riker fall in love with Soren - and if Soren had not responded to the treatment in the end. Rather, how much more powerful would it have been if Soren had lost her position and standing in society, and becomes an outcast - as the enterprise departs, powerless to do anything to help lest they violate the prime directive.

A new Startrek movie coming May 8th. It looks promising; but, I hope they are able to return to the original vision of Startrek. If they simply try to mimic Star Wars - then they will fail.

btw, here is a site that contains non-explicit, (G to PG-13) stories, poetry, and art depicting a gay Startrek universe.

www.thyla.com

Some people have way too much time on their hands ...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas

I'll resume my regularly scheduled bloviating after the holidays. But, for now

M E R R Y
C H R I S T M A S ! ! !

Friday, December 19, 2008

2 years and counting

To be honest, I've never understood blogging. Why do some people post intimate details of their lives for everyone to see? And why to other people read blogs? Yet, I find myself reading blogs, and now I am writing my own blog.
That is what I wrote on December 19, 2006 in my introductory blog post.

It is hard to believe that it's been two whole years since I first started blogging. I had only recently accepted myself as gay. I began searching the internet desperately looking for other people like me - gay Mormon's who were still active in the church. I had found and joined the q-saints yahoo discussion group, but was discouraged because it seemed so many of the people had not only left the church, but had very negative feelings towards the church. I was starting to think I was some sort of freak of nature.

Then someone posted to the group who expressed views similar to my own - views which prompted some negative objections to his opinions. On December 14, 2006, I sent him a private email telling him that I, for one, agreed with his comments. This led to a brief but momentous email exchange. He shared with me that he also blogged and gave me his blog address. And, then he audaciously suggested I consider doing the same.

I read his blog with rapt attention. His blog linked to other blogs which, in turn, linked to yet more blogs - at last I had found what I had so desperately been looking for - I had found other people like me. I was no longer a freak of nature. Not all blogs were by people still active in the church, but those who had left the church behind were respectful of those who were still in the church. I had been a stranger in a strange land - and now I found my long lost home. It was like finding a family I never knew I had.

I spent hours reading through these blogs, soaking everything in like a sponge. And then I did the unthinkable - I actually started considering creating my own blog. You see, before this, I didn't have anything to do with the blogging world. I didn't read blogs and certainly would have never in a million years thought that I, one day, would have a blog. I couldn't understand how people could divulge such personal information in such a public media - and I couldn't understand why they thought their lives were so interesting that others would want to read about it. I also couldn't understand why people would then read those blogs - it almost amounted to voyeurism in my mind.

But, here I am, two years later. My whole perception of blogging has been forever altered. And, I owe it all to one man - a man who dared to post an unpopular view on q-saints.

So, who is this mysterious blogger? Who is this person who got me started as a blogger? None other than the great and wonderful -L-.

-L- doesn't blog so much these days - and I, for one, miss his words of wisdom. But I understand, there is a time and a season for everything. Maybe it's time for him to move on with his life. Maybe one day it'll be time for me to move on with my life.

But, for now, hats off to -L-

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas treats you want to like - but don't

Last night I made pressed cookies - you know, the kind where you put the dough into a cookie press and squeeze it out through metal plates in various shapes. The recipe is pretty simple, having only butter, sugar, egg, salt, flour, and flavoring; although, I opted to use pure coconut extract instead of vanilla.

They taste OK, but it's sorta like eating baked Play-DOH. Now I remember why I don't like pressed cookies.

Are there any Christmas treats that you feel like you want to like - but whenever you try it you're reminded that you don't like it?

btw, the cookie press I used looks exactly like the one pictured except the ends are the same metal as the body rather than being copper colored - it even has the same exact metal disks; so, I'm sure it's the same brand, just a different model or year. It belonged to my wifes grandmother. We have a newer one that has a trigger instead of a knob - but I found this one first.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brokeback marriages

There is an interesting article about Mixed Orientation Marriages that I read recently (or what the author calls "Brokeback Marriages"). Like most articles on this topic, it tended towards the negative; but, it's not as negative as others I've read. The author states that 80% of such marriage end in divorce - but that suggests that 20% do not.

Anyway, the author talks about a "coming out" process and the stages a couple typically goes through when one spouse reveals to the other that they are gay.
  • Humiliation - The Humiliation stage occurs when the gay partner finally reveals his or her secret and both spouses begin to agonize over the news. Typically, the straight spouse blames herself or himself for not being "woman enough" or "man enough" to keep their mate interested. Straight spouses may question whether they ever really participated in the marriage and whether the marriage was ever authentic
  • Honeymoon - The Honeymoon stage occurs when the partners agree to remain in their mixed-orientation marriage. Typically, gay spouses who want to remain in the marriage do so for one good reason: they love their straight spouses. With both partners feeling loved unconditionally, they renew their marriage vows on an emotional level.
  • Rage - The Rage stage occurs when both partners reach the limits of what is tolerable. The straight spouse may have felt satisfied with the way things were and wants to maintain the marriage as it was, but both partners realize that they cannot retreat back into the closet. At this point, they often feel the same sense of heaviness that descended upon them before the disclosure.
  • Resolution - During the Resolution phase, couples consider again whether to stay together or separate. This is a question each partner should ask individually, and the couple should broach it together. They need to express to themselves and to their partner the type of marriage they want. They also need to weigh what they have invested so far against what is at risk if they break up. Other considerations to weigh include the loss of heterosexual privileges for both of them.
I don't necessarily agree with everything the author has to say - but I think he does make some interesting points. Just wondering what others think about this

Friday, December 12, 2008

Random thoughts

Just some random thoughts meandering around in Abelard's brain today
  • I'm still not feeling very Christmasy, but I did start Christmas shopping.
  • Is it just me, or was that "Day without Gay" thing kinda goofy? I wonder how that worked out for them?
  • I didn't realize that Dustin Lance Black, the screenwriter for "Milk", is family (gay and raised Mormon).
  • I'm playing hooky from our ward Christmas party this evening, although my wife went (alone).
  • I'm going to play hooky from stake general priesthood meeting tomorrow to take the grandkids to a Christmas train exhibit this guy has setup in his backyard. Cost of admission is canned goods which are donated to a local food bank. So, it counts as a good sabbath day activity (feeding the poor) - right?
  • People keep asking me what I want for Christmas - and I don't know!
  • I'm planning on going to see "Milk", and my wife is going to go with me (yeah!) - but I don't know when yet. It's playing in a few more theaters now, and one of them is in my hometown.
  • I've read "Milk" can be a real tearjerker, so I better take a handkerchief. Although, my wife has never seen me cry in a movie - so this could get awkward.
  • We watched "Stardust" on DVD last night - I thought it was OK, but my wife didn't like it at all.
  • I was unaware that the film "Stardust" had such gay overtones.
  • Only one more week of work - then I'm off for the rest of the year - yeah!
  • I'm still pissed off at the other ward we share the building with. When I arrived Friday morning to teach seminary - there were no chairs in the seminary room - they had taken them to the cultural hall to setup for their ward Christmas activity Friday evening. Mind you, there are plenty of classrooms between the cultural hall and the seminary room they could have pulled chairs out of; and, it was pretty obvious the room was being used for seminary since I had pictures displayed all over the room and they had to remove scriptures from the chairs in order to move them. - but they wanted the padded chairs - wusses!! I came home and wrote a scathing email to my bishop - I'm sure they'll all be shaking in their boots tomorrow.
  • There will only be 5 of us for Christmas dinner - so we decided to have a standing rib roast. I need to watch that Alton Brown "Good Eats" episode again - and then go to Home Depot to get a big clay flower pot.
  • I was appointed as an officer in the "I buy random grocery items because Alton Brown says it's good" Facebook group.
  • I'm pretty sure I'm in love with Alton Brown <3
  • I'm getting a lot of hits on my blog from people googling "doll that says allah is light" (or some variation) and "homo for romo" - I'll bet my blog isn't quite what they were expecting :)
  • Another year, and nobody will go to Tuba Christmas with me :(

Gay cowboys

Bizarro, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas - NOT!!!

I'm having a really hard time getting the Christmas spirit this year. I'm dreading going shopping and dealing with the crowds. Putting up Christmas decorations seems like a chore. We're just now getting our Christmas tree up; and, I don't know if I'll even bother putting lights up outside this year. It all seems so futile.

Sunday, in fast and testimony meeting, a sister talked about how a lot of members disagree with the church's involvement in prop 8 in California - and some have even left the church because of it. She then went into how we just need to follow the prophet. As she spoke, I thought of a line from the film "Star Trek: First Contact"
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The crew is accustomed to following my orders.
Lily Sloane: They're probably used to your orders making sense!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

There is still time

There is still one more Sunday in November to wear the official MoHo uniform to church. I'll leave the poll up through December 3rd.

... and in case anybody is wondering - yes, this is a picture of me in my MoHo uniform.

Someone suggested a montage of pictures of MoHo's in uniform. Unfortunately, I don't have enough pictures. Send me your pictures and I'll see what I can do. (or point me to where they've been posted on your blog).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving disaster

We had 25 people over for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday (including 4 toddlers). So, we cooked two turkeys to feed the masses.

Or, at least we thought we would have two turkeys to feed the masses - until our dog got to one of them

We made do with one turkey - and now we don't have any turkey leftovers - and a house full of company whom we were planning on feeding with said leftovers. We have stuffing, gravy, but no turkey.

At least we have leftover pie

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankfulness

The truth of the matter is, I'm really not very gay in my everyday real life. I love Home Depot; I have a collection of power tools (and I know how to use them); I don't go around ranting about gay rights, proposition, 8, or anything else gay related. If you were to meet me, unbeknownst of who I am - I doubt I would set off your gaydar - well except, perhaps, if you met me in the theater when I went to see High School Musical 3 :)

The subtitle of this blog is: An exploration of what it means to be Married, Mormon, . . . and Gay. This is where I express my gay self. I really don't expose much of the non-gay part of me here - because this is my gay blog - this is where I allow my inner gay to roam free; so, it is fitting that this be where I express my gay gratitude.

I am gay grateful for
  • Finally accepting the fact that I am gay
  • Being married to a woman who didn't leave me when she learned that she is married to a gay man
  • My gay friends I've met here in the queerosphere and elsewhere
  • Gay pioneers who ushered in an era of gay rights - and who produced a societal environment where I could finally accept being gay
This doesn't mean that I'm not grateful for other things, like God and family. It only means that this isn't the place where I express that greater part of me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Teens can now rejoice

Nebraska has amended it's 'Safe Haven' law which allows an unwanted child to be dropped off at a hospital - no questions asked. It seems when they first drafted the law they failed to put in an age limit - and people were driving to Nebraska from all over the country to drop off their children - some as old as 17 years - the last being a 14 year old boy from California. It adds a whole new threat to a parents repertoire - "If you don't shape up - we're going to Nebraska!"

But no more - on Saturday the amended law went into effect so that it only applies to newborn babies born in the previous 30 days - which is more consistent with similar "baby moses" laws in the other 49 states.

For those poor unwanted older children who were abandoned in Nebraska - and who will probably be emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives - isn't it wonderful that their parents were, most likely, heterosexual?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Evil baby dolls

Q: What does Mattel have in common with gays?
A: They are both being targeted by fundamentalist Christians

Apparently, Mattel got itself in hot water with fundamentalist Christians because of their Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo dolls which allegedly says (depending upon who you talk to) either "Allah is light" or "Satan is right". Mind you, the doll doesn't actually say any real words, it babbles and coos (supposedly like a real baby), and some of these sounds have been interpreted to be sending an evil subliminal message to America's children - yes, those same children who have been targeted by the evil homosexuals who are out to convert their children.

The fundamentalist Christians have made this into a big enough stink that some stores are actually pulling the doll from their shelves. Someone even made a YouTube video

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckxgWaODw4g

Now, I will admit that if I listen really carefully it does kinda sorta sound like it is saying "Allah is Light" - but, isn't this simply because the suggestion has been planted in my brain? Had I listened to this doll before hearing of this controversy, I seriously doubt I would have heard anything other than simulated babbling and cooing. In fact, my thoughts would more likely have been along the line of "that's annoying - how do you take the batteries out of this thing?"

It doesn't even make sense. Even if you did give your little girl a talking baby doll who says "Allah is Light" as part of its repertoire, it's not like it will lead her to declare jihad against the family.

And the people who are complaining - are the same people who supported proposition 8 in California.

Enough said ...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stuck

I have this stupid song stuck in my head



It's driving me crazy
the devil tries his best,
he hopes we get real stressed,
He keeps on pressing me,
until I just become depressed.
NO!!! it hurts . . .
Felt like a little boy,
someone he could annoy,
but hey I'm not his toy,
and men are that they might have joy.
Why is this happening to me ???
The next time I go out,
I will be true and shout.
The church has the truth on earth,
Pleeeaaassseee . . . make it go away [sob]
oh whoa oh oh oh, and
that each of us, are people of worth.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yokels

I'll be taking tomorrow (Friday) off and won't return to work until Tuesday December 2nd. We have family coming into town for Thanksgiving and a week chock full of stuff (like taking the grandkids to the zoo); so, I don't know how much blogging time I'll have.

Speaking of grandkids, this Pickles comic made me smile

Welcome to my family - this comic is now hanging on our fridge.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I know where I've been

I watched "Hairspray" (again) last night. Queen Latifah is just so classy in her role as Motormouth Maybelle. I love her line
"Well you two better get ready for a whole lot of ugly coming at you from a never ending parade of stupid."
I think this is my favorite song



MOTORMOUTH
There's a light
In the darkness
Though the night
Is black as my skin
There's a light
Burning bright
Showing me the way
But i know where i've been

There's a cry
In the distance
It's a voice
That comes from deep within
There's a cry
Asking why
I pray the answer's up ahead
'Cause i know where i've been

There's a road
We've been travelin'
Lost so many on the way
But the riches
Will be plenty
Worth the price we
Had to pay

There's a dream
In the future
There's a struggle
We have yet to win
And there's pride
In my heart
'Cause i know
Where i'm going
And i know where i've been


MOTORMOUTH & ENSEMBLE
There's a road
We must travel
There's a promise
We must make
'Cause the riches
Will be plenty
Worth the risk
And chances that we take
There's a dream
In the future
There's a struggle

We have yet to win
Use that pride
In our hearts
To lift us up
To tomorrow

'Cause just to sit still
Would be a sin


ENSEMBLE
I know it, i know it
I know where i'm going


MOTORMOUTH
And lord knows i know...
Where i've been


MOTORMOUTH & ENSEMBLE
Oh! When we win,
I'll give thanks to my god

'Cause i know where i've been

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Arrogance

I happened to come across a blog post where the blogger was exploring the question "Can Testimony Exist While Opposing Prop. 8?" I'm not trying to pick on this particular blogger - I only use it to illustrate a view that seems to be widely held across the LDS church.

First of all, the very question exudes a certain arrogance. It reeks of a "if you're not for us then you're against us" attitude - which itself is a twisted variation of the words of Jesus Christ where he said "for he that is not against us is for us" (Luke 9:50).

The sentiment seems to be that Jesus Christ spoke to the prophet that His people should actively oppose proposition 8 in California and the prophet then brought His word to the people. So, to oppose this is not only going against the teaching of the prophet - but you are in direct opposition to Jesus Christ. And, if you are opposing Jesus then you, by definition, must be following Satan - how can a person claim to have a testimony when they are following Satan?

If you accept the premise that the direction to the saints in California encouraging them to do all they can and donate their time and means to defeat proposition 8 came directly from Jesus Christ via the prophet - then there is no argument. It becomes a matter of doctrine - and who, in their right mind, would oppose doctrine?

But was the opposition to the proposition 8 by the LDS church a point of doctrine or policy? As a faithful latter day saint, I must acknowledge that doctrine is unchanging - it is the same yesterday, today, and forever. However, I also concede that while doctrine may not change, our understanding of doctrine can and does evolve over time. I know that is certainly true for myself - and it only seems reasonable that it is true for the church as a whole as well. And then there is the matter of policy. Church policies can and do change over time. Policies change to keep up with the pace of changes in society.

When I first joined the church, women were not allowed to say prayers in sacrament meeting - it was viewed as a priesthood responsibility. Yet, the very idea of that in today's environment seems ludicrous. Was that a doctrinal change? Did God take a priesthood responsibility and make it a responsibility for all saints - men and women? Or did our understanding of the doctrine of prayer and priesthood responsibility evolve such that the brethren concluded that praying in sacrament meeting was not the sole responsibility of the priesthood? And is it mere coincidence that this change happened in the midst of sweeping changes throughout society regarding women's rights?

Which brings me back to the question: Was opposition to proposition 8 in California a matter of doctrine or policy? Many latter day saints seem to conclude the former - that it was their moral responsibility to change the California constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. But, some of us view it as a matter of policy - one that we disagree with.

Does it even make a difference? Is opposing the brethren on a matter of policy just as grievous as opposing them on a matter of doctrine? Can a person claim to have a testimony while disagreeing with a policy?

The simple fact of the matter is, there are church policies that I think are dumb. For instance, we are no longer supposed to 'cook' in the kitchens in our meetinghouses - they are only to be used to 'warm' food. So, in response - at our ward annual pancake breakfast - we no longer cook pancakes, we warm pancake batter (in a circular shape until it firms up). Now, I'm sure there are bishops who interpret the policy very literally and require the pancakes to be cooked at members homes and brought to church to be warmed up in the ovens. Other bishops, like ours, take a more liberal interpretation of policy, preferring to go by the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. Does this mean that one is wrong and the other is right? Or is it possible that they can both be right?

Now making pancakes is certainly different than two guys engaging in gay sex. But, is the underlying principal applicable? Isn't it possible that the decision to oppose proposition 8 was a policy decision - one made by committee rather than by direct revelation? And isn't it also possible that some of us, because of our own unique life experiences, cannot support that policy? And, is it just and right for other latter day saints to question the faith and testimony of those who cannot support a particular policy?

In my mind, I also question if opposing proposition 8 on grounds of morality is even correct. To cast it as a moral issue suggests that if we keep gays from getting married then they'll stop having gay sex. Was there anything in the language of proposition 8 that dealt with sex? Does the passage of proposition 8 forbid gays from engaging in gay sex?

The answer, of course, is a resounding "No!" So, if it wasn't about morality then what was it all about? The purpose of proposition 8 was to remove the rights of same sex couples to marry one another. And, yes it was removing rights because they had those rights in California on November 3rd and lost them on November 4th. And, when you are dealing with rights then it is, by definition, a 'civil rights' issue. On November 4th the voters in California passed, by a very narrow margin, a constitutional amendment removing the right of all Californians to marry someone of their same gender. It is not a right that was only applicable to a subset of the population - it is a right that is no longer available to all residents of California, one that would likely only be exercised by the gay population. Just because someone chooses to not exercise a right doesn't mean they don't have the right. As an adult male over 21, I have the right to consume alcohol - I choose not to, but that doesn't mean I don't have the right. And, I can choose to not consume alcohol on grounds of my religious beliefs while supporting the rights of others to imbibe to their hearts content.

Likewise, as a gay man in a committed monogamous mixed orientation marriage, I can support the rights of other gay men to enter into a committed monogamous gay relationship. And, I can mourn with them when the right to call that relationship a 'marriage' is taken away from them. And, I can do all of this while having a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and be temple worthy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The official MoHo uniform

Mo⋅ho [moh-hoe]
–noun
  1. a Mormon Homosexual
  2. of, pertaining to, a person with some association with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who experiences same gender attraction
  3. a seismic discontinuity between the base of the Earth's crust and the top of the mantle

Apparently, some in the queerosphere were not aware of the official MoHo uniform - a blue shirt and green tie, as depicted here and here. Well, now that the cat's out of the bag, so to speak, I have an idea. Let's all wear it to church on some Sunday in November. And, if you feel so inclined, post a picture on your blog (headless is OK), or send it to me and I'll post it here. Then return and report via the poll on the right



FAQ

Q: Which Sunday should I participate on?
A:
Any remaining Sunday in November, 2008

Q: What if I'm not gay?
A:
You're welcome to participate to show your solidarity with your MoHo brothers and sisters.

Q: What if I'm not a guy?
A:
I'm not even going to pretend I understand women's fashion - so you're welcome to participate; but, you'll need to come up with a uniform of your own.

Q: What if I'm no longer active in the LDS church?
A: Any church counts. If you no longer attend any church services then good intentions count.

A different perspective

This was recently posted on the Gay Christian Network. (and reprinted here with permission)
It is my understanding that a marriage license simply acknowledges and recognizes a commitment 2 people have made to each other. It recognizes what already is. Just like a government birth certificate or death certificate does. A government birth certificate doesn't give someone permission to be born; it legally recognizes that someone has been born. A government death certificate doesn't give somebody permission to die; it legally acknowledges that someone has already died.

. . .

This is what gay people are fighting for. They want their marriages, their commitments to be legally recognized so they can enjoy the same legal protections and rights and privileges that their heterosexual counter parts do. They want legal protection for their marriages.
This really helps to put it into perspective for me. Gay couples are not out trying to push an agenda. I'm sure there are some in the GLBT community who have some sort of agenda - but so do some on the Christian right.

I believe most gay couples simply want their union legally recognized so that they can have the same legal rights as heterosexually married couples - rights that married couples often take for granted, such as both parents being legal guardians of their children, being able to make medical decisions if their spouse is incapacitated, legal residency if one member is not a US citizen.

Gay couples aren't trying to indoctrinate school children or put religious clergy in jail for expressing opposing views. They are not out trying to destroy the sanctity of marriage. Quite the opposite - they want to celebrate the sanctity of marriage in their own relationships.

I get it!

Now ... how can I convince others to 'get it'? How can I convince straight people to look past their natural heterosexual aversion to gay intimacy? ... And, is it possible to do this without 'outing' myself in the process?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random thoughts

I was kinda not looking forward to going to church yesterday. There has been a lot of smugness on the part of members after the passage of prop 8 in California - and I just didn't want to hear any snide remarks. Thankfully, there were none, at least that I heard.

I got pulled into the 8 year old primary class to help out (since men are no longer allowed to teach primary alone - they must team teach with either their wife or another man). The brother I was helping out was the primary presidents husband - and he just found out right before Sacrament meeting. So, we were passing the lesson back and forth with one of us reading up on the next session while the other taught. All in all, it went well, I thought. Although, teaching 8 year olds is like herding kittens.

* * * * *

I wore a blue shirt with green tie to church yesterday - the official MoHo uniform. When I was asked why I was wearing a blue shirt, I responded that all of the cool guys wear blue. I also got several complements on my green tie. Odd, since I've worn that green tie before - I guess the blue shirt just sets it off better than my usual white shirt.

* * * * *

I'm still bummed out about prop 8 passing in California. I don't know why it is affecting me - I don't even live in California. And, I'm in a mixed orientation marriage; so, a same sex marriage is not in my future - even if it were available. But, I've made friends here in the queerosphere for whom it directly impacts. And it angers me when anybody does anything to hurt my friends. And, why do they even care? If you don't approve of gay marriage then don't marry someone of your same gender - end of discussion.

* * * * *

I've been building some raised beds for a vegetable garden (I'll probably blog about this project when it is closer to completion - with some pictures). Anyway, I did complete a small section and planted some seeds for a winter garden (radishes, carrots, beets, turnips, and spinich) - and they are starting to sprout. Hopefully, we won't have a hard freeze until after Christmas.

* * * * *

I hate daylight savings time. It just never made any sense to me why you could cut a foot off the bottom of a blanket and sew it back on the top. Now it gets dark so dang early and I'm not able to get as much done outdoors as I would like :(

* * * * *

My wife made apple dumplings on Sunday - I LOVE apple dumplings. They were most delicious.

* * * * *

I made a chicken curry tonight for dinner - it was OK, but it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. Anybody got a good curry recipe? Nothing too spicy. I like spicy - but my wife's a wuss when it comes to spicy :)

* * * * *

I love Alton Brown's "Good Eats" on the Food Network. I have a bunch of episodes recorded on our DVR. Now I want to cook duck, and make my own Gyro's, corned beef, and chili powder. BTW, his Coconut Cake is to die for - seriously. It's a bit of work -but it's definitely worth it. To get the full effect, you'll also need to follow his recipe for Coconut Milk and Cream and Coconut Extract.

* * * * *

It's raining really hard right now. I hope we don't lose power - that would really suck.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Reaping what you sow

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Galatians 6:7 [emphasis added]
  • Protesting at LDS temples across California and elsewhere
  • Calls for protest rally's at LDS chapels
  • Calls for boycotting Mormon owned businesses
  • Calls for boycotting Utah businesses and ski resorts
  • Families no longer on speaking terms
  • People leaving the LDS church
  • Threats to 'out' closeted gays in the Mormon church
It's all happening. The GLBT community is pissed - and, right or wrong, much of their anger is directed towards the LDS church - whom they consider the driving force in handing them a defeat. Tuesday, November 4, 2008 marks the day when the LDS church gained a powerful enemy.

Mind you, there has always been some enmity between the LDS church and the GLBT community at large. But, the churches distinction between attraction and behavior and it's message of 'hate the sin, love the sinner' tempered much of the anger - especially when compared to the rhetoric and actions of other Christians against the GLBT communty.

Like it or not - whether we accept it or not - the GLBT community is a force to be reckoned with. Many businesses already recognize this. They are not offering heath benefits to same sex couples out of the goodness of their hearts - they are doing it because they do not want to incur the wrath of the GLBT community. The business world recognizes that the GLBT community is not a bunch of effeminate men carrying placards and throwing a fit in the streets. It is doctors, lawyers, CEO's, and other people in positions of authority and power. To ignore the GLBT community is bad business. To be labeled a 'gay hater' could lead to business death.

A religion, of course, is not the same as a business; but, like a business, it is an institution run by men - who can and do make mistakes. Many of the success factors in business can also be a success factors in a religious setting. Missionary work is, in effect, the business of selling God.

Will the protests and angry rhetoric against the LDS church die down? Probably. Emotions are high right now. The GLBT community needs to vent their frustration - and the LDS church is on the receiving end. But, we should not fool ourselves into thinking that, eventually, the GLBT community will forgive and forget. The dragon has turned - and it has focused it's gaze directly on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The rallying at LDS temples will eventually stop - the protesting will eventually die down. But the anger at the LDS church is here to stay. And, eventually, that anger will turn away from rally's, boycotts, and protests - which are largely exercises in futility. Civil rights has come a long way since the 60's. Effective ways of achieving their goals have been fine tuned over the years. And now, those years of experience and practice will be put to use in finding ways to really hurt the LDS church and prevent it from being as powerful of a political force in future battles.

Is all of this anger directed towards the LDS church justified? Will history record the actions of the LDS church and its members in California as our modern day Mountain Meadows massacre? That will be the question of the ages.

In the latest press release from the LDS church, it recognizes that this election is merely the latest skirmish and does not mark "an end to the debate over same-sex marriage in this country." They state
We hope that now and in the future all parties involved in this issue will be well informed and act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different position. No one on any side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information.
But, is this too little and too late? Has the membership of the LDS church even been practicing what the LDS church preaches? Some facts are indisputable
  • There was some overzealousness on the part of some of the members and local church leaders in California.

    • Organizing efforts to take to the streets (i.e. political actions) during church meetings

    • Members being made to feel that "if you aren't with us then you are against us"

    • Local leaders directly asking for donations to ProtectMarriage.com - some even tracking those donations using public records.

  • Misrepresentations, half truths, and even outright lies were being spread around

    • Spreading of ridiculous rumors, such as the church would be forced to close all of its temples in California if proposition 8 failed.

    • Talks and lessons in church addressing how the evil gays are seeking to destroy the institution of marriage, and even society itself.

  • Even some of the general authorities of the church were guilty

    • Speaking to a group of young adults, and also distributed as a video on PreservingMarriage.org, Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the LDS church, said
      You're going to have the possibility of the inevitable clashes between religious liberty and free speech; and, if your religious doctrine is such that you believe marriage between a man and a woman is the only definition of marriage then that smacks up against free speech; because if marriage is defined in a more broad way between members of the same gender - then you can't talk about that. [emphasis added]
In the end, will the hurt the LDS church? In the big picture, probably not. The LDS church itself is also a force to be reckoned with in its own right. It has proven this in California. Also, Mormon culture thrives on persecution. Being attacked by the evil gays can be seen as a badge of honor. While it will undoubtedly drive some away from the church, it may also attract those who hold similar views.

But one thing is clear, there are individuals who have been deeply scarred by the actions of the LDS membership in California. Their lives having been forever altered, and not in a good way. Some of these scars may never heal.

While I am choosing to remain active in the church in the aftermath of proposition 8, I may never be able to look at my church and local leaders in the same way. My sense of awe has been diminished. For the first time in 34 years, since joining the church back when I was a teenager, the thought has entered my mind that irreconcilable differences could, one day, result in the church and I to parting ways - and that scares the hell out of me!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My first

Yesterday ... for the very first time ... I met ... a real live in the flesh MoHo.

You guys really do exist, you aren't just figments of my imagination.

Beck's business brought him to Texas - and we were able to meet last night for a couple of hours to hug, to sit and talk, and to hug again as we parted ways.

I so wish other MoHo's lived closer.

I yearn for your company.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Food for thought

The following was posted on the Gay Christian Network today
I seriously doubt that a single soul would turn to Christ because of the campaign for Proposition 8. But I wonder how many people will now turn away from Christ because of this vile campaign.
Note, normally GCN doesn't allow political discussions as they often become heated; but, they made a one time exception for discussion of proposition 8 since it affects so many of the members.

My thoughts on the election

The election is finally over! A new president was selected by the people. He isn't the man I voted for - but I will accept and support him as the president of my country. The people voted for change. Only time will tell if Obama will accomplish the changes he campaigned for - and if the people will be satisfied with the changes.

Initial results show that proposition 8 in California has passed by a narrow margin. For many in the GLBT community, proposition 8 has been more important than the presidential race. It has been particularly divisive here in the queerosphere - even though most of us didn't vote in California.

Many have been hurt by the involvement of the LDS church in the proposition 8 campaign - particularly those who live in California and were subjected to anti-gay rhetoric in their church meetings. Sadly, this probably did not end yesterday as it will likely be a subject of conversation for weeks to come with in-you-face smugness; but, it will, hopefully, die down with time.

Many of us in the queerosphere opposed this measure; and, while we may not be directly impacted by its passage - we are disappointed in our church leaders, and particularly in some of our brothers and sisters who live in California. There is no denying that there was some overzeleousness on the part of the membership and local leaders in California. On one hand, we can say that this probably wasn't the intent of the general church leadership; on the other hand, they didn't do anything to quell it either.

And, there are some in the queerosphere felt it their duty to heed the call of the church leadership and support proposition 8. There were some very hurtful things hurled at them because of their support for the measure.

My heart goes out for those who are directly impacted by this decision. Gay culture is seen by many as one of promiscuity, drugs, and a generally hedonistic lifestyle. But not all gays buy into this culture; in fact, many want to distance themselves and simply want what their heterosexual counterparts already have and take for granted - and now that has been taken away from them.

I have a new calling - I am the seminary teacher for the youth in my ward. My seminary lesson yesterday morning included a segment on diversity and tolerance which said
Invite students to think about their attitudes toward people of other religions or those who seem to be sinners. Ask the students to write down what they think the Savior might say if He were to talk to them about their attitude. Read the following statements or give them to the students as a handout.

President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: [emphasis added]
“I plead with our people everywhere to live with respect and appreciation for those not of our faith. There is so great a need for civility and mutual respect among those of differing beliefs and philosophies. We must not be partisans of any doctrine of ethnic superiority. We live in a world of diversity. We can and must be respectful toward those with whose teachings we may not agree. We must be willing to defend the rights of others who may become the victims of bigotry.
(in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 94–95; or Ensign, May 1995, 71).
This is the church I believe in. These are the teachings I want to incorporate into my own life. What happened in California is an aberration - it's not my church.

I was particularly struck by the comment in the lesson about those who seem to be sinners. There are some in the queerosphere who seem to be sinners - at least in regards to LDS doctrine and teachings. Others may feel that those of us who choose to remain in the church are misguided, perhaps even blinded. Regardless of where we stand with the church - we need to love and accept one another. While we may or may not agree with the choices made by some - we need to be tolerant of one another and celebrate the diversity we have in the queerosphere.

I have to confess, my testimony was shaken a bit by all of the rhetoric, misrepresentations, half truths, and outright lies being flung about regarding gay marriage by church leaders and members in California and elsewhere. Someone recently commented on an old post of mine and took me to task for my use of the term "Mormono-fascist". Yet that is exactly what we saw in California with father being set against son and brother against brother. I cannot predict the long term effect this may have on me as I'm not sure I will ever view my church leaders as I once did. But, for now, I choose to forgive them and move forward.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How the Grinch Stole Marriage

by Mary Ann Horton, Lisa and Bill Koontz (with apologies to Dr. Seuss.)
Click to hear a reading by Blake Williams.


Every Gay down in Gayville liked Gay Marriage a lot......
But the Grinch, who lived just east of Gayville, did NOT!!

The Grinch hated happy Gays! The whole Marriage season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, his Florsheims were too tight.
But I think the most likely reason of all was
His heart and brain were two sizes too small.

"And they're buying their tuxes!" he snarled with a sneer,
"Tomorrow's the first Gay Wedding! It's practically here!"
Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find some way to stop Gay Marriage from coming!"

For, tomorrow, he knew... All the Gay girls and boys
would wake bright and early. They'd rush for their vows!
And then! Oh, the Joys! Oh, the Joys!

And THEN they'd do something he liked least of all!
Every Gay down in Gayville the tall and the small,
would stand close together, all happy and blissing.
They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Gays would start kissing!

"I MUST stop Gay Marriage from coming! ...But HOW?"

Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
THE GRINCH GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!

"I know what to do!" The Grinch laughed in his throat.
And he went to his closet, grabbed his sheet and his hood.
And he chuckled, and clucked, with a great Grinchy word!
"With this beard and this cross, I look just like our Lord!"

"All I need is a Scripture..." The Grinch looked around.
But, true Scripture is scarce, there was none to be found.
Did that stop the old Grinch...? No! The Grinch simply said,
"With no Scripture on Marriage, I'll fake one instead!"
"It's one man and one woman," the Grinch falsely said.

Then he broke in the courthouse. A rather tight pinch.
But, if Georgie could do it, then so could the Grinch.
The little Gay benefits hung in a row.
"These bennies," he grinned, "are the first things to go!"

Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most uncanny,
around the whole room, and he took every benny!
Health care for partners! Doctors for kiddies!
Tax rights! Adoptions! Pensions and Wills!
And he stuffed them in bags. Then the Grinch, with a chill,
Stuffed all the bags, one by one, in his bill.

Then he slunk to the kitchen, and stole Wedding Cake.
He cleaned out that icebox and made it look straight.
He took the Gay-bar keys! He took the Gay Flag.
Why, that Grinch even took their last Gay birdseed bag!

"And NOW!" grinned the Grinch, "I will pocket their Rings."
And the Grinch grabbed the Rings, and he started to shove
when he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast, and off flew his hood.
Little Lisa-Bi Gay behind him sadly stood.
The Grinch had been caught by small Lisa-Bi.
She stared at the Grinch and said, "My, oh, my, why?"
"Why are you taking our Wedding Rings? WHY?"

But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
"Why, my sweet little tot," the fake Shepherd sneered,
"The judges are evil, the other states weird."
"I'll fix the rings there and I'll bring them back here."

It was quarter past dawn... All the Gays, still a-bed,
all the Gays still a-snooze when he packed up and fled.
"Pooh-Pooh to the Gays!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
"They're finding out now no Gay Marriage is coming!"
"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
then the Gays down in Gayville will all cry Boo-Hoo!"

He stared down at Gayville! The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Gay down in Gayville, the tall and the small,
was kissing! Without any bennies at all!
He HADN'T stopped Marriage from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?"
"It came without lawyers, no papers to sort!"
"It came without licenses, came without courts!"
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!

"Maybe Marriage," he thought, "doesn't come from the court.
Maybe Marriage...perhaps... comes right from the heart.
Maybe Marriage comes from all the words the Gays say.
Words like Husband, like Wedding, and Spouse who is Gay."
And what happened then...? Well...in Gayville they say
that the Grinch's small brain grew three sizes that day!

And the Gays had their Weddings. They promised for life.
They swore to be faithful, to Wife and her Wife.
The Husbands were happy, to each other they vowed
To be Out and be Honest, be Gay and be Proud.
They told all their neighbors and friends of their Spouse,
They told of their Marriage and sharing their house.
They said "We got Married." They shouted it loud.
Their marital status was "Married and Proud."

And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light.
And he brought back the rings, cake and Gay birdseed bags!
And he... ...HE HIMSELF... hung the Gay Rainbow Flag!
...
The Lord looked down, at the proud and the tall,
and said "These are my children, and I love them all."


The moral of this story is that we don't need a piece of paper and the approval of the state to get married. We can just get married. Instead of having a commitment ceremony, we can have a wedding. Instead of partners, we can have husbands and wives. Instead of calling our relationship a Domestic Partnership or a Civil Union, we can call it a Marriage. Whether any government recognizes it is separate from what we call it. It's a free country and we can call ourselves what we like.

In 5 or 10 or 20 years, with plenty of visible same-sex married couples, the world won't see us as strange or scary, we're just the married couple down the street that happens to be gay. Eventually, the legal recognition of our marriages will follow.

If we allow ourselves to voluntarily sit in the back of the bus, we'll never make any progress. Rosa Parks had to sit in the front of the bus to make a difference. We must as well.



Copyright (c) 2004 by Mary Ann Horton. Permission granted to copy in whole, with attribution. This is a parody of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
Link

Friday, October 31, 2008

Restore marriage ???

re·store [ri-stawr, -stohr]
–verb (used with object), -stored, -stor·ing.
  1. to bring back into existence, use, or the like; reestablish: to restore order.
  2. to bring back to a former, original, or normal condition, as a building, statue, or painting.
  3. to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor.
  4. to put back to a former place, or to a former position, rank, etc.: to restore the king to his throne.
  5. to give back; make return or restitution of (anything taken away or lost).
  6. to reproduce or reconstruct (an ancient building, extinct animal, etc.) in the original state.
antonyms: break, damage, destroy, hurt

Saw this photo on an article in economist.com.

Is marriage broken? Has it been damaged or hurt in any way?

Was marriage taken away?

Aren't mockeries, like Britney Spears 55 hour marriage to Jason Alexander, far more damaging to the institution of marriage?

How exactly does proposition 8 restore marriage?

Maybe I'm just a dumb Texan; but, I don't get it. It makes no sense to me.

Creepy

Last night I got a recorded message from John Cornyn (US Senator from Texas). He said he noticed I hadn't voted yet and urged me to vote for him.

Is it just me, or is this kind of creepy?

It just seems so Orwellian.

Call me a old fashioned - but I like voting on election day.

Garlic

Last night I made 40 clove chicken for dinner - which is chicken baked with 40 cloves of garlic. I used Alton Brown's recipe from Good Eats. It was pretty simple to make and quite delicious to eat.

This morning I have gas - and my farts smell like garlic.

I didn't follow the recipe exactly. I used dried thyme instead of fresh thyne. I added some whole peeled potatoes in with the chicken. Plus I used all chicken breasts since I'm not much of a leg or thigh man; although, I used bone-in/skin-on chicken breasts because I think they taste better than the boneless skinless variety.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why I support gay marriage

I'm not going to rag on the LDS church, or anyone else, for opposing gay marriage. I am simply stating that I personally support it.

I didn't always support gay marriage. In fact, there was a time, in the not too distant past, when I was dead set against it. Although, I've never been totally against granting civil rights to same sex couples; but, it's only been within the last year or so that I actually came down in support of same sex marriage. Prior to that I felt that civil unions were OK - but I objected to calling it 'marriage' and using terms like 'husband' and 'wife'. I felt that we should preserve the historical significance of those words and come up with new terms for same sex couples.

My epiphany came when I actually met some same sex couples here in the queerosphere and realized that the love they have for each other is just as valid as the love between a husband and wife. I came to realize that while civil unions can have many of the same legal rights and benefits as marriage, such as shared property - a civil union doesn't have equal rights and benefits as marriage, such as visitation, residency, etc.

I suppose laws could be written such that civil unions do have equal rights and benefits as marriage - but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - then it's a duck. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

I do not take this position lightly. I am very much aware that it puts me in direct opposition to the teachings and practices of my church. So, while I do support same sex marriage, I also believe that churches should have the right to define marriage among their own constituents as they see fit.

However, I feel that it is wrong for any group or religion to impose their moral values on the masses. This is why I do not support prayer or the teaching of creationism in our public schools - these teachings belong in our homes and churches, not in our public schools. One only need look towards the middle east to see the dark side of not separating church and state.

Likewise, I feel it is wrong for any group or religion to impose their view of marriage being between one man and one woman upon the general society. They are certainly free to believe as they will. But, when they try to impose their beliefs and moral code onto others - especially unwilling participants - well, let's just say I have a difficult time believing that is God's will.

So, that is where I stand. Regardless of the outcome of proposition 8 in California - or any other related legislation now or in the future - I believe there is enough room in our society for marriages with a husband and a wife along side of marriages with two husbands or two wives. You can praise me for my tolerance and acceptance. You can condemn me for allowing myself to be mislead by the craftiness of the devil. But, in the end, it won't change a thing. Me, myself, I personally support gay marriage. I respect those who disagree with me, and I only ask in return that you respect my personal beliefs.


Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 is Write to Marry Day. To participate, post on your own blog against Prop 8 on or before October 29, 2008, then submit the link to your post by completing the form here.

Miffed

Somebody contacted my photography club asking for volunteers to be a photographer at a fund raising event that was held yesterday; so, I volunteered and arranged to take a 1/2 day vacation off of work.

It seems the person who contacted our group is a photographer herself. A friend had asked her to come to this fund raising event, but she was unable to attend. So, she agreed to help find somebody. So, after exchanging some emails, text messages, and a phone call - I arranged to show up at 10:30am at this fund raiser.

It was a golf tournament benefiting the Hispanic College Fund. I had been instructed to ask for this friend of hers. Turns out he wasn't there; but, after explaining why I was there to the people who seemed to be in charge, we took a couple of golf carts and I followed them around the course taking pictures taking pictures of the various foursomes in the tournament. There were a couple other photographers out there; so, they decided I could take pictures at the awards ceremony and we headed back to the club house. They told me that once people finished their round of golf, they could be coming to the clubhouse for lunch which is when the awards ceremony was scheduled. So, I waited. Finally, people started arriving and I got ready to take some pictures. Well, it seems the awards ceremony was going to be after lunch, not during. So, I waited while watching everyone eat lunch. I had been told that the whole thing would be over by 1:30pm. Finally, by 2:30pm, they started the awards ceremony. And, then I had to listen to people prognosticate about how wonderful they are with the occasional opportunity to take a picture when they brought up the scholarship recipients. But another photographer positioned himself in front of me; so, I wasn't able to get any good pictures.

Anyway, I never met the guy I was supposed to ask for. Although, I know he was there because they asked him to stand while they were introducing various people during the awards ceremony. I had kinda thought he would, at least, come up and say 'hi' or something. This other lady, who works for a public relations firm that was helping out with the fund raising event, told me she would like a copy of the pictures. I told her I would burn her a CD; so, she gave me her card and said she would come by my house afterwards to pick it up (I live just a couple of miles from the golf course where the event was being held). I came home, transferred my images to the computer, burned a CD, and then sent an email to her blackberry (as instructed) along with directions to my house.

Well, to add insult to injury - she never showed up nor even bothered to acknowledge my email.

So, I wasted a 1/2 day vacation to take pictures of a bunch of guys I don't know playing golf and sitting watching people eat lunch - and, apparently, they don't even want the pictures! They didn't even offer me lunch - it was buffet style, so it wasn't like I would had been an extra plate they hadn't planned on.

Am I being selfish or unreasonable? I'm not looking for any sort of recognition - but a little acknowledgment would be nice. And, at least pretend you want the output I produced.

Oh well, at least the 5 people who read my blog will get to see one of my pictures from yesterday.