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

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.


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.


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.


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.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Last Friday I had an appointment with my therapist. He called a couple of hours before my appointment, apologizing, saying that something came up and he had to leave the office. We canceled my appointment - and he said he would call me back to reschedule.

It's now Thursday - and I still haven't heard from him about rescheduling.

Intellectually, I know I should just call his office and schedule another appointment.

But, emotionally, I feel rejected, unwanted. I'm afraid to call him back. What if he is too busy to see me? What if he doesn't want to see me? What if he feels my problems are unresolvable?

Intellectually, I know my feelings are immature and irrational.

But, emotionally, it took a lot of courage to call up and make the first appointment. I fear that calling him up now will take more courage than I have.

Intellectually, I know this is silly.

But, emotionally, I have my pride. I shouldn't have to call up a therapist begging for an appointment. I am the customer -he is the service provider.

And so, I sit here - doing nothing at all. Feeling alone, isolated, like I have no where to turn.

Why can't I just pick up the damned phone! Yet, I recoil at the very thought ... while it just sits there - like a deadly serpent - daring me to reach for it - and mocking my inability to do so.

I am so screwed up - why would anyone want to be around me? Hell, I don't even want to be around me.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A change in the wind

Proposition 8 in California has become such a divisive issue, not only within our church, but churches everywhere.

For example: Father Geoffrey Farrow, a Roman Catholic priest in Fresno California (and part of the family - a gay celibate), took a stand against proposition 8 in California - and has paid steep price. He was removed from his position in the church, stripped of his salary and benefits, and ordered to stay away from all church communities he had served.

Article in the LA Times: Stand against Prop. 8 costs priest dearly

He also has a blog: Father Geoff Farrow

I can't help but wonder what long term effects this divisiveness will have.

If memory serves, when I read the history of the church (many moons ago), one of the factors in Nauvoo that lead to persecution, and ultimately expulsion, was a fear of the Mormon's as a voting block (Nauvoo being one of the largest cities in Illinois, at the time). Many churches welcome the involvement of the LDS church in the fight against proposition 8; but, is it more in the spirit of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend?" Are we all going to be best buddies post November - or will they return to preaching that Mormon's are going to hell?

Make no mistake, the ability of the Mormon church to mobilize it's members into a voting block to influence an election will not go unnoticed, especially if proposition 8 passes (which is looking more likely).

Being a child of the 70's - the height of the civil rights movement - this is all feeling so familiar. It's like Deja Vu. Our society was forever changed in the 60's and 70's. Are we at the precipice of another great change?
  • Are we ready for the fallout of this intense campaigning effort (on both sides)?
  • Are we prepared to deal with whatever sociological forces we may have set in motion?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

$2.599 / gallon

I just filled up at Costco this evening - $2.599 per gallon for regular (octane=87). What are people paying elsewhere?

Friday, October 10, 2008

A glimpse of how we are viewed by others

There has been a discussion today on the Gay Christian Network asking about "Mormon Views on Homosexuality" from a young man who knows Mormon's at school and was wondering how they felt about him (he, evidently, being openly gay).

I responded with a link to the "God Loveth His Children" pamphlet on; however, I thought others might be interested in some of the comments about Mormons from gay Christians

In fairness, the LDS church does take a rather compassionate stance towards those who are LGBT - in ways that many Evangelical circles could learn from ... they do *not* encourage gossip or expulsion for merely admitting to one's sexuality.

* * *

I have never met a Mormon who treated me poorly because of my sexuality. Most of the Mormons I know and have met have been very kind to me.

* * *

Every Mormon I've known (and trust me, it has been a GREAT many) have always been SO nice. Some of my best gay-straight convos have come from talks with Mormons. (Which must explain why I also had crushes on a few of them... :) )

... lots can be learned by other churches about how Mormons treat their gays.

* * *

They're really nice people.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eye opening

I received the following email from a member of my ward - a forward of an email he received from somebody in California which was a forward of another email (I preserved the highlighting in the email)
---------- Forwarded Message ----------
I don't know if you're aware of what's going on politically here in California right now but for the first time in my life I've seen the church take a stand on a political issue to the extent that we've had Ward gatherings for the past three weeks to physically canvas neighborhoods and make phone calls to registered voters to educate them about the language and affects of Proposition 8. I guess I was kind of oblivious to the wider reaching affects that this could have on all church members but found this informative e-mail interesting and decided to forward it on to you.

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Subject: eye opening

In a recent LDS Sacrament meeting in California,
the focus was on Amendment 8. (The gay marriage issue.) one of the speakers who was an LDS judge in the area, had statistics that were 'mind blowing'.

For example, in Boston, MA (where gay marriages are now legal,) the
Catholic Charities have closed their doors because the state has required them to allow adoptions to same sex couples, and they refused. They are a large and worthwhile charity with great power in the state and they were overruled.

A Methodist church has lost their tax exempt status because the minister refused to perform a marriage of a same sex couple (they were not of his congregation).

A physician who refused to do fertility treatments on a same sex couple because of religious reasons was sued, lost and the state is requiring him to treat everyone as equals.

Our schools will be required to teach, starting in kindergarten, that marriages make up many different combinations. The consequences are horrible.

Directly tied into ALL of this is our right to continue to go to the Temple. If Gay Marriage is supported by the government, then those who are same-sex married, who are 'LDS' and legally recognized as married by the government, can sue to be married in the temple.&nbs p; It is my opinion that the church will not bend on this issue, and our rights to go to the temple will be in jeopardy.

AND goodbye to those religious tax-deductions. Tithing, fast offerings, etc. We will lose our tax-exemption status if the government legally forces the church to support same-sex marriage'

These effects are far-reaching! I hope no one is upset by this email, I would not want to offend anyone, but I believe this issue is not a poli tical issue at all, but a moral issue that affects all of society.

The Proclamation on the family clearly gives a warning voice on this matter. I pray that this issue on the ballots will overturn the gay marriages occurring right now in that state, and help prevent other states from adopting this stance.
I believe that it is important to support and defend traditional marriage, home and family.

Another friend says that her relatives in Sweden are even watching what goes on in California. Friends in Canada are watching. The whole world is watching to see what happens.
I find it interesting that this good brother felt it necessary to forward a clearly political email to members of the ward - even though using the ward list for political purposes is expressly forbidden. He is in a leadership position and part of the ward council; so, I'm sure he understand this.

I know this person well, and he is a good man. I expect he does not view it as a political issue - he views it as a moral issue. There was no need to do any fact checking because it supports the views of homosexuals that he has been taught his entire life - it makes sense to him. It is further proof of Satan's "homosexual agenda" being forced upon the righteous. He likely felt it his moral duty to warn others of this insidious plan unfolding in California.

After all, the views expressed in this email are also expressed by an official web site of the LDS church

Preserving the Divine Institution of Marriage

These views are given credibility by Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the LDS church talking to a group of young adults

In the above video, Elder Bednar says
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.
I'm sorry, but I expected our church leaders were above fear mongering. Don't we already have clashes between our religious doctrine vs legal and traditional definitions? Who is telling us we can't talk about marriages performed outside of a temple as being for time only, or that the consumption of alcohol is forbidden by God? Where are the legal challenges to our teaching of sexual abstinence before marriage? Gay marriage is already legal in Massachusetts - can anybody point to a single case where a church was legally warned about preaching against gay marriage? Is there any legal precedent to support this claim that the rights of churches to preach that marriage is between a man and a woman will be curtailed if prop 8 passes? Are you seriously trying to convince me that free speech will protect the rights of the KKK to say horrible things about jews and people of color, but it won't protect churches right to preach against gay marriage?

(as an aside, from a grammatical viewpoint - what does "the possibility of the inevitable" mean???)

Contrast this with the latest ad from the "No on 8" campaign

The savior taught "Ye shall know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:16). Are the fruits of misrepresentation of facts and fear mongering really what the Savior intended? Is this issue so important that we have to win - at any cost? Does the end justify the means?

Yes, this is eye opening indeed - but not in the way intended.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Matthew Shepherd

Last night marks the 10th anniversary when Matthew Shepherd was pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a fence in a remote rural area near Laramie Wyoming, and left to die. He was discovered eighteen hours later, laying in a coma, by a cyclist who at first thought that he was a scarecrow. He died a week later from severe head injuries.

For what reason was he so brutally murdered?
Because he was gay!

Let us remember Matthew Shepherd; and, make sure his senseless death is not for naught by doing what we can to stop the hate.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Red and gay

Abelards predictions

It's barely a month until election day; so, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and offer up my predictions.

Hey, my crystal ball is just as good as anyone else.

So, here are Abelards predictions

Obama will be the next President of the United States. I say this as a person who is likely to vote for McCain on election day. McCain's problem is that he just isn't doing that good of a job campaigning. He gained popularity by being the maverick of the republican party. So, where is our maverick? What we're seeing is a politically correct McCain trying to be all things to all people. I think his choice of Sarah Palin for vice president was an act of desperation. She has energized his conservative base to a certain degree; but, frankly, those aren't the people who needed energizing. I mean, it isn't like he had to worry about them voting for Obama. Sarah Palin is cute and spunky - but is that enough to pull in the critical moderate vote? Personally, I don't think so.

Proposition 8 in California for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman will fail. I tend to agree with Japhy Grant (from Flaming Politics) who observed that, while many remain opposed to same sex marriage, most are not so opposed as to believe that the government needs to step in to ban it.

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" will not be abolished during Obama's first term. While doing away with "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is gaining momentum in the general population, it gets very little support among the military brass. As commander in chief, Obama will have to prove himself to the military commanders and gain their respect. I do not think he will risk pissing them off by allowing gays to be in the military.

Republicans will gain control of congress in two years. This is, of course, contingent upon Obama winning the presidential election. I think most people are uncomfortable with the same political party controlling both the white house and congress . The corollary to this is that, if McCain wins, the democrats will retain control of congress.

Hillery Clinton is not going away. The Democratic party has a history of abandoning candidates who lose elections, particularly major elections - more so than the Republican party. Unfortunately, I think Hillery has enough popularity and support to buck this trend. Depending on Obama's approval rating over the next four years, I would not put it past her to challenge the democratic incumbent in 2012.

The Republican party will continue to implode over the next four years. Face it, the far right bigoted religious wacko conservative zealots have taken over the party. We need someone with enough guts to tell them to shut up and put them in their place. Although I am not a big fan of McCain, I thought he might be able to do this - but he's wussing out. And, I don't see any rising stars to take their place as the new more moderate leader in the Republican party.

The Democratic party will continue to implode over the next four years. Face it, the far left bigoted liberal wacko's have taken over the party. Actually, this may be a good thing since having imploding political parties (on both sides of the aisle) renders them relatively impotent as they pander to their wacko constituents and continue to demonstrate time and again that they are not in touch with everyday Americans.

The stereotypical gay culture will start to become marginalized. The rise of organizations such as Log Cabin Republicans and the Gay Christian Network are breaking stereotypes. I think the general population will start to take notice of this and realize that Will and Grace is not typical of most homosexuals.