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Stand With Orlando

I am still having a rough time wrapping my mind around what happened at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. More and more states are legalizing same sex marriages, which gave me so much hope. More and more people are able to transition to the gender they identify with, with the assistance of doctors, family and friends, which is amazing. Businesses who refuse to serve same sex couples are usually greeted with outrage instead of congratulations, which is exactly how we should react. It seemed like we were getting somewhere.

Out of nowhere, on a night where friends, family members, old and young, of various genders and orientations were having fun and enjoying life, one horrible person destroyed everything. Innocent people were murdered, others injured. A former safe place was riddled with bullet holes. The wrong kind of history was made thanks to the death toll.

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Some people want to blame terrorism. This would be a mistake. Idiots like Donald Trump want you to believe that this was an evil Muslim who came to this country with the goal of destroying America. Not the case; the shooter wasn’t attacking America, he was attacking the LGBTQ community. I don’t care if he did it out of self hatred or for religious reasons or because society still doesn’t fully accept certain lifestyles; the point is, he targeted this community out of hatred.

If you don’t care about the shooting at Pulse, you are part of the problem. “But I’m straight and don’t believe in homosexuality, so it doesn’t affect me.” Simply because you don’t believe in someone’s lifestyle doesn’t mean that you should feel justified in ignoring their suffering and silently condoning their slaughter. We’re not savages; we should value every human life regardless of whether or not we agree with their personal choices. We should not get to turn our backs on this type of tragedy, especially one as horrifying as the shooting at Pulse.

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Thanks to the actions of one horrible person, who thankfully is no longer around, people around the country have been afraid to celebrate Pride month. People who I call friends are afraid of their lives. Let me repeat: THEY ARE AFRAID FOR THEIR LIVES. All because of who they prefer to spend their time with. There are not enough of us fighting for the rights of our peers. We need to be more vocal. We need to make it clear that the ones filled with hatred are the ones in the wrong, not our LGBTQ community. We need to do more, and we need to be better. We can’t keep allowing this to happen.

 

 

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Religious Freedom?

The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed through the state Senate yesterday by a vote of 40 to 10, thanks to the heavy Republican support.  The act will allow individuals and businesses to refuse services on the grounds of their personal beliefs.  It basically legalizes discrimination against LGBT individuals.  Supporters of the bill state that the bill is actually just strengthening the 1st Amendment rights of freedom of religion.  The bill is currently at the House of Representatives for debate and vote, where I hope it dies.

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I am 100% in favor of freedom of religion.  I do not enjoy being told what I should or should not believe, and I imagine the rest of the world feels the same way, regardless of their religion or lack thereof.  What boggles my mind here is that my state wants to give the green light to businesses to boldly discriminate against LGBT individuals and couples while hiding behind a religion they may not even be that serious about.  This opens a door for hateful people to simply be hateful, denying services to others for the simple reason that they don’t agree with who they love, sleep next to, and spend their life with.

This bill is not protecting anyone’s freedom of religion.  This bill is destroying equality for every individual who chooses to live outside the norm of “man marries woman.”  This bill is hurting people who simply want to be free to be who they are.  This bill teaches children that being gay is not okay.  It sends a message that the LGBT community is less than the rest of us.  It sends a message to all that the popular belief is homosexuality is wrong, is a sin, and all who identify as such will be going to hell.

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I don’t want to live in a world where I can go get a coffee, have my haircut, and get a massage while someone else who happens to be gay can be refused those services over what they do behind closed doors.  In a world where we worry about the rights of recently released prisoners, who have raped and murdered and done unspeakable things, why are we so preoccupied with sexual orientation?  How does anyone else’s sex life affect us personally?  I don’t agree with polygamy, but I sure as hell don’t oppose it.  It’s not a choice I would make, but I’m also not affected whatsoever by any polygamous couple anywhere.  Their daily life has no impact on mine.

We need to come together and accept that being gay, transgendered, or bisexual is a fact of life.  I was born straight.  Others are born gay.  Some are born in the wrong body.  Some are gender blind.  We can’t help the way we are born.  A gay person cannot help being gay any more than I can help being a woman with brown eyes of average height.  Hate, on the other hand, is something we learn.  We are taught that certain things are wrong.  We learn to detest characteristics and choices people make.  We build a hatred towards things we don’t understand.  THAT is what we need to work on changing.

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This issue is as important as the issue of racial equality, if not more so, as sexual preference doesn’t stick to certain races or nationalities.  People would be outraged if a business refused service to every Hispanic person that came through their doors, yet we are going to be okay with the same business refusing service to a lesbian couple?  These are foolish and stupid things to judge people on and it needs to stop.  My husband pointed out that it wouldn’t be okay for a business run by a gay person or people to refuse service to straight couples, and if a bill was passed allowing this to be done, people would be enraged.  No matter what the discrimination is, be it skin color or religion or orientation, we should be doing all we can to fight against it, not be passing bills in support of it.

Some may argue that this is needed because children shouldn’t be “exposed” to certain things.  I grew up knowing what cross dressing was, understanding that different people have different skin colors, knowing what being gay meant, and accepting different religions and social/economic differences.  I am a better person for being exposed to so-called harmful things.  Drag queens aren’t going to go away, so what’s the harm in your child seeing one and asking a question?  If you want to argue that it’s inappropriate, then you better start shielding your child from Kim Kardashian, every 20-something during the summer, Facebook, Instagram, TV in general, The Walking Dead, professional wrestling, public places, college, popular music… you get the idea.  When it comes to harmful influences, the label of GAY doesn’t automatically qualify as harmful.

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We need to stop acting as if being gay makes someone a bad person or an affront to any god.  We need to stop calling it a perversion, as we all know that straight people can be more perverted than can be imagined; being into unusual things isn’t based on whether you are gay, straight, or bisexual.  We need to stop thinking that pedophilia is something exclusively affecting the gay community and sticking that perverted label to them.  We need to stop being such assholes, plain and simple, denying basic human rights to people based on things that are none of our damn business to begin with.

I currently have and have had gay friends (and family members), straight friends, bisexual friends, confused friends, slutty friends, repressed friends, and every type in between.  The only time the love/sex lives of any of them affected me is when a friend of mine decided to bang my boyfriend at the time.  Otherwise, they do them and I do me and everyone is happy as pie.  Unless someone is being a nuisance about something, I’m not bothered.  Who they sleep with, pray to, or what country they would travel to if they wanted to visit ancestors is of no concern so long as they are a decent and honest person.

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My mother once told me that if I ever brought home a black man, she would disown me.  One parent among many who will turn away from their children based on who they love.  One person among many who think its acceptable to deny rights, goods and services, or even kindness to another based on characteristics that don’t define character.  My son will likely grow up unable to say that he lives in a world where an LGBT individual receives the same rights and privileges as a straight individual.  In a country that loves to proclaim it’s the land of the free and of opportunities, how utterly pathetic is that?

 

 

L Word Mississippi

I had a slight(ly huge) obsession with The Real L Word on Showtime.  Beautiful women whose lives were filled with drama, love and heartbreak, and truly wonderful personal journeys.  When the last season wrapped, I was happy to see two weddings but sad to see the series come to a close.  A couple of days ago, I saw a promo on Showtime for L Word Mississippi: Hate The Sin.  I missed the premiere, but made sure to record it the next time it was on.

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The title was a bit off-putting, but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed for the next 90 minutes.  I have experienced my fair share of discrimination.  As a multi-racial person, I’ve gotten the question “what are you” more times than I care to remember.  When I lived in Georgia, I came face to face with the KKK and was made to feel less than human in my high school.  I grew up knowing what homosexuality was due to a gay second cousin, so I never gave it a second thought, but was always disgusted with the challenges my LGBT friends would face.  Even today, I see their struggles and it gets to me.  Because I’m not sheltered at all, I didn’t expect to be as shocked as I was at the stories from Mississippi.

L Word Mississippi began with the clear message that it’s not okay to be gay.  There is no holding hands in public, no kissing your girlfriend at the market, and no being free to live and love as you choose.  The religious community in Mississippi is massive, and that is a major factor in why the struggle for these women is so great.  “Praying the gay away” is thought to be something you can do.  Even some of the women featured on this documentary pray to save their own souls from their so-called sinful lives.  They have found love, but due to the teachings of the church, believe that love to be wrong and want to be saved and find a man to love.

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Rene’s story had my jaw on the floor, especially after we were introduced to her son, Devin.  Rene spent her life dressing masculine and even stuffing a strap-on down her pants in order to feel more like a man.  She stopped and began trying to dress and act more feminine after finding Jesus a year earlier.  Her son came out as gay a few years ago and she blames herself completely.  I dare anyone to look at Rene and Devin and try to tell me that being gay is a choice and not simply the way you’re born.  It’s beyond painful to watch Rene deny who she is in order to appease the church and the community.  It’s worse when she tries to impose those twisted beliefs on her son, who is happy to be who he is.

The other relationships we get to see in this documentary are truly beautiful.  Cameron and Amber are such a loving couple, and lucky enough to have a support system in the Per2yon Family, but you can still see the pain on their faces.  The level of hatred and ignorance they have to face is beyond my understanding and I give them so much credit for being strong each and every day.  Sara, who is expecting a baby boy, struggles with not only being a lesbian and the stigma that is attached to that, but is dealing with her wife transitioning into becoming her husband.  BB, a former pastor, is trying to right the wrongs of her past by helping LGBTQ youth so they don’t feel lost, ostracized, and suicidal.  The “love the sinner, hate the sin” message is strong, but it’s clear that the actual feelings of the community is “hate the sin, shame the sinner.”

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I don’t want to elaborate any further because I want everyone to please look this documentary up and watch it.  Regardless of your beliefs or level of acceptance, please watch this with an open mind and heart.  I want you to be as shocked as I was that this type of hatred and ignorance is not only still incredibly present, but is so widespread.  I am grateful for all the women involved for sharing their stories and hope that as more people see L Word Mississippi, more people begin to realize that it’s not the LGBTQ community that needs to change.  It’s the rest of us.

No More DOMA

Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, was ruled unconstitutional today by a vote of 5 to 4.  This means that the federal government will now recognize same-sex married couples as married and deserving of the same rights and privileges that are afforded to heterosexual couples.  The 5-4 decision read: “DOMA violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the federal government. Under DOMA same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways.”  This is amazing news for legally married gay couples who have been denied marital benefits, as well as for couples who wish to marry and for our nation as a whole.  I cannot imagine how happy they must be, but i know that I myself am ecstatic!

I encourage you all to get online, turn on your televisions, talk to friends and coworkers, and acquire as much information as you can about this historical ruling.  Unfortunately, this decision does not mean that gay marriage is now legal; it is still illegal in about 80% of our country.  But this is a huge step in the right direction.  This is a turning point and it means that there is one less obstacle standing in the way of loving couples who want nothing more than the marital bliss and benefits that I enjoy every day.  This is a sign that we are slowly but surely coming around.  This is a fantastic day.  Go celebrate, but don’t forget that we still have a lot of work to do.  But with this ruling, my hope is through the roof.  I see great things in the future.

Love And Basketball

NBA player Jason Collins has decided to come out of the closet and announce that he is gay, something he describes as mind-boggling and something he hopes will encourage other closeted homosexuals to follow his lead and be open and honest with the world.  He is the first active professional athlete to do this, making his actions into a milestone for the LGBT community.  He says he did not set out to be a trailblazer but he is happy to have started a new conversation about homosexuality in our country.  He has received a lot of support from fellow athletes and definitely has people talking.

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It’s bizarre that in 2013, homosexuality still is not accepted in this country.  We are split right down the middle when it comes to gay marriage, we still have people insisting that being gay is a choice and not something one is born as, and we still see people become extremely uncomfortable and sometimes filled with rage at the sight of two men holding hands or two women having a romantic dinner.  We see people become angry when a woman dates another woman who has a more masculine appearance, asking why she doesn’t just date a guy if she’s going to date a woman we think looks like a guy herself.  We chastise men for being “sissies,” mocking behavior we think is flamboyant.  For some reason, society cannot come together and simply accept that being gay doesn’t mean a person is flawed.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a thing of the past for our military, something my favorite soldier at work is quite happy about, but it doesn’t mean that his struggle is over.  He still gets ribbed by colleagues who think if he just found the right woman, he would be “fixed.”  He’s even had a heart to heart with me where he considered trying to date women so his life would be easier.  Male soldiers are supposed to be macho and tough, something that most people don’t generally associate with being gay.  It’s the same for professional male athletes; they are tough alpha males who score the hottest models and who can have their way with whatever woman they wish.  These tough guys shouldn’t be gay because homosexuality doesn’t fit our view of what an athlete should be.

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I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s not a big deal that Collins came out and that he should just shut up about it instead of being out there and trying to be some sort of hero.  I don’t see what he has done as an act of heroism though, I see it as no different from any public figure opening up about love or any other part of their personal life.  People like the Kardashians live their life like an open wound and it’s accepted, but a homosexual decides to be honest and that isn’t okay?  Collins isn’t dressing in rainbow-covered attire and dancing in the streets with men in speedos, he is simply making a personal statement and doing so in the hopes that his admission will move our society in a positive direction.  There is nothing to be upset about here.

Collins is right on the money by calling this mind-boggling.  As I write this, two of my coworkers are having a discussion about how this will negatively affect the team, the mood in the locker room, and the sport as a whole.  It’s mind-boggling that people still think that being a gay man means being sexually attracted to every single man they come across.  It’s mind-boggling that teammates could feel uncomfortable in a locker room with a gay man who has previously never done anything and probably will not do anything in the future to cause discomfort.  Sexual orientation is one piece among many that makes a person who they are.  It shouldn’t be the one defining piece and shouldn’t cause this much distress and outrage.

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I’ve been in a locker room with lesbians.  I’ve been in many restrooms in gay bars and clubs with lesbians.  I’ve been harassed and/or made to feel uncomfortable zero times.  The one time I’ve been harassed by a lesbian was while working at a shoe store.  There is no reason for alarm and no reason to think that a gay man can’t play a sport because his teammates won’t be able to handle the homosexual vibe in the locker room.  It’s not the gay person causing discomfort, it’s everyone else who won’t put aside their fears and who choose to focus on the fact that this man prefers the company of other men instead of women.  Yes, there are gay people out there who don’t know how to behave, but that can be said for straight folk as well.  The bad behavior of a few does not define everyone.

We need to treat the admission by Collins properly, which is to treat is as no big deal.  He took a step out of the shadows in order to grow as a person and to be happy.  He started a conversation that should be ended with acceptance and love.  His actions will hopefully show others that being gay isn’t something to be ashamed of and isn’t something people should be fearful of.  We need to rid ourselves of the stereotypical image of what a gay man or woman should be and accept the fact that gay people come in as wide a variety as straight people do.  We are way overdue to drop this terrible attitude towards the LGBT community.  None of us have the right to stand in the way of anyone’s happiness.  If someone’s happiness comes from loving the same gender, who are we to oppose?

Adam And Steve

Today marks the second day in a row that the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case on gay marriage, which is a major issue in this country that attracts a lot of attention and provokes intense feelings.  We are nearly equally divided as a nation, one side pulling for equality while the other side views same sex marriages as an insult to the institution of marriage, a sin, an abomination, or simply wrong and against nature.  Regardless of who you are and what type of life you lead, you have likely been touched by this issue in one form or another.  It will no doubt be interesting to see what results from the Supreme Court hearings.

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I am strongly in favor of equal rights across the board when it comes to marriage.  I believe any consenting adult should have the right to marry any other consenting adult, regardless of gender, race, religion, or other factor that has nothing to do with the love that exists between a couple.  If two people are of age and of sound mind, eager to commit to each other and build a life together, who are we to deny them that?  I will be celebrating my five year wedding anniversary tomorrow and I find it incredibly unfair that I get to do this while other loving couples out there are wondering if they will ever get to say “I do” and have it be more than symbolic.  It makes no sense whatsoever.

To this day, I have never heard a decent and valid argument against same sex marriages.  The various religious factors in existence that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman should have no bearing on the law.  We are not one nation under one God; many different religions are practiced and some people don’t believe in any sort of God or higher power, so beliefs should not be dictating our laws and practices.  The argument that marriage is meant to be the start of a family is invalid, as it would mean that infertile men and women also have no right to marry, which we know is untrue.  There is no valid reason for people to think that allowing same sex marriages would destroy the institute itself; if quickie weddings between two foolish people aren’t destroying anything, surely a loving union between two women won’t either.  Legalizing same sex marriage won’t affect the opposition personally; what these couples are doing behind closed doors isn’t hurting them now, won’t stop regardless of the law, and won’t affect them if the laws change.  This argument should be a no brainer.

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Being gay is as much of a choice as it is to be straight.  I didn’t wake up one day and decide that men were for me; it was ingrained in my mind and part of who I am and my intended path in life.  Likewise, no man or woman is sitting around, weighing their options before finally deciding that they would like to become gay.  Homosexuality is a part of who they are, just like hair and eye color or personality and intelligence.  To say that same sex marriages should not be legal is just as ridiculous as saying that natural redheads have no business getting married.  It has no bearing on the person in question; it is simply a way to discriminate against something we don’t like, don’t understand, or don’t approve of.

We live in a country where communication with anyone in the world can happen with a few clicks of a mouse or swipes of a finger.  We can visit a salon or a surgeon when unhappy with our looks to get something as simple as a new hair cut and color or something as drastic as breast augmentation and rhinoplasty.  We can achieve fame by self publishing a book on Amazon, being amusing on Twitter, or making a silly Youtube video.  We can cure all sorts of physical ailments and seem closer than ever to finding the cure for HIV.  We are quite the impressive nation, yet we still refuse to accept that a man can love another man so much that the pair wish to marry and enjoy all the benefits and privileges given to a man and a woman who wed.

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At one point, I was sure that in my lifetime, I would see same sex marriages legalized in this entire country.  I thought that surely people would see this battle as the modern version of the fight for racial equality or women’s rights.  I’m not so sure anymore.  I don’t know if the irrational fear can be set aside and the issue can be viewed through unbiased eyes.  I don’t know if the Bible can take a backseat when it comes to law and policy.  I don’t know if equality can exist in a nation that is also home to so many closed minds.  I don’t know if we can stop hating what we don’t quite understand and simply allow every consenting and able minded adult out there to marry any other consenting adult of their choosing.

I do have a few shreds of hope left that the Supreme Court will take a step in the right direction and that one step will be followed by many more.  The LGBT community cannot be ignored and should not be segregated.  What may have worked in the past is not always the same thing that will work in the present day.  Society evolves and laws must evolve with it.  It no longer makes sense to define marriage as strictly between a male and female and the laws should be changed to reflect that.  We must adapt and we must put a stop to this senseless discrimination.  If you want to hate homosexuality, knock yourself out, but your blind hatred should have no bearing on the law.  This is about love, the union between two loving souls, and the right of every adult to marry whatever other adult they choose.  Legalizing same sex marriages will bring about nothing but positivity.  We owe it to ourselves and to our country to make this into a reality.

Becoming Gay

I recently read about Timothy Kurek, an evangelical Christian from Nashville, Tennessee, who lived a full year of his life as a gay man.  His decision to do this came after a friend came out to him about being a lesbian and how her admission resulted in being shunned by her family.  He stated that his first reaction was to try to convert her, a thought that disgusted him.  His disgust at his feelings was so strong that in 2009, he made the decision to step into her shoes and live a year of his life as a homosexual.  He came out to his family, secured a job as a barista in a gay cafe, and convinced a friend to act as his boyfriend in public.

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The experience, which is documented in Kurek’s book The Cross In The Closet, changed his views on religion and faith while teaching him “what it meant to be a second class citizen in this country.”  His church, like many, condemns homosexuality and opposes gay marriage; it is a sin for a man to lay with a man and for a woman to love a woman.  Kurek states he was taught to believe that gays were all HIV positive perverts who he should fear and avoid.  This twisted type of education results in closed minds and irrational fear that keeps a massive group of wonderful people from having the same rights the rest of us are afforded.

Kurek stated that his mother would rather be diagnosed with cancer than have a gay son.  I can recall my own mother having similar thoughts while I was growing up.  Neither my brother or myself are gay or showed any signs of being gay, but she would always make comments about what her reaction would be if we were.  She would be horrified and embarrassed, she would get us therapy, she would rather us have a disease, and she wouldn’t accept what she called a decision, not something we were born with.  I can understand a parent being afraid, as homosexuality is still looked down upon by many and can result in violent discrimination, but to say you would rather have cancer is just terrible.

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Kurek’s experiment was very extreme and something that most of us wouldn’t ever dream of doing.  It was a drastic way of educating himself and thankfully it seems to have paid off, as he has a new understanding of homosexuals, of religion, and of himself.  His choice is not being well received by everyone though; Emily Timbol published an article on Huffington Post discussing how Kurek was wrong in his choice.  Her main issue with what he did is that he lied to everyone in order to learn what life is like for a gay man.  She went through something similar when her friend came out to her, but rather than pretend to be gay, she decided to educate herself without compromising her identity.  She states:

“My experiences changed me. They also changed my family, who have since decried the discriminatory attitude many Christians hold toward gay people. It wasn’t easy, and like Timothy, we lost some friends along the way. The difference is that those friendships were not lost over a lie. They were lost because some people couldn’t handle the fact that I was straight Christian who grew to love the gay community. That never changed. While Mr. Kurek might say the same, his love was never based on honesty. The importance lies in the sincerity. Every interaction I had was real, because I was me, and my gay friends were being themselves. No pretend.”

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I respect Timbol’s opinion, but I also disagree.  Yes, he lied about his sexuality, but the relationships he developed and the experiences he went through were not lies.  They are something he will carry with him for the rest of his life and they are things that will hopefully help others understand and become more open themselves.  It’s great that Timbol was able to change her mind by educating herself and attending events such as Pride parades, but that isn’t enough for everyone.  Each of us is different and each of us has built up different barriers when it comes to the gay community.  What works for one will not work for another.

It’s not realistic or logical to expect every person who views homosexuality as a sin to pretend to be gay in order to gain an understanding of what life is like for a homosexual and why the discrimination makes no sense, but it made sense for Kurek.  As a religious person, it must have been near impossible to become what he was taught is a sinner and to be that sinner for a full year.  I’ve seen people who are fully accepting of the gay community become uncomfortable when two men display affection or when they find themselves in a gay karaoke bar, so I have no doubt it was an incredible challenge for Kurek.  His experience changed his views and will hopefully change the views of many others.

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Gay isn’t going anywhere.  It’s ignorant to expect a gay man to ignore who he is and love a woman, just as it is ignorant to expect a straight woman to ignore her love for a man and seek out a woman for a romantic relationship.  I applaud Kurek for seeing that what he was taught about homosexuals was incorrect and for taking steps to correct his beliefs and outlook.  Everyone who still holds onto the belief that homosexuality is wrong should take a step in the directions Kurek and Timbol did.  It doesn’t have to be something extreme that would jeopardize who you are and who people see you as, it just has to be something that will shock your system and force you to learn and open your eyes and mind.

Hate and fear comes from ignorance, and we cannot be ignorant if we are educated.  Just about every downtown area of any city has a district that is classified as gay, so why not take a trip down there with friends and grab a drink or a bite to eat?  Expose yourself to a new community and see that they are no danger, that a gay man isn’t out to hit on every man he sees, that women won’t grope you in the restroom, and that there is no real difference between you and them.  No one should be judged on the gender they fall in love with; gay or straight doesn’t make a person good or bad.  If your belief system states it is a sin and you are unwilling to compromise, that’s fine, but be content in silently praying for people instead of shunning them and hating them for it.

imagesWe are all cut from the same cloth.  Regardless of whether you believe we are here because God made us or if you believe we slowly evolved over time, we all come from the same place and are all made of the same material.  Our judgment should be left for those who are cheating on their spouses, abusing their children, injuring and murdering others, and engaging in activities that are honestly harmful and repulsive.  When it comes to the homosexual community, our time should be spent learning, understanding, and accepting.  No more time needs to be wasted in hatred and discrimination.  It’s time to stop.

Straight And Narrow

“God created man male and female and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:21-24). Therefore homosexuality is rebellion against his character and will.”MinnPost Article

“Homosexual activists and their congressional supporters are making the outrageous claim that protecting marriage is a form of discrimination.  But the reverse is true – failing to protect marriage and overturning marriage laws will result in reverse discrimination against people who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.”Shari Rendall, director of legislation and public policy with Concerned Women for America.

“The US is a country where sodomy was criminalized in many states until 2003. Until last year, you couldn’t be openly gay and fight for our country. According to a 2012 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), in 29 out of 50 U.S. states, a homophobic employer can still legally fire an employee on the basis of sexual orientation.”Michael Solis

“Governor Romney supports a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.  [He] also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children.”Bay Buchanan

I have to ask, what is everyone so afraid of?  Again and again, I read stories in the news about same sex couples who are deeply in love and who want nothing more than the same rights granted to my husband and I.  They work the same jobs as the rest of us, pay taxes as we all do, become frustrated by the same traffic jams, and share the same love of life’s little pleasures.  They have a mother and father, some can say they are supportive and some can say they are awful, the same praises or complaints that everyone with parents has.  They are no different from anyone else in the world except for one small detail; who they fall in love with and who they physically share that love with.

I do understand that certain religions consider it a very serious sin to be homosexual, but God is not the law and should have no bearing on it.  I do not wish for anyone to change their religious beliefs, but I do wish for tolerance.  If you believe homosexuality to be a sin, that is fine, but it needs to be recognized as a victimless and harmless sin.  No one is suffering physical or mental injury.  Property isn’t being destroyed.  Two people are in love and desiring to make that love recognized in the eyes of the law (and of their God when applicable).  It is not an insult to your religion to be tolerant, nor does it mean you are accepting homosexuality.  A big part of religion is loving your neighbor; love them and pray for them, don’t deny them the right to marry.

It needs to be understood that denying rights to same sex couples is no different from denying rights to mixed race couples, those with different religions, or discriminatory practices based on job, social standing, or any other superficial quality that doesn’t fit our definition of “normal.”  It is a baseless and ridiculous thing to focus on and, while it is a key factor of what makes a person who they are, is not a negative thing and shouldn’t be treated like a disease.  We are never going to have equality until this is repaired.  Women are voting now, we don’t have any more people who are only 3/5ths of a human, and we should be proud of that but it’s not enough.

Is anyone out there affected by the heterosexual sex I have with my husband?  Outside of a couple unfortunately hotel neighbors (thanks to thin walls), my sex life has no effect on anyone but myself and my husband.  If I was banging a chick, the result would be the same.  My marriage also doesn’t affect anyone outside of my family, which would also be the same if I had a woman on my arm.  The law isn’t about making you happy and comfortable, it is about what is right, just, and fair.  At least it should be.  A man should be able to receive all the marital benefits he is entitled to regardless of whether his spouse is male or female.

The definition of certain words and laws must change over time in order to adjust to the current times.  Ignorance and fear can no longer be used as an excuse to deny basic rights to citizens of this country.  I don’t like the fact that an 18-year-old girl can marry a 70-year-old man and use him for his money or be used herself, but it’s legal and it doesn’t harm me or my family.  Why is their unusual pairing acceptable, but two 3o somethings can’t marry just because they happen to share the same genitalia?  Marriage, in this current day, must be defined as a formal union between two consenting adults.  Like it or not, same sex couples are everywhere, and they deserve every right that I have as a heterosexual woman.

The Big Bad Scary Gays

Pastor Charles Worley is my new favorite person.  CBS Charlotte reported that Worley has a plan to “get rid of all the lesbians and queers.”  What is his brilliant scheme?  He will kill them off by keeping them all locked up behind an electrified fence!  His plan is to “build a great big, large fence – 100 miles long – put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food.  Do the same thing with the queers and homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out … and in a few years they will die out.”  His logic is that the homosexual community as a whole will die off because they are unable to reproduce.

Let that sink in for a minute.  This pastor, this man of God, wishes to lock up the homosexual community as if they were animals, drop food to them like you would to rats in a cage, and he expects the world to be free of homosexuals in a few years due to the fact that they will not be able to reproduce.  Reproduce more homosexuals?  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m fairly certain that the majority of people in this world who are a member of the LGBT community have been born to a heterosexual couple.  Sexual orientation isn’t determined by some gene from your parents; a homosexual man and woman don’t create a homosexual baby.  Although, I suppose when you’re ignorant enough to still see evil in the LGBT community, you’re also ignorant enough to think gay is contagious or hereditary.

Worley, along with people such as he, are the ones who need to be isolated behind an electric fence.  Ignorant thinking people such as Worley are not born that way as LGBT people are, they are taught to be ignorant and intolerant.  Ignorant people are harmful to society; a man loving another man isn’t harmful to anyone.  Ignorant people spread their nonsense like a disease; you can’t become gay by contact or by education, as it is not contagious or a learned behavior.  Ignorance and intolerance was the cause of multiple wars, slavery, inequality, and poor treatment of human beings; homosexuality doesn’t cause any of those things, but it is sadly used as an
excuse for idiots to behave badly.  With those few examples, and there are many more, can you really say the LGBT community is the true danger here?

I am a product of an interracial relationship, as were my parents and grandparents and many members of my extended f  amily.Relationships such as these were once thought to be evil and horrible (and are still thought to be so by some of the fine members of the KKK, among others).  The world did not implode once interracial couples began to be generally accepted and it will not implode if people like Worley just shut the hell up and let people live and be happy.  The states that legalized gay marriage certainly didn’t catch fire when they began allowing two women or two men to be joined together.  Consenting adults have the right to love and bone whoever they damn well please and if Worley and like-minded people just shut up and ignore it, the problem ceases to exist.

I find humor in people who say idiotic things like Worley, but in all honesty it is a sad thing because there are weak-minded individuals who are buying into this nonsense and teaching it to their children who will likely grow up to teach the same garbage to their children unless someone or something is able to intervene and knock some sense into them.  It’s a sad thing that people still exist in this world who are so afraid of people who are different from them that their only response is blind hatred.  It’s pathetic that we, the so-called greatest country in the world, is still filled with such ignorance and stupidity.  It’s a damn shame that we are unable to move past it and focus on what is truly important and what is truly plaguing this country and humanity all around the world.  I promise you, being gay doesn’t even rank on the very bottom of the list of things we need to fix about our society.

The Real Pros And Cons Of Gay Marriage

With the fuss in North Carolina, the world seems to be totally focused once again on the issue of gay marriage.  It’s time we put this issue to rest.  Past time we do so actually.  To make it easy, I’ve decided to go over some pros and cons of same sex marriage and its effect on our society.

PRO:  All consenting adults who are in love and desire to be married will finally be allowed to do so.  Same sex marriages, which are now only recognized in certain states, will be recognized as legal nationwide.

CON:  All heterosexual couples who are or have been married will be shamed and embarrassed once the divorce rate plummets after same sex couples, who appreciate the chance to marry better than anyone, show the world what “til death do us part” actually means.

PRO:  Same sex couples will be able to receive the legal benefits that straight married couples are entitled to; tax exemptions and filing statuses, exemptions from taxes on property left to the spouse after death, certain government benefits, health insurance and visiting rights, family benefits such as joint foster care rights and joint adoption, and more.

CON:  Same sex couples could take advantage of the benefits heterosexual married couples already have; they could run wild adopting children in need, take too many visits to the doctor now that they have health insurance through their spouse, and receive tax breaks that current married couples already receive, leaving less money for the rest of us.

PRO:  It would be a major step forward for our country in ensuring all citizens have equal rights and no one is discriminated against based on things such as race, gender, religion, sexual preference, disability, and other factors that don’t determine a person’s self worth and contribution to society.

CON:  Allowing same sex couples to marry cheapens the institution of marriage and destroys the sanctity of marriage because God disapproves.  Yet, God is fine with quickie marriages such as the Kardashian 72 day affair because although they broke their vows, it was at least between a man and a woman.

PRO:  It could be a huge step in ending discrimination against the gay population by acknowledging that a same sex couple is no better and no worse than a heterosexual couple.  The legality of same sex marriage could potentially usher in a change in the mindset of the general population and an acceptance of same sex couples.

CON:  Legalizing gay marriage could make homosexual people more comfortable in their own skin, resulting in countless US citizens deciding to come out and let their family and friends know of their orientation, flooding the country with homosexuals.

PRO:  Children with same sex parents would finally be able to see their parents make their relationship official and get married.  It could also result in the child’s peers becoming more accepting of the “unconventional” family structure, making life much easier for the child.

CON:  If two men or two women are allowed to marry under the eyes of God, He could strike us all down with lighting, bring on a plague, flood the world for a second time, or take vengeance in some other way.  It could equal the end of days for us all.

Hmm… even after laying it out there, I’m still not sure what to believe.  Maybe we’ll never know if it’s okay or not for gay people to marry.  It’ll have to remain a mystery.

NOTE Oct 16 2013:  This was meant as a sarcastic look at the issue.  My opinion is that there are zero cons to allowing same sex marriage nationwide.  If you look at the issue honestly, there are no downsides.  Thanks for stopping by!

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