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September 12, 2008


What I reported Wednesday was going to happen, Episcopal Bishop the Right Rev. Marc Handley Andrus did hold the promised press conference later that day.

According to the LA Times, California's six most senior Episcopal bishops unanimously declared their opposition to Proposition 8. The bishops argued that preserving the right of gays and lesbians to marry would enhance the "Christian values" of monogamy, love and commitment.

Flanked by fellow clergy members and gay and straight couples, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles said,

"We believe that continued access to civil marriage for all, regardless of sexual orientation, is consistent with the best principles of our constitutional rights. We do not believe that marriage of heterosexuals is threatened by same-sex marriage."

In the face of the extraordinarily expensive and massive push by the Mormon Church and other right-wing religious zealots to pass Prop 8, it is certainly heartening and very encouraging to hear this kind of strong, religion-based support for our community.

If you would like to read the full report, go to: Los Angeles Times

September 11, 2008


Luis Garcia of Echo Magazine reported that straight allies of the GLBT community are having a rally in Phoenix.

The nationwide event is scheduled to take place in cities across the country from Sunday, Sept. 14th through Saturday Sept. 20th. Called Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights, it's a community vigil designed to provide straight Americans with the opportunity to publicly stand up for equal rights for the GLBT community.

The Phoenix event is scheduled to take place at 7 pm on Tuesday, September 16th, directly across from Biltmore Fashion Park mall in front of the Camelback Esplanade complex (SE corner of 24th Street and Camelback Road).

Mesa resident Susan Hurley is the local organizer for Phoenix. Susan is a heterosexual married woman who believes that all couples deserve the opportunity to have their relationship recognized by the government.

“Part of the goal of Seven Straight Nights is education and information,” Hurley said. “We want to outreach to the mainstream community and people who don’t really know what the issues are. We want to show the GLBT community that they have a lot of straight allies out there who will not be silent anymore.”

Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights was created by the equality non-profit groups Atticus Circle and Soulforce. Last year, 38 cities in 28 different states across the country participated in the weeklong event.

To check out their website, go to: sevenstraightnights.org

To read Luis Garcia's full article in Echo Magazine go to: echomag.com

Additional Note:
If you plan on going to the Phoenix event, parking will be available on the fourth floor of the Biltmore Fashion Park garage, directly behind Macy's.


Monroe Judge David J. Audlin Jr. has ruled that Florida's 31 year old ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional.

The case evolved around a 13-year-old boy with learning disabilities and special needs. Neither the boy nor the foster father were identified by name.

The boy has lived with his foster father since being placed there by the Department of Children & Families in 2001. In 2006, Judge Audin appointed the foster father as the boy's legal guardian.

According to an article in the Miami Herald,

At a recent hearing, the boy testified he wanted the man to be his ''forever father'' -- like all the other kids had -- ''because I love him.''

Judge Audin noted that the statute was passed by lawmakers in 1977 amid a politically charged campaign to, as one lawmaker at the time put it, send gay people ''back into the closet.'' Audin said the law violates the Constitution's separation of powers by preventing family court and child welfare judges from deciding case-by-case what is best for a child.

A home study by a social worker ''highly'' recommended the guardian and his partner be allowed to adopt the boy, saying the two men provided a ''loving and nurturing home,'' provided ''fair and consistent'' discipline and are financially secure, the order says.

The case can still be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court but more and more attention is being focused on Florida and Mississippi as the only two states left that have outright bans on gay adoption. This attention is beginning to cast them as being against the best interest of adoptive children. Virtually every study and almost all directly involved agencies and institutions have expressed strong support for gay adoptions.

Unfortunately, John McCain and most republicans still oppose these adoptions because their right-wing, religiously fanatic base is still fervently against them. Apparently they would rather let children grow up in over-burdened institutions rather than let them go to loving, caring homes for no other plausible reason than political expediency.

To read the full story, go to: Miamiherald.com

September 10, 2008


I have written a number of pieces about the unfathomably hateful comments spewed out by the ultra right wing, religious fanatics. It's no big secret that I consider them to be the exact opposite of what I have always believed religion was supposed to be about.

I'm always baffled by the number of average people who actually buy into their satanic messages. And yes, they are, by the very definition of the word - satanic, which Merriam-Wester describes as "characterized by extreme cruelty or viciousness." Some have even called for their followers to go out and shoot gay people. (see my June 6th posting)

That's why it's always great to hear from a religious leader who actually does stand for the true tenets of religious belief. In this case, it's the Right Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California.

Reverend Andrus will hold a press conference later today at 1:00 p.m. (PCT) at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral. He will deliver a statement signed by Episcopal bishops throughout the state calling for compassion, love and equal protections for all.

Reverend Andrus will be joined by the Right Rev. Steven Chaleston, Assisting Bishop of California, the Right Rev. Barry Beisner, Episcopal Bishop of Northern California as well as other bishops, members of the clergy and lay leaders from throughout California. They will affirm the church's long-standing position of equal rights and fair treatment for all - which would, of course, include maintaining the legality of same-sex marriages as directed by the California Supreme Court.

I hope that the many fair-minded church leaders here in Arizona will do the same thing and take a stand in opposition to the anti-gay Proposition 102.

My source for this article is gaynewsblog.net

September 9, 2008


Fresh & Easy is a chain of stores opening around the country. It touts itself as a "neighborhood-sized market that's quick and easy to shop." Their promotional mailers quote USA Today as saying "They're about the size of a Trader Joe's with lots of Whole Foods-type natural foods and prices that can seem Costco-esque." It sounds almost too good to be true. It may be.

When I first got their mailer I was intrigued. One was opening just down the street so we decided to check it out as soon as it opened. I love Trader Joe's and Whole Foods but they're both a bit out of the way and Whole Foods tends to be pretty pricey so, of course, Fresh & Easy sounded like a great alternative - until I got another flier that looked almost exactly like theirs stuck in my door.

The flyers design and logo were very similar to Fresh & Easy's so it got my attention. The group calls itself "fresh & easy facts" and claims to be a project of Grocery Workers, Food Professionals and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

According to them, Fresh & Easy is anything but a "neighborhood market." It's owned by Tesco International which is considered to be the "Wal-Mart of the UK." It touts itself as being environmentally friendly and their subsidiary, Fresh & Easy, claims in its mailer and on its website to offer "fresh and wholesome foods."

Unfortunately, Tesco has been fined for selling expired and spoiled food, altering the sell-by dates on labels and selling organic food tainted with pesticides.

As far as their environmentally friendly claim goes, it's estimated that their environmental impact could be as much as 12 times what the company claims. And just recently a Riverside, California distribution center was cited by a district judge for not complying with the state's environmental planning legislation.

I just just got over food poisoning from tainted food and that's something I don't want to repeat. For that reason and because of the immorality of misrepresenting themselves, my partner and I have decided not to shop there. As appealing as their stores may seem, for us it's just not worth the risk

If you want to check out Fresh & Easy Facts, go to: freshandeasyfacts.com

September 8, 2008


Saying that Sarah Palin would be more of the same divisive, right-wing, religion-based politics would be a gross understatement.

I originally intended to post a single, in-depth piece on Palin's politics, beliefs and record of outrageous comments. However, in doing research right from the very first day she was announced as McCain's VP pick, I found so much material that I quickly realized a simple, single article couldn't do this subject justice.

I feel that this is such an important topic because Palin could very conceivably become President so I've decided that I will post at least one Sarah Palin article every week, on Monday, from now on. And judging from the sheer volume of information I've found so far and the fact that new things are popping up everyday, this will probably run right up to the election.

I"ll start with her first run for a public office - Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

Palin's self-centered, religion-based aggressiveness quickly turned what was once a quiet, peaceful, nonpartisan town of less than 7,000 into divided political encampments. This was a place widely known for its wide libertarian streak and for helping start the Iditarod sled dog race. Where everyone knew everyone else and the most important political discussions centered around paving over dirt roads, putting in sewers and which candidate was your hunting buddy?

Palin closely studied republican ideology and proceeded to use tactics right out of the Karl Rove playbook. She immediately introduced the subjects of abortion, gun rights and term limits and frequently made it known that she was a born-again Christian. She knew that a sizable portion of the population were followers of her own Pentacostal religion and that she could use that base to her advantage.

The three-term incumbent mayor, John C. Stein wasn't a church-going man and believed that religion should not be a part of political discussions. This was never a problem for his friends, neighbors and constituents and most people seemed to agree with him. Abortion was always considered a private issue, term limits were never considered necessary and gun rights were never threatened.

Shortly after the campaign began, anti-abortion fliers started showing up everywhere. At the same time, Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. As a result of the controversy Palin created, the state Republican Party, which was never involved in city elections before because they were always nonpartisan, started running advertisements on Ms. Palin’s behalf.

Well, with the inexperience of the incumbent Mayor in dealing with politics of this nature and the money that the local republican party poured into this tiny, little town, Palin won the Mayor's office. Unfortunately, she left in her wake a severely fractured and divided community. All of the sudden friends and neighbors stood against each other rather than side-by-side. Almost gone was the overriding pioneer spirit of "we can do this together" - now being rapidly replaced with "who's side are you on?"

My source for most of the above information was an excellent piece in the New York Times. It's a little more in-depth and if you would like to read it, go to: New York Times