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October 18, 2008


If you're a religious person and you're conflicted over your church's assertions about gay marriage but you know in your heart that Arizona's Propostion 102 is just wrong, watch this video.

The video was produced by No Longer Silent Clergy For Justice which is a large coalition of Phoenix-area clergy.

October 17, 2008


In the article I posted on Monday I reported on the highly inflammable, semi-veiled racist and "terrorist's friend" remarks about Barack Obama that Sarah Palin keeps repeating over and over again at every rally she appears at.

I, most of the rest of the media and homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff believe that this tactic could prove to be extraordinarily dangerous not only for Obama but for the rest of the country as well. At a time when we should all be trying to work together to solve the very serious problems we face, this could erupt into an incident that would tear us apart.

The following video is posted on YouTube and it's a stark example of the effects that this kind of rhetoric is already having on some of the people in small-town Middle America. It was made in Ohio.

I lived in Ohio for ten years and I know that a majority of the people there are hard working, fair-minded and not bigoted. There is, however, a sizable portion of the population that, on the surface, seem to be loving, caring people - which they are...for their "own kind".

The most shocking incident that happened to me personally was when a friend of mine died and I was helping his mother go through his things. Her outward appearance and demeanor was that of everyone's beloved little ole' grandmother but when a news story came on TV featuring a black man, she blurted out, with considerable vehemence, "...that goddamn nigger shouldn't be on television! They should all go back to Africa where they belong!" Needless to say, I was stunned. I told her that I didn't agree with her and I found what she said offensive. She immediately stopped talking and never said anything like that again.

Unfortunately, that was only one of many like incidences that happened to me while I was there. But that kind of racism was always kept just below the surface and only manifested when they thought it was safe to do so.

As you saw in the video, the McCain/Palin campaign has drawn that ignorance and bigotry right into the open - with a vengeance.

I hope the Secret Service quadruples its coverage of Barack!

October 16, 2008


This is very disturbing and should sound alarms all over the place.

Just as the McCain/Palin campaign rhetoric has started to incite blind and unreasoned hatreds of Barack Obama, the fanatic religious right's homophobic rantings are beginning to incite violence against not only adult gays but now also against young children who might be perceived to be gay as well.

A Bourbonnais, Illinois elementary school bus driver, 46 year old Russell A. Schmalz, was arrested and charged with leading a homophobic attack on a 10-year old student passenger.

According to an article posted at 365gay.com the Kankakee Sheriff’s Police said that the boy was taunted by Schmalz who repeatedly kept calling him "gay."

Chief Deputy Ken McCabe said the incident occurred on a Bourbonnais Elementary School District bus which was returning students to their homes last Friday.

McCabe said,

”When the boy got off the bus, the driver encouraged several other students to go after him and tackle him. Our investigation shows that occurred,” then encouraged the other students to beat the child.

McCabe also said that Schmalz is under investigation for joining the students in chasing the boy and grabbing him.

Schmalz is charged with mob action, endangering the life of a child and battery.

Orginal story is at The Daily Journal

October 15, 2008


HOMOtracker is a small group of gay and lesbian Hollywood industry professionals who produced the following No On Prop 8 ads in an effort to mobilize and defeat that Proposition 8 on November 4th. These ads are part of a series of message ads that are based on the well-known, successful, and oft-imitated "Mac vs. PC" script. They're a lot of fun to watch and the Mac ad format is perfect for this message. Enjoy.

SORRY -- the second one wouldn't load properly. You can view it at Towelroad.com

October 14, 2008


Last week Father Geoffrey Farrow of the Fresno, California Roman Catholic diocese took a brave stand against California's Proposition 8 at the end of his October 5th sermon.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Father Farrow compounded his opposition to Prop. 8 by coming out as a gay man during a television interview immediately preceding the sermon.

Last thursday Bishop John T. Steinbock removed Farrow from his parish, stripped away his salary and health benefits and ordered him to stay away from all church communities he had served. Father Farrow expected this and had removed all of his belongings from the church rectory just hours after the services.

After 23 years as a respected and well liked parish priest while all along struggling with keeping his sexuality a secret, the "last straw" came in the form of a pastoral letter from Bishop Steinbock. In that letter, Steinbock condemned the California Supreme Court's ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, and supported the passage of Proposition 8, calling marriage between a man and woman the "foundation blocks for society." Steinbock compared the court's action to efforts by Nazi Germany and the Communist regimes in Russia and China to alter family arrangements.

That letter created a major moral dilemma for Father Farrow. "At what point do you cease to be an agent for healing and growth and become an accomplice of injustice?" he asked.

Towelroad.com reported that Farrow told his parishoners,

"In directing the faithful to vote 'yes' on Proposition 8 the California bishops are not merely entering the political arena, they are ignoring the advances and insights of neurology, psychology, and the very statements made by the church itself that homosexuality is innate...I know that these words of truth will cost me dearly. But to withhold them would be far more costly and I would become accomplice to a moral evil that strips gay and lesbian people of their civil rights but of their human dignity as well."

In his disciplinary letter, Bishop Steinbock said that Farrow had abandoned his assignment without offering to discuss the issues. Steinbock said he had no choice but to suspend Farrow and hinted that other penalties could follow, including defrocking him.

Father Farrow is currently staying with friends in Los Angeles.

October 13, 2008


The McCain campaign is getting more and more desperate with each new poll. In a frenzied attempt to regain lost ground, they've unleashed their designated pit bull, Sarah Palin, and the rhetoric she's using has taken a seriously dangerous turn.

At rally after rally Palin continues to use inflammatory, hate-based catch phrases whenever she refers to Barack Obama.

The throngs of supporters that surround both McCain and Palin are, at best, beginning to sound like ancient howling mobs at a beheading. At worst, they're starting to echo the fevered pitch of Klu Klux Klan and white supremacists rallies.

New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Frank Rich said saturday, "At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist. They are alarms."

I remember having a conversation with a friend last January about how impressed I was with Barack Obama and that I thought he could have a real shot at becoming the first black President. His first response was that if he does win the nomination, he won't live long enough to become President. Unfortunately, I knew instantly what he meant. As much as most of us, including my friend, didn't want that to be the case, we knew that it was a very real possibility.

We weren't alone in that mindset. Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, consulted with Congress and then gave Obama a Secret Service detail earlier than any presidential candidate in our history. The detail was assigned in May 2007, eight months before the first Democratic primaries.

At the end of his op-ed piece, Frank Rich also said, "We’re not at Election Day yet, and if voters are to have their final say, both America and Obama have to get there safely.The McCain campaign has crossed the line between tough negative campaigning and inciting vigilantism, and each day the mob howls louder. The onus is on the man who says he puts his country first to call off the dogs, pit bulls and otherwise."

If anything does happen to Obama between now and November 4th, John McCain and Sarah Palin would have to shoulder the bulk of responsibility for it. And, in my opinion, they should both be held legally accountable for their actions. One of the few accepted exceptions to freedom of speech is the parable about yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre when none exists.