12.13.2006

Amway Rutz - the Soy made me gay

Now I know why I am Gay. It has taken so long to figure out but now its clear to me thanks to Jim Rutz in an exclusive commentary on WorldNetNews. Rutz in a shocking new report says "Soy is making kids 'gay'. Its no wonder you don't see those big strong good ole country beer swiggin an spittin boys eating soy. They must have an inate sense as to the value of a big steak over a few cubes of tofu. Its making sense to me now. If I were PETA, I would be very worried right now.

Now not everyone gets to write for WorldNetNews as they are the moral equivalent of that other trusted news source the world turns too on matters like this, the Weekly World News. Jim Rutz was an Amway Distributer for 12 years giving him a seal burping allbeit unusual insight on matters related to sexuality and what makes us the way we are. Jim's other credentials include being spokesMAN for the worldwide church house church community. I am impressed with such impeccible credentials and so you should be too ...

Here is the essence, the meat of his titillating report... (if you're gay you won't understand titillating, like straight boys do, ask a straight friend ok)...

"...Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That's why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today's rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products. (Most babies are bottle-fed during some part of their infancy, and one-fourth of them are getting soy milk!)

Homosexuals often argue that their homosexuality is inborn because "I can't remember a time when I wasn't homosexual." No, homosexuality is always deviant. But now many of them can truthfully say that they can't remember a time when excess estrogen wasn't influencing them...."
- James Rutz is chairman of Megashift Ministries and founder-chairman of Open Church Ministries.


I had to call my Mother when the news broke. She would be able to confirm the report's findings. It would be a simple test, I would ask, "Mom when I was a baby did you feed me soy?" Mom's response sent shivers throughout my body, I may have even swished... "Yes Rick you use to love it, I mixed it in your formula. What else could I do, you were a sick baby and all you would eat were bananas." "Oh no, thats where the penis fixation came in," I said out loud."What?" Mom asked. "Nothing, just a little envy. Oh my god, the report is true, Mom you made me gay!"

I remember after that I was playing with dolls while my brothers smashed things, I would play cars but instead of racing or bashing them I built perfect little villages with mowed grass and stuff. Then later I arranged flowers at my grandmothers house.

Its true, I wasn't suppose to be gay, its the soy Mom force fed me. I never knew, all I can say is thank you to AMWAY Rutz. Maybe now I can go to church and they will understand that its the SOY, not me that made me this way. And maybe the Church will accept my boyfriend too, what do you think?

This story was also published on peace earth and justice today.

12.11.2006

unChristian or Organised Hatred

unChristian or Organised Hatred


organized
: existing on a large scale and involving the systematic coordination of many different elements

hatred: intense dislike, repugnance, or contempt for somebody or something

"I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy," "... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away." He described struggling with what he believes is the biblical teaching that homosexuality is an abomination.


Pastor Paul Barnes of Engelwood Colorado, a suberb of Denver delivered those words in a videotaped message delivered to the worshipers attending his church on Sunday. Barnes is married and has two daughters in their 20's.

The Pastor resigned to the church board after the church received a call that led Barnes to confess to having engaged in gay sex.

Two pastors from the Evangelical movement have been outed recently for having sex with other men. Ted Haggard resigned in November after he confessed to having sex with a gay male escort.

What is consistent here is that both Ministers spent much of their lives condemning gays. They demonised gays, lesbians, trans, and bisexual people in all that they preached. They took part as "community leaders" fighting advancements on gay civil rights at every opportunity.

It’s not a surprise that they vilified gays, the number one target of the social conservative Christian right, and it’s not a surprise that they were gay. What better place to hide than within the ranks of those that would oppress you. That is where the sad stories of these two men are really told.

"I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy," said Barnes to his former flock. Society has, often led by religion going to great lengths to force gays to stay in the closet for fear of retribution, their safety and self hatred. Statements like this one are not uncommon. In my own experience encountering gay men coming out of the closet this is consistent; feelings of self hate, betrayal of loved ones.

The Evangelical messaging on the "dangers" of homosexuality or same-sex marriage is really about keeping the pews full of scared and thus devoted money giving sap suckers. If you impose some rules that affect only a few but apply to straights as well, then you have the makings of a waterfall of money every Sunday.

Now I don't mean to be disrespectful of the people in the pews, no they are being conned by some of the best shysters in the business going back to the days of the snake oil merchants back in the day.

How many televangelists have got into trouble over the last 25 years? I don't have to tell you how many because you know them all. You have seen their tear stained faces as they apologize on national TV, beg forgiveness and you know what happens, they get it.

Repentance, prayer and rehabilitation for those tempted over to the dark side is the prescription for Ted Haggard and likely for Paul Barnes as it has been for thousands and thousands of gay men in the past. It almost never works but the church leadership has to continue the facade in order to keep the money coming in. If they fail it’s the work of Satan.

It’s a recipe for individual insanity, to a life destroyed, millions of times over the last 3o years since the assault on gays began in ernest. It shouldn't surprise you that the United States is the most homophobic westernised country in the world. The Land of Free is only free for those that accept the mold created by a few very wealthy god soothsayers, you know them, James Dobson, Jerry Falwel, Pat Buchanan and then oven baked by faithful local preachers every day.

Some of you make think I am wrong. Years of experience tells me all I need to know, from the day in grade 10 I read in the dictionary homosexuals were perverts, to a medical guide that said I should be treated, to counseling gay men in their 40's leaving marriages after years of trying to "turn" straight, often with a family. I have seen the harm of religion; I have seen the pain and suffering in these men's faces, held them in my arms as they cry uncontrollably.

I refuse to condemn Ted Haggard and Paul Barnes. They are but small pawns in the efforts to keep people filling the pews and coffers of religion. Would their lives been different if they were not raised to hate themselves? Would they have lived a life filled with always looking over their shoulder, looking back to see if they are being watched, living a double life.

The Church purports to be supportive of the family and in many ways they do help while they destroy others. The effects are clear. Sons and daughters shunned by their parents, siblings , friends and community. Is it any wonder many gays marry, start a family? In the end the church creates many victims. The women married to these gay men, often having spent ten, fifteen, or twenty years together believe they have their partner for the rest of their life.

These women are victims too. Their perfect life is over. Worse they are touched by what is shunned by others, there is little help for them. This often adds to the guilt of the men that leave, no longer capable of living a lie. Who created this situation? The Church.

How did I make it? My Mother tells me she knew I was different from other boys when I was three, not that she understood at the time I was gay. My parents didn't go to church.

Now that's not the only reason I made it, but I bet its a major contributing factor, consider also that they accepted people for who they were, they loved their children unconditionally and no church leader like James Dobson was going to tell them their son evil because he was gay.

Five minute action - Florida vote


In less than five minutes you can take direct action.


Electronic voting machines in Sarasota Florida lost some 18,000 votes for Congress and those votes would likely have changed the the results of that District were they not lost.

Soon to be House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi and her Republican and Democratic colleagues in Congress will be deciding if a new election should be called for the congressional seat as a result of these votes not being counted. You can help by signing this petition today.

Congress has the authority under the Constitution of the United States to do this. They acted in 1985 and prior to that in 1975.

Are you an American Citizen in The United States or abroad? If so then you can take direct citizen action and perhaps feel that you were finally heard by Congress.

Sign this petition today

12.07.2006

Canada to Harper NO

Canada's Parliament tells MR Harper no to changing the definition of marriage. The government motion was defeated by 175 to 123 today with 12 conservatives voting against the government.

The vote was not even close. Equal Marriage remains in place in Canada.

Not all Tories will Follow

Not all Tories will Follow

Conservative cabinet ministers John Baird, Jim Prentice, Josée Verner, Loyola Hearn and David Emerson are expected to vote against their government's motion to revisit equal marriage today in the House of Commons. As many as a dozen MP's from the government side are expected to break ranks with their colleagues on this issue including BC MP James Moore.

So while some things change, some others will never change ...

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said in the house of Commons yesterday that "religious faith is being diminished'' in the wake of legalized gay marriage.

Charles McVety the president of the Canada Family Action Coalition says this won't be the last of their efforts to go backward on marriage rights and is calling for a study on marriage, We still need to do that study and this is just measuring the temperature of this Parliament. This Parliament's not going to last very long," he told CTV News. "There's going to be an election soon. There will be another Parliament, and this issue will come up once again in the next Parliament."

Today should be the last word on this issue. The motion will be defeated but it will not be the last time equal marriage comes under attack. We can expect another major effort after the next election to raise this issue in the House of Commons in Ottawa. A majority Conservative government will make the job of the Canada Family Action Coalition that much easier.

Cherry said yes to Equal Marriage

Cherry said yes to Equal Marriage

Hockey Icon, Don Cherry, Gives Thumbs up to Gay Marriage

If Don Cherry can say yes to two gay men or two lesbian women marrying each other then why the heck do we still have the likes of MP Art Hanger and Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying no. On December 17, 2004 I heard Don Cherry tell TSN he had no problem with "gay" marriage. Here's what I wrote then...

Hockey Icon, Don Cherry, Gives Thumbs up to Gay Marriage
Controversial Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry appearing on TSN tonight was asked about same-sex marriage. "Why should I care," he said, "Is it going to cost me money, no." Cherry is an Anglican and went onto say He didn't think they should be married in church, but going to a Justice of the Peace was okay.


We can speculate all we want as to why the Conservatives and Stephen Harper are trying to stop queers at the alter of equality. We can say he is simply trying to pacify some of his support base, or it divides the Liberals, or the NDP and BLOC are undemocratic because they will vote on party lines. It really is just one thing that should concern us.

The Conservatives are attempting to take away our rights. There is no other justification for what they are doing. You can not rationalize it by any means other than the Conservatives remains commiteed to being the party of choice for homophobes.

12.06.2006

They won't stop at Marriage

They won't stop at Marriage
First Marriage, then what?


"That this house call on the government to introduce legislation to restore the traditional definition of marriage without affecting civil unions, and while respecting existing same sex marriages."
Those words come out of Parliament, the House of Commons, not just any Parliament but from ours here in Canada.

The action contemplated by our government would be a betrayal of trust with Canadians, it clearly says your rights to Equal Marriage are subject to continual threats.

“The grievance of those who support the traditional definition of marriage is the previous two governments have whipped their cabinet, which means the vote in the House has been something less than entirely free,” John McKay, Liberal MP told Lifesite News.

The real greivance of the social conservative religious movement is that they lost last time out. Now they are seeking to pressure Members of Parliament to undo the law. If they succeed here the Government's bill will require the use of the Charter of Rights "Notwithstanding Clause". It will not stand up to a court challenge as Appeal Courts across Canada have all ruled in favour of equal marriage. Over 12,000 people have been married since the Ontario court recognized that Canadian marriage law discriminated against same-sex couples.

Lets suppose that the Conservatives manage to change the law and invoke the "Notwithstanding Clause" this time or after an election when they have either a larger minority or majority government. What will stop the social conservatiuves from seeking change to other laws protecting gays, lesbians, bisexual and trans (GLBT) Canadians? Would adoption, immigration, education or housing and or employment protection be on the agenda.

These people, the Christian right and social conservatives, are not happy with the idea of same-sex couples having any rights equal to marriage let alone access to marriage. Many would forbid GLBT persons from teaching or child care, no involvement in youth sports or boy scouts or girl guides.

Some of you may think it wouldn't happen. It can happen. Once the "Notwithstanding Clause" is utilised, it will be easier to justify its use again. The Conservative government led by Stephen Harper may be saying thats it, no more changes after this one, but will they be able to enforce that. The pressure on the Conservative party within its own membership made up increasingly more with social conservitives and members of the religious right have an agenda of their own. return to the days when queers were harrassed and stuck in closets if they knew what was goof for them.

The Canadian public I hope will fight back against these kinds of measures and would likely rise up if the Conservatives use the "Notwithstanding Clause". The GLBT communities need to to ask, "Do you want to leave it to the generosity and good will of the Canadian public or take some control of the matter?"

As stated in an earlier post, its vital we understand that rights are only as good as the next election. We need to be sure the people that run in the next election support our rights. Anything less plays into the hands of the social conservatives. They are already rallying for the next election, to defeat Conservatives and Liberals, in nomination battles, that support GLBT rights, to run candidates that support repealing equal marriage and other rights held today by our communities.

11.30.2006

Light a Candle

For every candle lit, Bristol-Myers Squibb will donate $1 up to $100,000 to the National AIDS fund in the United States. Light the candle even if you are not from the United States. You can find more information and light a candle at www.LightToUnite.org/index.aspx?

Equal Marriage - To Where You Are

A family wedding sanctioned by government

To Where You Are

Steven was the oldest of four and I the oldest of eight. His family was religious, mine went to church for weddings, funerals and once so I could get a badge for cub scouts. Steven entered Bible college at a young age and became a full fledged Pentecostal Minister at 17. At 17 I was in high school trying not to get beat up because someone might think I was a faggot. We were from radically different worlds.

After school I went o­nto work for the BC Forest Service, starting a career, coming out as a gay man and getting to Vancouver whenever I could. I became a union and gay rights activist. Steven took up a traveling revival show that landed in parking lots in communities all over BC and Alberta in the 70's preaching fire and brimstone. From there he was married, went to the deepest south of the USA to preach the gospel. Steven and his wife came back to Canada a little disillusioned with the Pentecostal movement and took up running grocery stores. They had three children and soon after the birth of the youngest they split up.

Steven was gay. He moved to Vancouver and made up for lost time and soon was diagnosed with AIDS. During this time I had two relationships with men, each lasting six or seven years, gone onto being an elected union and community leader in small town BC. I traveled to Vancouver often was excited to join in the gay scene there. Luck or fate seemed to protect me as I did much of what Steven had yet I did not contract HIV.

In the early years of Steven becoming HIV positive, he was all over the map emotionally. Told by his doctor he had two years at most. It was a tough time and as he lived beyond the Doctors expectations, Steven came to believe he had a life to live. He turned his anger and self pity into positive energy. Living each day in the present, not the past.

As this was happening with Steven, I was living life as an open gay man, enjoying my siblings and their children. I came to regret that I would never be a father. My nieces and nephews were that more special to me as a result, yet I had this need to have my own children. My partner at the time was not interested and I resigned myself to being an uncle. That said, being called Uncle Rick is pretty sweet.

Steven's and my life collided with a soft beautiful smile. I was in love the second I saw him. I had just moved to Kelowna and was looking to meet other gay men. I heard about a coffee shop that had a "gay friendly night". I wondered in and ordered a coffee and went about to meet people. Most seemed a little shy or stuck up. I was new and I guess they were sizing me up.

I went outside to have a smoke and then the smile that would shake my world was flashed. Steven I discovered was a major tease, though I did not figure that out until much later. He was the first person to speak to me, offering me a chair. I sat down and commenced what would take me six months of dating to get to where I asked him to be with me for the rest of my life.
I choose a bed and breakfast in a small remote town, arranged for a bottle of champagne on ice in the room at 11that evening, for the fire to be started in the fireplace. We went out to enjoy a wonderful meal, a truly romantic evening and were back just after 11.

The fire was crackling, the champagne was waiting to be uncorked and I having spent an entire evening with the man I loved managed to keep my plans secret till now. I just about tossed my plan out the window at dinner. Steven’s smile, our conversation, holding hands, sharing our love, could there be a more wonderful feeling or time.

Steven knew something was up, it was not a regular thing for us to go off on a weekend trip, to treat ourselves so well, see Steven liked to do it but it was hard for him to let someone spoil him so, he went along mostly because I whined lots. His little sly grin when he said okay, Ricky needs this weekend. I directed him to a side chair, he sat down and I knelt before him and asked him if he would be my partner for life. It happened so quick. Steven surprised me with what he said next.

"I may only live another two, three years, I may be very sick for long periods of time, I can’t promise you any more Ricky." I can still hear his words. “Are you sure Ricky?” I said I was very sure. He said, “ Yes Ricky”. Shivers run up my arms now, across my back, tears appear and I wipe them away slowly as I recall this moment. We hugged and the tears came on. Steven told me that night he had just one wish before he died, "I want to love and be loved. I know it has happened.” I had almost forgotten the champagne, I opened it with all the flair of a movie star, poured it into our flutes, I leave the rest to your imagination.

Our life began together like it started, only this time there were two amazing smiles and some tears marrying our souls and bodies, overcome from our love. My new partner Steven was just 6 days younger than I. Something he never let me forget. One day in February shortly after I met him I asked Steven out for a picnic on Okanagan Lake.

He thought I was crazy but he came along. I packed all the stuff down to the snow covered beach, it was sunny and the picnic was warm pasta I made that morning. He laughed and told me I was nuts. But he was there, we laughed, ate, and shared a glass of wine. As were leaving he reminded me of his much younger age. He wasn’t laughing as he carried the bulk of the stuff back to my car with me claiming at my advanced age, we wouldn’t want to take any chances.

Our lives went on, normal as they can be with HIV. We were family. We talked about our past, and it seemed we were at many of the same places at the same time, yet we never met. Fate said Steven, we were meant to find each other. He believed we each had something the other needed in this life. I soon learned how true this was.

I became a Dad! Steven's youngest, Stephanie, came to live with us. We were overjoyed to have her. Stephanie added a new dimension to our love as we shared our lives with her. I now knew what being a Dad is like, being an integral, trusting and reliable part of a young person's developing precious life. Steven gave me one of my greatest desires, to be a father.

Steven's son Mark was a big part of our lives as well, visiting us often. When work took me to Mark's home town Steven's former wife Lynn, and daughter Sarah-Dawn did all they could to make me welcome. My Mom became Steven's Mom, my Dad and his wife Carol became parents, my nieces and nephews called Steven the “Weird Uncle” as he sang all the children's songs and played in the lake with them.

We watched the marriage debate and did our part writing letters, joining rallies, talking to people, in support of the right to marry. We should have the right to join in marriage. We lived as a couple, were recognized as such by family and community, only the government failed to see us as such.

Our life was normal, fulfilling and full of love and then came June 3, 2002.

I rushed Steven to hospital. He was suffering agonizing pain. We had been in to emergency three previous times in the last two months and the pain was becoming worse. That night a cancer specialist was on the AIDS Care team. She suspected cancer right away.

Steven was admitted, in the days ahead we heard Steven might live six months, he had cancer and it was very advanced, beyond treating. It was a cancer I soon learned was 100 times more common in HIV positive people. Six months to live, it was not to be. It became days.

Two days before Steven passed away, before he slipped into a coma, he pulled me close, and gave me that same smile he had when we met. He asked me if I remembered what his one wish was before he died. I nodded yes and he said, "Ricky, I know what it is to love and to know I am loved." Tears and smiles shook our souls and bodies.

Steven passed away in my arms o­n a sunny Vancouver morning at 8:30, June 9, 2002, in St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. I miss him. On July 12, 2002 the Ontario Divisional Court said couples like Steven and I had the right to marry.





Our growing family, two years after Steven passed away...








Sometimes it’s hard to express feelings when you are so close to something. A good friend Cody gave me a CD of a Josh Groban song, "To Where You Are". It says it for me. How can Stephen Harper say we were not a family, that we were less than someone else’s family…

"...Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If o­nly for awhile to know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are..."
from - To Where You Are


Josh Groban

11.28.2006

Entering America


That could be the US-Canada border, in my case Pearson International, a fifty dollar cab ride outside of Toronto. I was headed to see friends in North Carolina, the Tar Heel State. I always approach this part of a journey to the United States with some trepidation. One wrong check mark on your declaration, one misspoke word, do I look nervous.

I spoke very respectfully, attempting to smile, to let this man who at this moment held my liberty in his hands, know I knew he held such power. He looked at me briefly, typing into a computer screen all the information I gave him.

What would come up? My last visit to the USA? The last book I bought? Maybe they knew I was gay? They asked where I was staying, who I was meeting, what was the purpose of my visit?

I made a mistake, I had not checked one box. He handed my card back, instructed me to go back and check it and then get back in line. The line was long, I had been in it more than an hour now as we waited for Customs to open.

I walked back a few steps into no man's land, checked the box and stood waiting for some direction, determined not to re-enter the line at its end. I was soon pointed back to the man who had sent me away by a woman that was directing traffic. Finally a break I thought, at least I was being recognised in a somewhat more human manner. He looked at the card, stamped it and sent me on my way, without so much as a "Welcome to the USA" or good bye. I wasn't expecting it. No he didn't even look at me.

My experience was not uncommon, a new study recently said, "... 54 percent of travelers from abroad report that American immigration officials were rude, and two-thirds of travelers surveyed fear they'll be detained at the border because of a simple mistake or misstatement."

I am not sure why it is, why it has always been this way, most Americans like people in any other country I have visited are friendly, welcoming and generally happy to say hello to those visiting. I really was entering a new/time space continuum.

11.26.2006

HARPER'S SILENCE = DEATH

HARPER'S SILENCE = DEATH

At the international AIDS Conference last August, the Harper Government first scheduled, and then at the last minute postponed, a major announcement on Canada's commitment to international and national AIDS programs.

Four months later we are still waiting. In the meantime thousands of people around the world have died from lack of treatment and thousands more have been infected. Join the AIDS Committee of Ottawa to Speak Out

Tell Harper it's Time to Deliver!

Join us at the Eternal Flame on Parliament Hill
On World AIDS Day, Friday December 1st at 10.30am
For more information, please contact the AIDS Committee of Ottawa at: (613) 238-5014

11.24.2006

Wal-Mart in Bed with Homosexuality

Don't Believe the Hype: Wal-Mart is Still in Bed with Homosexuality

I for one never found them in my bed or any of my friends beds...

what's all the fuss ...

Here I am just outside Charlotte NC and I have no sense of anyone believing the Wal Mart is a friend of the gay boys that still hide in closets here. more on this later today!

11.10.2006

'SI' to gay civil union

Mexico City has said yes to civil unions for the queer communities. Thats just awesome. What are the chances Houston will do the same...Another reason for George W. Bush to build his wall along the Mexican border, those people coming across the border might think they can do the same to the United States.

-------------
Mexico City OKs Civil Unions
by Newscenter Staff
November 9, 2006 - 6:00 pm ET

(Mexico City) Mexico City's assembly on Thursday voted for the first time in the country's history to legally recognize gay civil unions, proving homosexual couples in the country's largest city with benefits similar to those of married couples.

The mayor was expected to sign the measure into law.The bill, which does not approve gay marriage, has been heavily criticized by the Catholic Church and conservative civil groups.The law allows gay couples to voluntarily register their union with civil authorities, granting them inheritance and pension rights and other social benefits.The legislative assembly approved the measure 43-17, with five abstentions, with all of the opponents from the conservative National Action Party of President Vicente Fox and President-elect Felipe Calderon.

The party is known for its opposition to abortion and its support for "traditional" families.

-= The Creative World of Coleman Wheeler =- http://www.angelfire.com/il/adventureclub/commend.html

11.09.2006

No white flag, No surrender

The US election has helped highlight some of the differences between our two countries. For instance did you know the US National Anthem does not mention God. Did you know the Canadian National Anthem does. Beside all of us Standing on guard, we implore that God keep our land glorious and free!

The recent American mid term election was about George W Bush and Iraq, a war Canada choose not to participate in. Americans had lost faith on the war, in the President and his party. It was not the first time Bush was faced with a tough election.

Prior to the 2004 election the Republicans joined forces with Evangelical Christians to create another enemy closer to home. The President was calling for a Constitutional Amendment to prevent homosexuals from entering into marriages. It would destroy the American Family if homosexuals were allowed to foul the sanctity of marriage. The Republicans already the party of choice for evangelicals consummated their marriage once again.

Petitions were started to to get measures on the ballot to ban gay marriages in State Constitutions. The reason, to get evangelicals out en mass to vote for Republicans and President Bush and a measure on gay marriage was icing on the wedding cake. In the States where votes to ban gay marriage were on the ballot, George W. Bush got extra votes and managed to deflect attention from his administrations failings in Iraq and the War on Terrorism. It was a very clever strategy, if less than ethical.

Bush was re-elected, gays in many States were prevented from going to court to get the right to marry. Bush won, the evangelicals won, America lost 2836 soldiers and thousands injured, some 600,000 Iraqis have dead and no American knows where Osama bin Laden is.

Gay Americans were vilified in order to continue the Republican war. Even as the war on Terrorism was begun, highly skilled linguists, people trained in the languages used in the middle east were dismissed, they were unfit to serve, they were gay. Their dismissal handicapped the American Military severely, they had a shortage of people that could speak, read and understand the languages of those the US was at war with.

Canada while imploring God to keep us glorious and free has gone a different route than George W. Bush. Gays in Canada's military have married in Military chapels with the full support of the Canadian Armed Forces. Canada's largest protestant faith group, the United Church of Canada has accepted gays, lesbians, trans and bisexual people into the ministry, as partners in their faith.

Take the just released United Church advertising campaign. Its catchy and meant to get your attention. Print ads that have a Jesus bobble head doll, whipped cream and two gay guys on a wedding cake.

The contrasts between Canada and the United States couldn't be more clear. Where there exists no formal separation of Church and State in Canada the practice of common law and the Charter of Rights prevent politicians from taking action as George W. Bush and Republicans have.

In fact any Canadian politician outside the province of Alberta would be soundly defeated were he or she an attempt to vilify a segment of Canadian society as American President George W. Bush has. More on Alberta in another blog in the future.

There will be a change in the USA toward more acceptance of Queer communities, it could be five years away or twenty, its up to us and the people elected.

The Democrats recent victory is a step toward a more inclusive America, Its not the answer though. Lots of education, lots of getting to know your neighbour is needed. Voters in Arizona have shown the way, follow it.

The rainbow flag has no white, no surrender.

The rainbow flag from Canuck Attitude

11.08.2006

Set back on Equality

The US election was another that saw measures pass that banned gay marriage. In Virginia the bill not only banned gay marriage, it banned unmarried couples from benefits they may already enjoy.

Yet there is hope on the horizon though many people living in the United States could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. A heavy quilt of intolerance has been dropped on top of many seeking equality to be with whom they choose, gay or straight. It will be hard for many in the forseeable future.

One State bucked the trend and that was Arizona where voters voted against a constitional amendment banning gay marriages. This is the first time such an amendment has been defeated. New Jersey legislators have to come up with a Civil Unions bill to provide gay couples with all the same rights enjoyed by married straight couples. Massachusetts already allows gay marriage and Vermont has Civil Unions.

As America gets younger, more bills supporting gay marriage will pass. As the effects on unmarried straights caught in the cross fire are discriminated against, more support will build toward equality.

This is all down the road, lots of heart ache, pain and intolerance to endure until then. We must continue to keep the pressure on, to continue to educate voters. With the election of a Democratic led congress the idea of an amendment to the US Constitution prohibiting gay marriage is gone at least until the next election.

There is an old saying, " Your rights are only as good as the next election". Its time to dig in some more, to advance on our issues, to make equality a personal issue with all those we know, equality comes with electing people that understand you.

Rumsfeld has resigned.

Rumsfeld has resigned.

Did he have a choice on this, I doubt it. I expect he offered the president his resignation sometime ago and Mr. Gates was in the background just in case the Republicans were stomped in the election. They were stomped and badly.

The prospect of having to set up a rollaway cot on the Hill likely was the writing on the wall for Donald. His fiesty and staunch republican partisanship made him public enemy number one. He was in the Democrats sites. Ironic it is that he choose to shoot himself. I would have thought he could have left that to Republican sharp shooter Dick Cheney.

He may still have some trips to the Hill to answer questions, but this time he will go not as part of Bush's administration but as a wealthy private citizen who made millions while in office as a shareholder in the company that makes the only available "Avian Flu Vaccine".

Now we will wait for the confirmation hearings or will the Republican lame duck Senate just rush this through?

One down many more to go...


WASHINGTON --President Bush said Wednesday Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is stepping down and former CIA Director Robert Gates will take over at the Pentagon and in prosecuting the war in Iraq

11.07.2006

Its not free for Haggard or me

I have struggled over the Ted Haggard revelations in the last few days. I am angry he was such a strong and able opponent of mine, of my exsistance, yet at the same time it appears he is a gay man caught up in a homophobic society. I see it everyday in my work. Gay men recognizing they are gay after years of pretending to be straight.

They are broken people. They harbour great self hatred, they live a double life even if they never act on their desires. When I as a the gay resource they finally reach out to sees them, they are full of guilt, but can not take the stress of it anymore, of denying who and what they are.

Many of these men have families now, they have a wife, kids. They love their family and know that their situation is going to bring more pain before it gets better. They can not take it anymore. They are breaking down.

Rev Haggard choose to hide but its very likely he did so after hearing what his "christian pastors" told him of himself. I can guess where he came from. I recall sitting in the library of my high school, looking up homosexuality in 1975, I was in grade ten. I found very little there. What I found was a dictionary definition that said I was a pervert. I was a pervert before I had ever had any kind of sex. I was a pervert all alone in the world.

I could not tell anyone I was one of those people. Could you? Could Ted Haggard? I did take another route likely due to the strong family support I found at home. Likely because I was involved as a union activist where I knew I was okay. Likely because my parents did not take me to church.

Soulforce a gay supportive Christian group said this today ...

"Rev. Haggard is just one more tragic example of how lives are destroyed by the lies about gay and lesbian people perpetuated by the NAE, the Religious Right, and both the Protestant and Roman Catholic Church. Taught by the church to hate himself, the only option from his point of view was to lead a psychologically and spiritually damaging double life marked by denial and self-destructive behavior. Rev. Haggard is a victim of religion-based bigotry that regularly demeans and demoralizes gay and lesbian people and refuses to acknowledge that we are part of the American fabric, and that many of us form loving families and practice a deep faith in God."

I was elated to tell you the truth when this was discovered. I knew it would send a blow to the Republican party, the party of closets. Yet I resisted posting on it until now. Rev Haggard was part of the established Christain base of the Republican party. He was part of the goal to politizise religion. He was part of a group of people that was hell bent on passing laws based on Christian faith. He was my enemy.

Ted Haggard Bashing Gays - from JESUS CAMP the Movie



In the days ahead we will see more. We will hear how he is reconcilling with his family and how it had become a key election issue. We may even find out in awhile he has left his family though you can expect there will be lots of repenting and pressure on him before that happens.

Current US laws may deny him unsupervised access to see his kids, deny him custody. His good christian friends like James Dobson of Focus on the Family will turn on him. They will pretend to be heartbroken, to have been deceived. He was a bad apple.

The Republicans are distancing themselves from Rev Haggard. Today he was someone not that involved in conference calls with White House Staff or the President. Its as if he was a nobody that just happened to lead the largest organization of Evangelicals in the country, its hard to find anyone that knew him well.

The land of the free, the live and let live society has another victim, another victim of the US Republican win at all costs war. I know there are Democrats too that would run from this issue. I also know there are Democrats that won't. If you are a gay American, a member of a minority, or you believe every life is precious, every person has a right to be who they are then you have a choice. Support George Bush, James Dobson and Jerry Falwel and get more of the same or vote for the Democrat. That will be moving America in a direction that will be more comfortable in making America the land of the free again.

Vote for me


A straight ahead message for equality this election day.

On On this day in 1986, a "New York Times" editorial argues that society should not panic about AIDS because at this point "it's still overwhelmingly restricted to drug addicts, homosexuals, and Africans."

diebold voting machine

Are you voting on a diebold voting machine today? Princton University shows a test that might make you ask if your vote will count today.


Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine

Hacking Democracy

We have for years been hearing of vote box fraud in the United States. We all recall the votes not counted in Florida, about votes not counted for Al Gore, about people who have demostrated that Diebold voting boxes could be broke into in less than 10 seconds.

Below you will see the history of one woman's efforts to expose this fraud, and amazingly enough, nothing has changed. Americans who vote today will likely have their vote counted by software installed in voting machines that the local elections people are not allowed to review, that State elections people are not allowed to review.

In the end it means that Americans have cast their future to the hands of a large corporation, who refuse to disclose how it counts your vote. The company CEO even promised to deliver OHIO to President Bush in 2004, did they? Many people have taken to having their vote cast as absentee. At least then the vote is on paper. Thats a hard one for software to change.

The video's below are broken into about 9 minute pieces, 6 in all.

HACKING DEMOCRACY-(HBO) Part 1


HACKING DEMOCRACY-(HBO) Part 2


HACKING DEMOCRACY-(HBO) Part 3


HACKING DEMOCRACY-(HBO) Part 4


HACKING DEMOCRACY-(HBO) Part 5


HACKING DEMOCRACY-(HBO) Part 6

10.29.2006

Official trailer for Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing

Official trailer for Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing

The documentary on the Dixie Chicks, the most successful female band ever until one of them speaks 12 words. NBC has refused to play an ad promoting the documentary opening in New York and Los Angelas.

Willie Nelson said in Time Magazine, August 7, 2006 Canadian edition, that he was surprised while overseas last year he didn't get into trouble when he was asked about our wild Texas Cowboy President ...
"He's not from Texas, and he ain't a cowboy, so lets stop trashin' Texans and cowboys."

It got a little chuckle but I didn't get run out of the country...

The Dixie Chicks had the number one song in the country when one of them spoke out. In a wave of unfettered war fever, the Dixie Chicks were pulled from the airwaves as big radio networks jumped on the Republican war wagon. The Dixie Chicks became another victim of the ongoing war to control the minds of Americans.

This year the Dixie Chicks had to cancel a tour through the USA south and mid west due to lagging sales. They took those dates to Canada. It may not surprise people to know they are playing to sold out venues in this country.

In the land of the free, where free speech is available if you agree with President Bush, all the Dixie Chicks need do to be among the top again is Shut Up and Sing, right?


10.25.2006

Not quite Marriage, just the same ...

“a history or tradition of discrimination — no matter how entrenched — does not make the discrimination constitutional.” - New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye

The New Jersey Supreme Court today ruled against same-sex marriage and in favour of civil unions affording all or most of the benefits of marriage without the name.

“Despite the rich diversity of this state, the tolerance and goodness of its people, and the many recent advances made by gays and lesbians toward achieving social acceptance and equality under the law, the Court cannot find that the right to same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under our constitution,” the court decision said.

The decsion went on to add ...
"But the court also said that denying same sex couples “the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose.”


A victory for sure but far short of the needs of same-sex couples. The court gave the New Jersey State Legislature six months to write a new law permitting same-sex unions and affording them the rights referred to above.

Read the decision here via the New York Times.

10.23.2006

God's biker says bring it on...

People appointed to deliver services for government must deliver those services to any Canadian legally entitled to those services. Seems to me to be reasonable expectation yet some people are trying to use religion to refuse that service to people their faith disapproves of.

Challenging some Canadiands rights to access of government services is Manitoba resident Kevin Kisilowsky, a 36-year-old former marriage commissioner. Kisilowky refused to perform same-sex marriages as required by the Province of Manitoba (Setember 16, 2004 commissioners were informed that they were expected to perform same-sex marriages.) in his role as a marriage commissioner. Such commissioners are appointed by the province to perform civil marriage ceremonies. Kisilowsky refused to resign.

Kevin Kisilowsky says his freedom of religion rights have been trampled on as a result. He took his case to the Manitoba Human Rights Tribunal and lost, now he has taken his case to court.

Kisilowsky told the Legislative Committee on Bill C-38 on June 9, 2005,
"On September 15, 2004, I was a qualified marriage commissioner. On September 16 they were telling me to resign when, because of my religious rights and freedoms, I said I cannot accommodate homosexual couples. So my rights are already being stripped away, and this bill hasn't even been passed."

His case is that the government protects the rights of churches and clergyman but not an individuals religious freedom.
"If I were to marry homosexuals I would be making a public statement that I am willing to sacrifice communion with God in order to bow down to ungodly and worldly demands...The Manitoba Provincial Government picked this fight. The biker in me will shove back hard, but I did look to God's word when searching out what he would have me do. I found it in the book of 1 Samuel where we see the story of David and Goliath. It was there that God spoke and said "Kevin, when a giant picks a fight with you….throw a rock at his head". Bring it on!" - Kevin Kisilowsky in opening statement in ManitobaCourt of Queens Bench

The Kisilowsky case if successful would have huge ramifications on delivery of government services. Government employees could refuse to receive and or handle custody disputes or same sex adoptions, perhaps refuse to perform transactions paying for health services like HIV medications or counselling, social workers could refuse to provide benefits to same-sex couples and or unmarried spouses or their families.

No the Kisilowsky case should not succeed in court. Religious groups are free to refuse to marry same-sex couples, free to bar them from membership. Governments are not free from doing so and must uphold the rights of all Canadians including same-sex couples rights to marry.

South of the border blogger Marry in Massachusetts suggested ... Kisilowsky might exercise his Christianity by thumbling through the New Testament. He might even get to Matthew 22:21 or Mark 12:17 or Luke 20:25, all of which include, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

, , , ,

10.16.2006

That damn marijuana

How did I miss this...

Canadian troops in Afghanistan have come up against almost impenetrable forests of 10-feet-high marijuana plants when chasing down the Taliban. Canada's Armed Forces are being stalled in their efforts to rid the countryside of those Taliban forces who have planted forests of marijuana.

I can see the horror on the faces of the front line troops when they come upon these dangerous plantations of weed. Just say no doesn't work here. Now kidding aside, I can see the potential danger to our guys over there. The plants won't burn, they are the ultimate weed. The Taliban are hiding in there and taking pot shots at Canadian soldiers.

I don't envy the difficulties. Just imagine how terrifying it would be if the Taliban had done some home work and opened up Beer Store franchises.

There is no truth to the rumour the Department of National Defense (DND) is bar coding each plant to ensure our boys and girls aren't trying to clear the field the old fashion way. The DND is however looking at the potential business opportunities given the costs of the Harper Government's military expansion.

I suggest that our ground folks over there harvest what they can and help supplement their salaries which are abysmal by any standards.

Thanks to Morons.org for pointing me to this story. You can find their headlines in the side bar.

Just so you don't get me wrong I support our forces. I don't want anything bad to happen to them, I wish all of them to be safe from the dangers of war and to return home alive and in one piece. I don't support the type of mission we are on. I wear red on Friday.

10.15.2006

Give me Liberty, but not Sunday

It is Liberty Sunday in Boston and across the United States of America live sat feeds and some were likely pay per view are being beamed out. Liberty to be free to practice your religion, liberty to live in an America that harkens pleadingly back to the good ole days when queers were in the closet and women used coat hangers and kids were to be seen and not heard.

This is a day when the Religious Right takes time out from feeding the poor, counseling the families of loved ones killed in Iraq, haranguing Islamic folks (cause nothing like hating queers brings fundamentalists of any strip together) for their religion, to focus on us queers entirely. I wish I could say I was touched by their concern for me and others like me.

They do a good job, they even put some fabulous sugar icing on the day, talking about protecting the family, now who wouldn't want to protect families. To prove their genuine concern for families they held a big summit earlier this fall.

The Family Research Council headed by Tony Perkins, hosted the 2006 Values Voter Summit. The summit provided background on the issues facing families and churches in the 2006 election. I may not need to spell it out but for some of you, at the top of the agenda was gay marriage and gay rights and just why these items are ripping families and America apart.

Given all this, any moral American ought to see the writing on the wall if not in the heavens above. The reverend Dwight McKissic who keeps of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, on the straight and narrow spelled it out even more clearly at the summit, just in case some Americans missed it. Speaking on gay rights he said,

"I believe it's from the pit of hell itself, that this movement is inspired, that it has a satanic anointing. The civil rights movement was inspired and given by the Holy Spirit, birthed in the church and bathed in prayer. But the gay rights movement, I believe, was birthed and inspired by the Antichrist."

McKissic didn't mince his words, gays are inspired by the Antichrist. Its no wonder these folks are so hell (sorry) bent on stopping those hoMOEsexxxuawll's and that party of the donkey. They prefer to get lovin from the Gays Out Party.

Today's event even had a bit of irony attached to it. The gay fearin' fest was held at the Tremont Temple Baptist Church yet all the posters promoting the event had a picture of the Old North Church also in Boston. The Old North Church is a national historic site, a picture of what America should be, how Americans should see themselves, a symbol for freedom.

However unlike the leaders of today's event, the Old North Church actually welcomes and affirms gay rights. The Old North Church is leading in a way the Religious Right cannot hope too.

Just as one Robert Newman, climbed the steeple, and hung the two lanterns which set into motion, the War for Independence, the church's affirming position of gays is a beacon of resistance, of the fight to come, one of thousands of similar lights across America the Religious Right is trying to put out, just as the English tried to do 230 some years ago...

10.13.2006

telemarketer on call from the looney land

a humourous break for you all unless you are a telemarketer that is...

Now just pretend you are a telemarketer and this happens to you!

kudos to caiterwauling for finding this bit and to Chimera's Cavern for pointing me that way!

10.12.2006

Green Queen, no not that kind!

My sister needs your support. She has been collecting things for years now. You can't see her stuff at times for other stuff. 30 coffee cups, 30 travel mugs and she would have more of those if I hadn't borrowed some and then promptly lost them.

Her stuff is all cool, in fact she has single handedly outfitted many kitchens, apartments and community group gatherings. I feel her pain, as you will too when you visit her blog, Maureen's Garden and read about her effort to see her real stuff. She even gave up on the Conservatives and I suspect has been supporting the NDP for some time now.

She has two big things happening, a couple of crushes in which she makes it clear she is a Green Queen, not a you know, a gay queen, and then her expressed wish to get rid of the clutter in her home.

I suspect she has already started to remove things, to give them away. Though it would likely take a couple of moving vans to get it all out.

Can you readers go to her blog and encourage both the crushes and the declutter effort. If anyone deserves to be happy or smiled upon by the gods, whoops I mean god, its Maureen. I would say she was my favourite sister but then my other sister who reads my blog would read that, and you, I mean I wouldn't want to distract anyone from supporting Maureen in becoming free of all that good stuff she has.

Now just one thing Maureen, you are keeping that Elvis album I gave you right?

Tar on my Heels

America is a land of contradictions. The land of the free, the brave, you can say or do what you like, that is if you aren't gay, black, hispanic, or female.

So imagine my surprise when doing some online research for a trek planned for November to the Old North State, to the city of Durham North Carolina, to find a check box for info on Gay and lesbian (GLBT) culture. I was taken aback for a second, pleasently enough however.

I checked the box and now will see what they have to send me. I will be sure to let you know. Now the reason for my surprise is the reason I am going to North Carolina in the first place. I will be visiting friends of mine there and they have indicated a far less friendly place for us queer types. I am sure they are relaying the real state of affairs.

Now back to the surprise, what will they tell me about GLBT culture in the Tar Heel state. How many clubs, groups are there? How do I contact them? Is it safe to be out at night or for that matter to go to the local diner for lunch? Do I have to pack my plaid shirt and sh-t kicker boots? Or can I wear something more fashionable without fear of ridicule or worse?

Durham may in fact be an island of progressive people, even if it is limited in its progressiveness. It may be a shining light if you will for hope. They obviously believe there is a queer market and they want a piece of us.

Ontario you may not be surprised to know does this as well. But then in the land of the "good" you expect that. The government here is even advertising the benefits for GLBT health Care practioners relocating they practice here.

Back to NC and the attitude toward GLBT folks, its interesting to note that in this year's congressional race, incumbant Miller is up against Vernon Robinson, the indefatigable yet unsuccessful conservative candidate for public office in North Carolina. Mr. Robinson, (I wonder if he is related to Svend, he moved to Canada as a kid from the USA), raises lots of money to run his anti gay and smear campaigns. His ads are pretty bad even by American standards.

The money Robinson raises is largely raised outside the State of North Carolina. He has obviuosly struck a cord with some folks that know he won't be elected but give him money so his "hate" agenda can be broadcast far and wide in this Democratic house seat.

So first hand I will experiance Durham North Carolina and tell you what I think of the place and maybe just maybe this will be a good news story or I will come back with tar on my heels.

10.04.2006

A boy strikes down Goliath

What do Bob Ney, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff and Mark Foley, all good Republicans have in common other than being in the same party. They all have been driven from power within a year.

Why were they driven out, because of a perfect storm of ethical and legal challenges. The party dependent on morality as defined by "America" has all of those guys exposed in ethical, sexual, or financial scandals.

Its ironic that the crime of sending off so many young Americans to be killed in Iraq, only two or three years older than the recipient of sexy emails, is too complicated to resonate with people. Its wrong in both cases. A sixteen year old boy has struck the biggest blow against the Bush Government. Three words, SICK, SICK, SICK sum up the Republican record very well.

10.03.2006

No Queer blood here, thanks

Warning


This article will offend some readers

If you don't want my blood in an emergency, then push the back button on your browser now.


The South African National Blood Service has yielded to pressure in allowing some gay people to donate blood. Those that have been celibate for six months can give blood. South Africa where almost six million people have HIV/AIDS, gays make up a very small proportion of those numbers.

Still the blood service feels they are being reasonable in limiting blood donations from gays to those who haven't had any sex in six months. They have missed the whole point. No other population group is excluded from donating blood. In fact they recently changed the rules so that black blood can be mixed with white blood. Horror of horrors.

The decision in South Africa actually highlights the problems and the systemic discriminatory practice being applied around the world and here in Canada against gay men. The six month no sex and you can give blood rule is meant to ensure the gay man has been prescreened for HIV, a standard not applied to any other group.

The stupidity in this position is that all blood is screened for HIV and other diseases and viruses after it is collected. The wrong in it is that it implies all gay men, even those that practice safer sex, are too much a risk to accept their blood. Instead of using a more practical tool such as prescreening for unsafe sexual or drug injection activity, gay men are forbidden to donate.

I lived with my HIV positive partner for many years. I was HIV negative. Negative means I did not have HIV and positive means my partner had HIV. We had lots of sex, right up to the days before he passed away four years ago. I was tested for HIV every three months. Every test came back negative. Every test I have taken since my first one in 1990 has come back negative, even my last one just three weeks ago.

We practiced safer sex methods. In fact I am willing to bet that gay men use condoms more than any other group in society. 77% of us use condoms during sex according to surveys conducted in British Columbia. I would ask if there is any other group out there that can match that number. I seriously doubt it.

Yet despite the facts, hysteria and hypocrisy rules the day. In order to rebuild confidence in the safety of our blood supply gay men were vilified without any scientific basis to support such a ban. Gay men have been paying the price since. So have blood collection services.
Now a huge pool of perfectly good blood is left circulating in my body and others while hospitals are screaming for donations every long weekend and all summer long. "Warning only two days blood supply on hand." You have all heard these warnings.


I like to think of myself as a Canadian, that I actually contribute to making the community I live in a better place just because I am here. Most people think like that. The difference is you can feel that way and I and many other gay men who want to contribute when it’s needed are shunned.

Its time the Canadian Blood Services reversed their ban on gay men donating blood. Its time that we remove the barrier that prevents us from performing what is considered by many as a civic duty, and guess what, it would be perfectly safe to do so.

One good thing that has come out of the South African National Blood Service partial lifting of a complete ban on gay men donating blood is that it has finally exposed what a con job has been played on us all. I am expecting some Conservative holy terrors to take issue with what I wrote. Good. A spike in numbers is what I need to encourage me. I am doing what I set out to do, right Bruce?

I expect better here in Canada. Don't you....

P.S. I won't be committing to being celibate for six months in order to donate so forget that possibility, even if all of you agree to a rule that says anyone that has had sex in the last six months can't donate. There is only so much I am willing to give up.
P.S.S. I have been receiving emails from many readers for months and months now. Thank you for your kind comments yet even you in your hundreds of emails did not bring me back. Thanks to Bruce at Canuck Attitude for reminding me of why I started a blog in the first place. It’s good to be in the saddle again... If me being back is not good news blame Bruce or push the back button on your browser.


, , Politics, Lgbt, Current Events, Gay-rights, GLBT, Civil Rights, ,

This article is also posted on PEJ News where I have been a regular contributer in the past.

9.12.2006

CNN Anchor comes out!

CNN new anchor Thomas Roberts, has come out of the closet

That news came via Beantown Cuban.

Roberts came out at the annual National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association conference, held in Miami earlier this month.


If he hadn't made his sexuality known before, he reportedly let it all out in Miami, announcing that the conference was the "biggest step" he had taken to really being out in public, and that he had slowly been coming out at CNN over the years.

Beantown Cuban reports that Roberts (who caused a lot of "swooning in the hotel's hallways" - no doubt) said he was proud of his partner, and said something that might be taken as words of wisdom to one of his fellow anchors:

"When you hold something back, that's all everyone wants to know.''

You can find Roberts on Headline News.

Top photo from Beantown Cuban and publicity photo from CNN website





8.28.2006

The Sex Now Survey

Sex Now survey happening in BC. Please note... this is an independent initiative I'm passing on the details for your information! The Sex Now Survey is conducted by the Community Based Research Centre (CBRC).

The CBRC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of the gay/bi community. The Sex Now survey is offered to gay/bi men throughout BC periodically and provides valuable information to individuals and their health care providers about their sexual health.

If you are comfortable and willing to do so, please take a moment to complete the 2006 survey. To complete the survey or learn more, please visit www.sexnowsurvey.com . Your input provides data to inform programs and services for gay men in BC.

5.12.2006

Harper Valley

A little Ditty for us all

I found this blog Harper Valley from a link on Alison's Creekside blog. Many of us have heard the tune Harper Valley PTA, a Jeannie C Riley hit from many years ago.

here are some of the original lyrics...
Well, it happened that the P.T.A. was gonna meet that very afternoon
They were sure surprised when Mrs. Johnson wore her mini-skirt into the room
And as she walked up to the blackboard, I still recall the words she had to say
She said, "I'd like to address this meeting of the Harper Valley P.T.A."


And here be the rewritten lyrics...
Well, it happened that the P.T.A. was gonna meet that very afternoon
They were sure surprised when Mrs. Johnson brought her clan right into the room
They wore suits and tie-dye, rags, and some were even gay
She said, "I'd like to address this meeting of the Harper Valley P.T.A."

Well Mr. Harper couldn't be here cause he was down visiting Bush
And secretly they were grabbing each other's little neo-touche
Then you have the nerve to tell me you think that as a mother I'm not fit
Well this is just a little Peyton Place and you're all assholes and upper class twits

Don't you just love blogs with an ability to have fun and poke neocons.

3.26.2006

Evergon

It happened just this way ...
"When I went for the job in Ottawa, my mother (I wasn't sure that I wanted
the job)-my mother is sometimes really quite amazing-she said, "Oh just wear
drag, they'll never hire you in drag." So I just got dressed up in some of my
finest drag and went off to the job interview. And they hired me! So I thought,
if I got hired in drag, I can now work in drag, so for the first few years that
I taught at the University of Ottawa I was in drag every day. And knock wood I
never got the shit kicked out of me. I'm a big man, so people didn't quite know
what to do with a big man with a beard in a dress."
-
Artist Evergon in an interview at the Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, by Bill Pusztai

Think about that, in 1972 this man went to a University dressed in drag everyday and taught his students. Evergon is one of Canada's most famous photographic artists. What's the chance that would happen today in Canada, and just for fun, what is the chance it would happen in the USA?

, Politics, Queer, GLBT,,

3.18.2006

NHL Hockey is going Pink


Hockey is going Pink

Yep tonight and Sunday hockey players, as many as four hundred of them in the NHL will use Pink Sticks. Now Pink is not a colour one expects in the NHL, what with all the macho boys there. It's not what you may think.

In an effort to raise awareness and money for breast cancer, Hockey manufacturer TPS Hockey, is spending $50,000 to fund the "think pink" movement, which came to fruition shortly after the death of Phyllis Gretzky, Wayne's mother, who died from cancer this year and owner Paul Walker's sister.

The company is contributing the $50,000 cost of the sticks and paint. Sydney Crosby and Mats Sundin are in the pink. The sticks used in games this weekend will be sold at auction for Breast Cancer research.

And if your are interested in Gay guys playing hockey, (they don't use pink sticks) you can check it out here at Gay Hockey International.

You can also take in some top rate hockey this summer as gay and lesbain hockey players take part in the 1st World Out Games in Montreal this summer!

3.16.2006

Brokeback Mountain Roadtrip!

Brokeback Mountain was filmed in Alberta and now Travel Alberta offers up the Brokeback Mountain road tour. The tour has maps and details of the shooting. Go have a look if you want to see where it all happened.



For instance, the opening scene, the highway shot was done on Highway 22 - see Brokeback Mountain take 3. Want the clothes off of Jake and Heath's back, go to the retro/vintage clothing store, Divine Decadence, in Calgary and Edmonton.

And did you know what Ang Lee's favourite dining place is? Anywhere? It's Dairy Queen. According to Travel Alberta that was the first place he ate in America. Who knew.

Check out the map at Travel Alberta here!

, Movies, Films, Gay, heath ledger, Current Affairs,

Colorado sticks it to gays

A domestic-partnership license in Colorado will set you back five times what a marriage license costs. Now what would be the logic in that. One is tempted to say "Only in America" when you see this kind of thing happening.

Marriage licenses $10.
Domestic-partnership licenses $52.
Republican mean spiritedness Priceless


The rational used to charge a fee 5 times more for a domestic partnership is to create a defense fund within the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The State of Colorado is charging a minority group a fee to protect their rights when its the duty of the State to protect everyones rights.

The Rocky Mountain News reported that some people likened it to a "poll tax once charged to Southern blacks during the segregation era to exercise their right to vote".

Republicans added the measure claiming the State would have to deal with discrimination cases as a result of the rights afforded gays, lesbians and Trans people. Republican Rep. Bill Crane told Rocky Maountain News, "Some people would view these types of relationships as abnormal and would not want their taxpayer dollars used in this endeavor."

I was tempted to say "Only in America" instead I think I will say "God Bless only straight America".



, GLBT, , Politics, Current Affairs,

3.15.2006

Health care tough for Gay Seniors

Its tough out there for Gay Seniors. Now that is hardly news to me and many of you come here.

A report released today out of McGill University has a study to prove what so many have known within the gay community.

"People were once forced into psychiatric institutions ... so going to a doctor was a very fearful experience for many people," said Bill Ryan, a researcher from the McGill School of Social Work. "There were also instances where health care professionals reacted in "disgust when someone says that they're gay or lesbian in front of a health care professional."

The study will help address the problems faced by the LGBTQ communities by shedding light on homophobic attitudes within the health care system from Mental health to emergency wards to llong term care.

In my work largely with gay men I would often askj if they had told their Doctor they were gay. More often than not they had not shared this information. The reasons were similar, scared, they would tell my family, I live in a small community, he's anti gay.

Now having been an out gay guy for years I have made sure my Doctor knew I was gay, I saw the need to let my doctor know. Yet many before and since are still scared. The gay seniors grew up with being classed as suffering with a mental illness at best, as a pervert at worst.

So while many gays entering the health care system have good experiances, too many don't.

Read more here...

3.09.2006

$364 million to keep gays out

Since 1993, about 10,000 otherwise qualified servicemembers have been forced out, including those in crucial occupations such as code-breakers, intelligence and medical specialists, air traffic controllers and translators. At a time of tight budgets and stretched-thin forces, the Defense Department has spent $364 million to recruit and train replacements for those discharged, says a blue ribbon panel that includes former Defense secretary William Perry. - USA Today, March 9, 2006


I guess we can say one thing about Republicans and some of those chicken Democrats attitudes toward gay Americans, no amount of money or lack of common human decency can be spent on keeping gays in the closet!

My own experiance growing up was that people that knew me before they found out I was gay liked me. I worked hard to be good at my work, to help others because if I did that maybe they would see a decent nice guy there in front of them and then maybe they would not be so quick to "hate" who or what I was.

The problems usually came when someone discovered the nice guy they have come to know was gay. It seems they figured I had misled them. Being gay means having to come out of the closet every day of your life if you want to avoid accusations you are not trying to deceive.

The Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy of the US Military is a catch 22 for gays. When you are with your buds and they are ask why you don't have a girlfriend, why you don't want to go to the strip club, why you don't talk about getting some hot chick to bed, you can't tell them you are gay can you. If you do you are breaking the rules. If you don't tell them you are lying to them or at least that is what your buds feel.

One can always say you are saving yourself for the right girl, a lie, or join in the banter, another lie, or try to ignore it. If you would like to try this try to imagine you can't tell someone you like girls, you can't talk about your "lust" for that woman that walked by or talk about the little woman at home. Imagine what that would do to you. I bet it can't be done.

3.07.2006

Submissions leading Tolerance

What is Tolerance? We have come a long way Baby! Some people providing great classroom materials are looking for your ideas, your work in this field. I repost below a request for submissions from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Please forward this request to your friends, to teachers, to those that may be interested. We cannot leave this work to Brokeback Mountain or to someone else...

T E A C H I N G T O L E R A N C E

A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center
March 2, 2006

GET PUBLISHED!

Do you have a tolerance-related classroom activity other teacherscould use? Teaching Tolerance magazine seeks innovative classroomactivities using active, hands-on, experiential learning techniquesthat can be implemented in one or two class periods.Selected activities will be published in the magazine, which reachesmore than 500,000 educators twice a year; or in a new Activity Exchange booklet, to be released this fall. Interested in submitting a manuscript or seeing examples?

You can also e-mail ( cobrien@splcenter.org) or mail your submissions:
Colleen O'Brien, Curriculum Specialist
c/o Teaching Tolerance
400 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104

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