Log inskip to content

I Support Gay Love

Friday, June 17th, 2011

This past week has been a landmark one in the gay rights movements.  While some states came closer to allowing same sex marriage, prospective Obama-2012 voters lashed out at the President for his lack of support and failed campaign promises to the community.  The week was rounded up by a former football star commenting that allowing gay marriage to happen would create utter "anarchy".

In light of all this, I would like to re-post a portion of a post I wrote a couple of years ago, "Not Special, Just Equal", when I was dissenting with a fellow HuffPo commenter on whether or not gay rights mattered at all.

The end of the post goes to something I have been saying all along - this is not about sexual partners, but LOVE and who a person can and will love.  That seems to get forgotten by the anti-gay rights folks when they are spewing their often ignorant and bigoted hate.

I don't just support gay marriage or, even, all gay rights.  I support GAY LOVE (or, better, LGBT LOVE).

Here is the end of that post, reiterating this very stance:

What bothers me, too, is that in all the hubbub and din, all the people decrying "gay sex" as deviant and gay people as aberrant for engaging in it - just for larks, of course - is the idea of Love.  Being gay isn't just about - isn't really at all about - who you have sex with or want to have sex with.  It's about who you can and will Love.  Yes, homosexuals are sexually attracted to the same sex.  But do not forget, that attraction - just like with straight people - can and does lead to more than just meaningless sex.  It becomes relationships, it becomes lasting partnerships, and long-term affairs.  It becomes Love.

And that is what this battle is really about.  No one can choose who they fall in love with - not straight people, gay persons, bi individuals, or anything in between.  And, therefore, it is not a choice for the lesbian who falls in love with the woman who becomes her partner of 20 years or the gay man who falls head over heels for the person he knows is his soulmate, no more than it is a choice for the woman who marries her high school sweetheart or the man who rekindles a romance with the woman he never got over from college.  We don't choose who we love...love has it's own agenda.

The most beautiful thing about this is that Love always wins.  It will prevail; it always does.  And gay people will win their rights.  I guarantee it.

In the meantime, to all the naysayers, I say think long and hard about the reasons you are against homosexuals or gay rights/marriage.  Remember what this country stands for, and take some time to re-read the teachings of the man you base your religion on.  You have a "choice", now - and the choice is to choose acceptance, understanding, and compassion over denial, ignorance, and hatred.  You like to ask, "What would Jesus do?" and so I posit that to you now - what, indeed?

Uganda Bill To Kill Gays

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

As you may have heard – or maybe not as the mainstream media hasn't been giving it much press – The Republic of Uganda in East Africa wants to kill gays.
Those blunt words aren't used as mere inflammatory rhetoric; I'm quite serious.  A bill that may – and likely will – be passed in early 2010 in Uganda seeks further punishment, which includes the death penalty, for homosexuals.

Already homosexuals suffer from few rights and harsh penalties under the anti-gay government.  In a land caught between a surge in evangelical Christianity (which believes homosexuality is a sin) and a nightmarish AIDS crisis (which has killed over 19 million Africans, 3.8 million of them children; of the 34.3 million people in the world infected with HIV, 24.5 million of them are in sub-Saharan Africa), homosexuals are seen as a dire threat.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, authored by lawmaker David Bahati, therefore, has garnered more support than ire in this ominous environment.  Bahati claims the legislation is about "promoting family values".

Punishments under its directive are severe; not only for being gay but for anyone who supports or hides/helps homosexuals and it seeks, also, to obstruct any sort of aid or advocacy for LGBT rights.  The bill imposes seven year prison sentences for even discussing homosexuality or advocating for LGBT rights and life imprisonment for homosexual acts with death meted out for a second offense.

Wording of the Ugandan bill is as follows:

A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.

A person who purports to contract a marriage with another person of the same sex commits the offence of homosexuality and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.

A person who … who acts as an accomplice or attempts to promote or in any way abets homosexuality and related practices; commits an offence and is liable on conviction to … imprisonment of a minimum of five years and a maximum of seven years or both fine and imprisonment.

The full text can be read at Box Turtle Bulletin here.

If a person is accused – and found guilty – of gay sex and is, also, found to be HIV-positive or infected with AIDS, the sentence will be changed from life imprisonment to death under the charge of "aggravated homosexuality".  The charge also applies to those who are convicted of homosexual acts more than once; the penalty, again, is to be death.
While Uganda's president, Yoweri Kaguta, has not "formally" endorsed the bill, he is said to be happy with it and has allowed it to pass through Parliament.  Many of his top officials have spoken out about the bill; mainly to express their approval.  James Nsaba Buturo, the Ethics and Integrity Minister, feels "joy" over the bill as he believes it will "provide leadership around the world".  Whatever that means.

A three year prison sentence will also be set for those who are aware of another person's homosexuality or become privy to homosexual acts and fails to report it or turn the homosexual(s) in within 24 hours.  Reaching even farther, the bill also intends to punish Ugandans who engage in homosexual acts in foreign countries.  Even escaping the oppressive, anti-homosexual regime does not make a gay Ugandan safe it would appear.

As horrifying as all of this may seem, it may be a placating thought to imagine this is all happening in a land far away; a barbaric country being fueled by the fear of a major AIDS crisis and delusions from a very powerful evangelical Christian community.  The truth of the matter is, however, that America has played a part in this travesty.  In fact, conservative American Christian leaders who visited Uganda earlier this year helped lay the groundwork for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

From the Box Turtle Bulletin article, "Anonymous Ugandan Blogger Wants Answers From American Anti-Gay Activists":

An anonymous Ugandan gay blogger — gay bloggers are well advised to remain anonymous in Uganda — provides a fairly comprehensive backdrop against which three American anti-gay activists will be stepping. Nazi revisionist and Watchmen On the Walls co-founder Scott Lively, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and Caleb Lee Brundidge of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation will be conducting a seminar on homosexuality in Kampala next weekend. The conference is being organized by Stephen Langa, Director of Kampala-based Family Life Network.

It goes even deeper.  In "Follow the Money: The American Connection to Uganda's Death Sentence for Gays" over at Box Turtle Bulletin it is revealed that David Baharti, author of the bill, is part of the now infamous Family, outed this past year in Jeff Sharlet's inside-look and tell-all book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and a preacher of "dominionism" (taking over dominion of the world through Christ, essentially), who also attended the conference has refused to officially denounce Uganda's impending bill.

Some of the organizations tied to the conference in Kampala have come out denouncing the bill; others have not.

While we may view what is going on in Uganda with horror and disbelief, we also need to realize that there are people in our midst – in our churches and in our government – who believe in what is happening over there.  These same people, if they thought they could get away with it, would be – without a doubt – attempting to pass the same type of legislation here in America.

Under the guise of Christianity, these pseudo-pious individuals make a mockery of everything Jesus Christ stood for and what the Christian church is supposed to represent.  Love thy enemies?  No, instead, let's just kill them.  Wait – doesn't that go against one of the 10 Commandments?  That's okay, because these ignorant bigots and xenophobes are just making it up as they go along – letting their "faith" take them whichever way gives them more power.

Not Special, Just Equal

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

This morning a comment was directed towards me at HuffPo on yesterday's article about the NY gay marriage failing, New York State Senate Votes Down Gay Marriage.  I had left a number of comments on the article; commenting on others' comments, agreeing wholeheartedly with some and arguing the finer points of marriage with others (few know its actual history...that's a forthcoming blog post).

A comment, by user mg moore, in particular, bothered me.

Originally he had said:

Maybe now NY can get on to something useful.

I, and others, disagreed with this sentiment.  I stated:

Such as? I think this is a pretty important issue - as do most people.

mg moore disagreed, naturally, that the issue was important at all.  Apparently human rights are of no concern to him, and living in a hypocritical country - promising equality for all but denying rights to some - fails to stir him.  He responded with the comment that irked me enough to bring this debate to my blog:

If most people thought it was important it would have been reflected in the voting of the legislators. The outcome reflected the relevance. Gays should quit pretending they are as special as Faberge' eggs and simply stop whining. Their lifestyle choices put them outside the mainstream. Deal with the consequences.

I don't understand people that think this way.  I am trying to, but it's hard.  Can anyone help me out?  Is there anyone that agrees with this man's assertion that can offer me some insight into your mindset?  I won't judge you or condemn you; I am genuinely seeking answers here.

Part of my responses to mg moore were as follows  (I left two):

1) Gay people don't they think are "special" - that is the entire point of this whole thing! They wanted to be treated exactly the same as everyone - equality is the issue here, not "special". If you don't see that, you are missing the entire point of all of this, as are the people that voted down this legislation.

This whole idea that gay people are asking for some kind of "special treatment" when all they are asking for is "equal rights" infuriates me.  How is it "special treatment" to, simply, be afforded the same rights and benefits as the rest of society?  How is it "special treatment" to ask that Americans stay true to what this country stands for - freedom and equality for ALL?

Homosexuals are people - they are no different than you or I, except that they prefer the same sex as opposed to the opposite sex.  Homosexuality is natural - it exists in nature - and normal.  Fear and ignorance keep people from treating our gay brethren with respect and amity; fear of the unknown and ignorance of the truth that gay people are no different than straight people.  And they deserve the same rights.

Indeed, there is no good or logical argument for denying them these rights - all fall flat and resort back to simple bigotry, ignorance, and condemnation; usually based on religious morals and ideals.  Where in your Bible does God or Jesus preach to treat others as inferior?

2) And if you honestly and truly believe that gay people choose to live a life of condemnation and ridicule, then you are far too ignorant for my impassioned plea to reach your ears.  I am sure you are a very intelligent person, but on this issue itself you remain ignorant; I can assure you - it is not a choice.

If it were, then choose to be gay for a day and have sex with someone of the same sex - just do it, it's just a choice.

I'm sure you find the idea repulsive and ridiculous - just as someone who is gay generally finds the idea of being with someone of the opposite sex! It doesn't appeal to them because that just isn't who they are or how they are made! It is NOT a choice!

Ah, the age-old "choice" debate.  This one never gets old.  I fail to see how being gay is a choice; why would anyone in their right mind choose a life in which they will be judged, condemned, and ridiculed?  Who would prefer a life that very well - and often does - ostracize them from family, community, and the religion they were raised with?  How could they, willingly, accept a lifestyle that takes away their rights, and would not allow them to see their mate of decades as they lay dying in the hospital or make any decisions about their care?  Trust me when I say to you that no one would choose this.

People are born gay.  It's that simple.  I know gay people and I know people that have been gay since childhood (when I also knew them).  As the realization came to them, they - like so many others - fought a great and virulent internal battle.  They tried to be straight.  They chose to be straight.  Some married and had children.  But in the end, the "choice" to live a false life could no longer be upheld; eventually they had to be true to themselves.

Understand this - that is the only choice in it - the choice to be who they were born to be.  Every gay person I know suffered through the I-can't-be-gay battle during puberty.  Some embraced it, many others denied it and tried to be someone and something else.

It is our society that teaches them to hate what they are, to question it and fear it.  Some, as you know, commit suicide.  Why?  Because it isn't a choice, and if it was - many of them - at least in the beginning, would choose not to be gay.

Why?  Because society condemns them for being so, and they know they have a hard life and treacherous path before them.  They may lose family, friends, jobs, community, and their religion.

And, yet, you think they choose this?  You think they flaunt all conventions and decide to just "have lots of gay sex" and, therefore, have no right to demand equal rights?  People like mg moore do think this way, and that is a sad state of affairs.

What bothers me, too, is that in all the hubbub and din, all the people decrying "gay sex" as deviant and gay people as aberrant for engaging in - just for larks, of course - is the idea of Love.  Being gay isn't just about - isn't really at all about - who you have sex with or want to have sex with.  It's about who you can and will Love.  Yes, homosexuals are sexually attracted to the same sex.  But do not forget, that attraction - just like with straight people - can and does lead to more than just meaningless sex.  It becomes relationships, it becomes lasting partnerships, and long-term affairs.  It becomes Love.

And that is what this battle is really about.  No one can choose who they fall in love with - not straight people, gay persons, bi individuals, or anything in between.  And, therefore, it is not a choice for the lesbian who falls in love with the woman who becomes her partner of 20 years or the gay man who falls head over heels for the person he knows is his soulmate, no more than it is a choice for the woman who marries her high school sweetheart or the man who rekindles a romance with the woman he never got over from college.  We don't choose who we love...love has it's own agenda.

The most beautiful thing about this is that Love always wins.  It will prevail; it always does.  And gay people will win their rights.  I guarantee it.

In the meantime, to all the naysayers, I say think long and hard about the reasons you are against homosexuals or gay rights/marriage.  Remember what this country stands for, and take some time to re-read the teachings of the man you base your religion on.  You have a "choice", now - and the choice is to choose acceptance, understanding, and compassion over denial, ignorance, and hatred.  You like to ask, "What would Jesus do?" and so I posit that to you now - what, indeed?