Monday, December 29, 2008

Democrats and Obama should be thankful they lost in 2000 and 2004

What would rightwing politicians and religious people would have said and done if either Al Gore or Sen. Kerry had been running the "show" for the last 8 years? Karl Rove would have been a piker compared to the vicious attacks and accusations made against Democrats, and probably the result would be that no Democrat could get elected for at least 50 years.

So the question is, how many "real" Republicans are aware of why Democrats are saying that "W" has done a bad job? The present administration has turned the ideas of what is "conservative" and "liberal" completely upside down.

And the arrogant "religious" people who have attacked Democrats for being "liberal" on sex are queerly silent when their vice presidential candidate has a daughter who is pregnant outside of marriage. It seems that is ok since she (Palin) did not abort a child that would be handicapped. Would they be that lenient with Democrats trying to use such "justification" and thinking? Not to go into the fact, as I understand it, that everyone one of the Palin children is a high school dropout. How can any objective person not see that family, a "conservative" family and compare it to a "liberal" family like the Obama family and see the hypocrisy?

So it could be that Obama, with all of his qualifications, might not have won if Gore and Kerry had not lost. As the saying goes, "the Lord works in mysterious ways."

Gays Shut Out of Obama's Cabinet - An Advocate Exclusive

I am showing my age and my background under ONE, Inc. people, who as the record shows did not get involved in politics (we could have as, until ISHR we were not tax-exempt) because we knew that no matter who was elected, they would only be there for a few years and when they left we would have to start educating the next people to get elected. Some of the communityneed to work in this field. Others work in the legal field, winning lawsuits and trying to change the laws, which are permanent.

Now, who are these "gays" we wanted to be apponted, as token gays? Who that has been appointed is less qualified than what gay? Do we need affirmative action? The courts are stopping such laws. I don't know who all these poeple are and while I recognize that I can't know everyone or every website or read every book, etc, I know of NO ONE in our community that I would want to have in the cabinet. Do we want Obama to appoint the leaders who lost on Prop 8? I sure want Barney Frank and the other few elected people from our community wherethey are-not many people are more powerful than he is.

Today Americans, a slight majority, have shown that they will vote for a woman, a inter-racial person—even make him president, and in a few cases a openly homosexual person. I see no reason to tell anyone else they can't be appointed because the cabinet or whatever has to have a token gay.

And what poll says he was elected by a gay vote, or even a black vote. Obama won because he got a few more votes than McCain from every ethnic and age and poliical group. He owes no one group any control over his decisions. AND, we don't want any special favors. We want him to make our nation better, for everyone. And that would mean appointing the best qualified people he knows of. And i sure didn't appoint HRC or the Task Force or any "gay" group or person tospeak for me. We can't even get our community to work together on issues, since some oppose others-rodeo fans against PETA fans, atheists against religious people, old against young, female against male, transvestites against transsexuals, etc.

I go against Don Slater's warning and close with a seemingly unrelated thought. I doubt Dr.King would have been any more influential if he had been elected to some office. And I propose that each day Al Gore and Kerry and all Democrats thank their god that they lost. Can you honstly deny that had they been the ones who created this total mess, war, economy, civil liberties problems, etc, that Democrats would have been attacked so viciously by the right-wingers, we would have been out of power for 50 years. The question of their integrity is why they have not attacked the Bush/Republicans.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Some negative thoughts on George Chauncey's book: Gay New York

In a sense I am asking what others thought about the book Chauncey did on Gay New York, and with only a small thought on Gay L.A. and anticipating criticism of Todd White's coming book, Pre-Gay L.A.

It seems strange to be reading it and thinking about it in this season, but I came across it and glanced at it and wanted to share my thoughts and wonderwhat others thought.

In the first place, like too many critics, I am upset that he didn't write the book I expected. After rereadng the phrase on the cover, sayhing that it is in part about urban culture I guess that excuses him for writing a book on historical New York and using gay men as a catalyst, rather than vice versa.

So what I got is a history of New york mainly on prohibition, black cultureand Harlem, and how drag queens were mixed in all of this, such as at gay ballas, but also in straight nigh clubs, etc.

And it sure seems to me that what he says in the intro is the opposite of what we get in the text. Which is good since I disagree with his ascertion that ays werfe out in those days. His text proves otherwise, except for drag queens of course.

It is a good guide to the businesses of New York, the cafes, cafeterias, night clubs, housing, and drag queens hung around these places, with and without acceptance.

What he says and shows is what we have said all of our existence as a resource on homosexual issues at ONE/HIC. It was nonsense for some closet types to come into our offices and say, oh life was (usually only on a holiday or living unlike the locals) wonderful in Mexico, Holland, or some other place. What we got from visitors who LIVED in those places was, of course, oh, life is so good here in America.

And as to the terms, such as closet, he is not very accurate. The list of who he talked to includes Dorr Legg and Harry Hay—I always question the "professionalism" of a researcher who comes to the main source of early gay history—Southern California, and only talks to a few people who MADE that history andignores what might have been a diffeent view from others, such as obviously Don Slater. But we sure did use the term closet in the early ’60s.

And it is strange that he uses up the first 25 or so pages talking about the terms gay, etc, and yet ignores the history from the founders of early Mattachine and ONE Inc. Of course these were not in New York. And what he has to say about drag queens in New York is probably exactly the same "history" as in Los Angeles.

And after reading all these pages about bar raids, organizations urging the law to attack places homosexuals-meaning drag queens hang out at- how can he say that there was a gay world in New York in these years?

Why are we then, or now, to accept drag queens as THE gay world? What per cent of homosexuals in New York, or L.A., were "out" in those years? Where are their institutions? Drag Balls, which seem to have been well known and attended by non-gays?

It is interesting that he does in a sense point out that the reason why it was the lower class whites who "accepted" queers—which term was first used, then opposed and today is back in use—was because they were not worried about their "standing" or masculinity when the ones they were dealing with were pseudo women.

What is more troubling, then and now, is what I see as the black community NOT liking homosexuals, who were the only whites who would interact with blacks. Blacks wanted "normal" whites to interact, that would have made them feel equal. They had no need to feel equal to drag queens who were certainly not liked by 'average" white.

It confirms what a Jew said in the civil rights era. I think it was in a small publication called a Minority of One (Mississippi) when the editor said Jews did not feel very helped by having having such minorities as Unitarians come to a meeting. They would have actual progress only when good ole Southern Baptists showed up, That would indicate that real society was accepting them and wanted to work with them. Drag queens were not an are not "real" society, even real gay society.

The book I wanted could have been doen well in about a thired he length of this book. There are too many "examples" given to make a point, over and over. How many names of bars do I need to get the point? I do find speculation that prohibition caused gay bars to come interesting—but I had that from many books talking about how prohibition was a total failure and caused more harm than good-again, unintended consequences of the rightwing religious people-no matter how good their intentions. But that is not a gay world.

And I don't accept the "research" on how different ethnic groups(?)— how many Italians or Irish dealt with drag queens— accepted or didn't accept drag queens—again they did not deal with the normal homosexuals then.

I have no dog in this fight. I just have been in an office (and publication) open daily for anyone seeking information on homosexuality, from the ’60s to the ’90s, and find any book or claim that goes against our 30 or 40 years of experience must meet a high standard to be believed. This book does not come close. Did he have an agenda to start with?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The future of religion in America may depend on the future of homosexuals in America

I think for me at least, the few words of Wayne Besen in his article in the Seattle Gay News of December 12th say all that we need to think about what homosexual Americans must believe and understand about our future civil rights and the affect on them by religious people and groups.

In the middle of the good article he says, "We must still work to enlighten the flock where we can, but fundamentalist leaders will only transform their anit-gayviews when popular opinion decidedly turns against them-as it did with race relations in the 1960s and 1970s."

That is how we must understand our work. And as a obscure thought on the views of the religious right on the sanctity of marriagve, I would refer them to two mentions on the subject of how marriage was used in the early days by one church group against another. The mentions are in an old book, published in 1940, which not only discussed the important issues such as how the Baptists were such strong supporters of the separation of church and state, but how the southern churches so easily left the main church to use the Bible to promote slavery, etc, and the authors were from (and the book is was published by) the University of Chicago.

In the book A Short History of Christianity, in discussing the early church in France, on page 179, it says, about the attempt to overcome Catholic opposition to Protestant churches, with the "church in the Desert," "Its services were celebrated in secret, and its members were without civil rights. Because marriages at which its ministers officiated were deemed void, Protestants were all legally illegitimate." And on page 234, talking abot religion in England, it says,"...but all other protestant bodies were shut out and their ministers were not permitted to perform marriage ceremonies."

I wonder how the religious right fundamentalists answers such clear evidence of how the church has abused the words of the Bible and theology in the past and is doing so today. Is it too much to say that it is not the homosexuals who are on trial, and it may be that the ones who have to change to survive are the religious right.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What Obama could say to young Christians and/or homosexuals: We live in the real world

There seems to be a loss of reality on the part of many Americans, no matter what their religious, political or sexual beliefs are. There seems to be no intellectual understandng of the connection between the passage of Proposition 8 in the bluest state in the nation and the hollering about a preacher who is going to give a prayer at the Inauguration of Obama.

There needs to be a reminder of the words used against Obama during the election. Specifically these words are STILL hurting his attempt to change America. The evidence can be found, among other places in the real world, on the front page of The (Shreveport LA) Times of yesterday, reporting on the conflict in Claiborne Parish over not only the mistreatment of a black student who was overly eager after Obama's election, but more important, the fact that during the election a teacher circulated literature claiming Obama was the anti-Christ.

Now think about how to combat this continuing attack on Obama from the radical nutty-usually "religious"-right that will undercut his ability to make any good changes, and then add an attack on his coming administration from those on the left and some homosexuals over his invitation of a preacher (Warren) to lead a prayer at the inauguration.

Hopefully the youth of America will know enough history to understand how much better America is today for all minorities than it was even a decade ago, much less how life for blacks and homosexuals was in the civil rights days of the 1950s and 60s when their parents were marching for the right to even vote, and get an education in schols not divided by race.

That is what Obama needs to remind us, and ask for a little help from all of us, no matter who we voted for or how much hope we have for his administration.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Winter reading" articles/books in Dec/Jan 08 issue of The Gay & Lesbian Review

It is good to have good reading and lists of resources during the cold weather. It seems we didn't get a time of "rest" from the 24 hour news "talkers" since the moment the election was settled we had the coverage of the passage of Proposition 8 in California.

Both events got many people to seriously thinking about what the future holds and who gets credit and blame for what happens. I would hope the "leaders' of the community/movement would take time to think about our issues, some of which are covered by the articles-mostly based on books, plus book reviews, in this issue of The Gay & Lesbian Review.

Sometimes we can be so busy being busy and just marching in the streets that we don't have time to read a book or sit down and have a discussion of the issues and how best to deal with them. A good resource would be some of the articles, such as the two on sodomy laws—"Sodomy in the land of the Magna Carta" and "The fate of sodomy laws in the U. S." Homosexual pioneer and my former co-worker Don Slater would sure like the phrase in the latter article..."Another factor was a libertarian conviction that the private sphere be protected from state intrusion."

But as to beng active, the article on the work against Dr. Laura is good.

I do wonder about the statistics on how many books are published each year-2,000 and G&LR gets 400 for review, since I keep hearing that books aren't selling, and newspapers are folding.But perhaps they should be putting pictures of cowboys on the covers-as in your article "Cowboys on the cover of a magazine." (Think even earlier than Brokeback Mountain.)

Some of the books in ads sound interesting-but most of us will never be able to see them as few libraries will know of them, even those from university presses. Two examples are Gay Rights and Moral Panic, by Fred Fejes (Palgrave Macmillan), and Respectably Queer, by Jane Ward (Vanderbilt University Press).

I think it is good to have a sort of bulletin board telling of research being done on aspects of homosexuality, as G&LR has in the back pages.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

News from Houston in the December issue of OutSmart Magazine

The December issue of OutSmart is good, starting with the good cover, all the good people at a protest against the passage of CA's Prop 8, and then the good article inside. I feel the bigots actually lost, as it got people involved in the cause that would not have been active if it had been defeated, in which case most people would have just thought things were so good they could relax and get apathetic.

I do hope Lt. Mark Timnmers (on November's cover) finds a good new job. And good to "hear" Ray Hill and his suggestion about the grand marshall.

I especially liked Nancy Ford's "letter to Harvey Milk." I also have wanted to let the pioneers of our civil right smovement know what has happned in the short time since they left us-most in the 90s. Ss she says, honestly, oh, the things you have missed.

I personally would not have given much publicity to the book by Thomas Beatie, who is a lousy pr person for homosexual and transgender issues. He/she is exactly guilty of what our enemies say about us. He wants it both ways. I know there is disagreement in our community/movement over what objectives we are seeking-Don Slater and the people at ONE Magazine sought civil rights, but also the right to privacy, a basic right. This person violates that goal by seeking publicity. It is wrong to be ashamed of being gay. we should not care what others think of us. It is another to either seek "approval" of our sexuality, or exploiting it, as is done in this case.

Guest Blogger: David Thorstad

In Appreciation of Eleanor Cooper

December 10, 2008

During the mid-1970s, when I was president of Gay Activists Alliance, GAA and Lesbian Feminist Liberation frequently collaborated in joint speaking appearances before college and high-school classes, and in fleeting gay and lesbian coalitions, mostly in support of a gay rights bill in the New York City Council. But in 1977, in the wake of Anita Bryant’s Save Our Children (from homosexuality) campaign, my collaboration with Eleanor went into high gear and continued for several years. It is a period I look back on with fond memories and thankfulness at the spirit of cooperation and common struggle that she so much helped to facilitate.

This was a time when many lesbians had left gay groups to form their own organizations. Some found it odd that lesbian separatists, as LFLers considered themselves to be, would so soon agree again to work together with gay men. Anita Bryant can be thanked for that, because many lesbians retained a suspicion, and in some cases a hostility, about joining with men in common causes, even where they retained their independence and separate identity. I often talked with Eleanor about this, and her approach was pragmatic (it was in both our interests to join in some common endeavors), even though occasionally tensions between male and female groups would surface.

This was the atmosphere in which I got to know Eleanor well. She, Father Leo Joseph of the Church of the Beloved Disciple, and I became the spokespeople for a new, broad coalition of dozens of gay and lesbian groups, political and religious, radical and liberal, leftist and Democrat, called the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights. For a couple of years, CLGR became the main vehicle for New York-area groups to come together in struggle. We organized protest marches, pickets, TV appearances, public forums, meetings with politicians to press our cause, and, in February 1979, played an important role in the conference in Philadelphia that called the first march on Washington in October that year.

Although Eleanor and I didn’t associate much outside of our joint political activities, those were so intense that we were in almost daily touch with each other. There was never any tension or unpleasant feelings between us. She was honest, openly voicing her opinions, warm, always ready to chuckle or, sometimes, to put her foot down at what seemed to her to be misguided or foolish attitudes. Thinking back on those years, it is striking how much fun they were, how much laughter and hilarity existed side by side with our serious efforts to mobilize gay visibility and militancy. A sense of humor was always close to the surface.

I can’t forget the mirth when, at one CLGR steering committee meeting, we discussed the widely believed rumor that a city councilman from Staten Island who had voted against a gay rights bill was gay. We tossed around ideas about how we could expose him. One of us proposed a leaflet showing City Hall with the Staten Island ferry sitting atop it, and the caption: “What is the State Island fairy doing on the City Council?” The laughter went on for several minutes. To this day I regret that we didn’t distribute such a leaflet (could we be sued? would it be legal? would it be counterproductive?). But the fun we had considering it made it worthwhile.

We also organized the first big protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, during which one of our demands was “Separate Church and State!” I believe that was the first time that demand had been raised at a gay and lesbian demonstration. Flo Kennedy was one of the speakers. “It’s time to stop sucking and start biting!” she told the crowd in her inimitable style.

Another protest involving the New York State Coalition of Gay Organizations (NYSCO) was held in 1976 at Madison Square Garden during the Democrat convention. I had proposed we stage a love-in as part of it, with naked couples having sex in the street. That was not taken seriously, as it would have resulted in too many arrests. Still, the leaflet to publicize the protest took at its fun slogan one from the Gay Liberation Front: “Do you think homosexuals are revolting? You bet your sweet ass we are!”

Once some leftists, including the Workers World Party and the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee (a group of straight white radicals who came out of the Weather Underground and who viewed their role as merely supporting the Black Panthers and anything third world peoples wanted, and whose style was to guilt-trip anyone else who thought their own issues were also important), proposed that CLGR organize child care at every meeting. I opposed it on the grounds that no one had yet demonstrated that they wouldn’t be able to come to meetings because they had kids to take care of. Eleanor too thought it was merely a disruptive proposal. But we all agreed to try it and see how it would work. As a joke, and to irritate those who brought the motion, I proposed that pederasts be in charge of organizing the child care (as had been done by a Trotskyist group in Belgium at their national conference). No one ever brought a child to a meeting.

In the late seventies, I had a boyfriend for a while who was in his early teens, and I shared this news with Eleanor. She never condemned it. Quite the contrary. She would occasionally ask, “How’s your friend?”

CLGR held a large conference at Columbia University to plan a march on the United Nations. Prairie Fire tried to disrupt the meeting by accusing us of racism for organizing a protest on the same weekend—though not even on the same day!—as one they claimed was planned by the American Indian Movement. Like most of us, Eleanor was furious at them. (To my knowledge, the AIM event never happened.)

I mention this because a new issue at this time was what was called “lesbian motherhood.” (Gay fathers didn’t have the same cachet or urgency, and perhaps there weren’t so many of them.) The issue surfaced at the Philadelphia conference in February 1979 that called the march on Washington when it was proposed that a demand to “support lesbian mothers” be added to the list of official demands. I spoke against the motion, arguing that motherhood was not always seen by gay men as a positive institution, but rather was often experienced as part of our oppression. The motion was defeated, and afterwards Eleanor told me that she too had opposed it. She found the issue an irritant: “Some of us have managed all these years not to get pregnant,” she said, dismissing the whole thing. At the time, I found that sensible, coming from a militant lesbian. How quaint such debates seem these days, when so many same-sexers can’t wait to get the marriage ball and chain and to have kids. In the 1970s, same-sexers were not yet in a rush to imitate heterosexuals the way they are today.

The only time I can recall when I felt she let me down was when a few men and women went to a bar after a meeting, and I mentioned that I considered circumcision to be mutilation and child abuse of baby boys. All the lesbians dismissed my concern as not to be taken seriously. Of course, hardly anyone was even talking about circumcision back then, so ignorance about the issue generally prevailed.

Ours was a collaboration of genuine affection and mutual respect. “You have integrity,” she told me once, by way of explaining how it was that we worked together so well. The same was true of her, and also of Betty Santoro, the other main activist from LFL working in coalition at the time.

In those days, every once in a while some innocent guy at a meeting would use the word “lady.” He would regret it when the lesbians present would hoot at him and give him an unforgettable consciousness raising on proper language. But Eleanor had an extermination business that she called “Lady Killers.” She guaranteed six months of no cockroaches after her thorough treatment. She didn’t use poisons, but boric acid, plus a “secret ingredient,” which I deduced was probably sugar. She charged about fifty dollars and her work was far more effective than the exterminator who squirted sticky and smelly goo once a month.

I lost touch with Eleanor years ago, but often thought of her, and always fondly. Like everyone who knew her, her passing is a huge loss.

See Eleanor's obituary in the Gay City News

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Milk ... it does a body good.

Guest Blogger: Aristide Laurent

I saw Milk today. I left the theater sobbing (well, more like sniffling … I’m much too macho to sob openly). It was like I was transported back 30 years in time and I was young and active and life was good again — and fun, fun, fun — thanks to the burgeoning sexual liberation!!! Over half of the audience in the Vista Theater were either not born then or very small children during that decade of revolution. I would like to have asked them what the movie was like to them, people who had not lived through the severe prejudice, brutality and struggles of the 1970s — the bar raids, the beatings, the murders. Those of us who lived through “The Castro Era” bear a special affinity with what was unfolding on the screen. I would guess that it would be a totally personal experience to each of us according to how active and/or involved each of us was during that historical period of resistance. Not everyone lived in Buena Vista Park or Jaguar books as “some” of us did ... wink! wink!

I hope my tenants go see it and let me know what the movie felt like or meant to them as free agents in a world entirely different from the world many of us knew in the 1970s. They, like so many other younger gays, have had their first experience with activism with the passage of Prop 8. So let me say: Welcome to “our” world, guys. I am happy to know that a new generation of gays and straights are not willing to settle for second class citizenry. Thank you. Obviously the struggle is not over.

I cannot “rate” or review the movie as a film because I was too much a part of it to be critically objective.

Scotty (played by Franco) was, in the lingo of the ’70s ”TO DIE FOR”!!! His nude swimming scene — Ohhhh daddy…

Two things to complain about (aha! You knew it — there he goes!!) … 1) the guy who played David Goodstein was entirely TOO butch. Goodstein was a piss-elegant pig (just my opinion, of course); and 2) the movie needed more Sylvester to set the mood of what was a really fun time in spite of all the prejudice and fear which we had to constantly be aware of every minute of the day. For such a really heavy movie there should have been more comic or musical relief (again, my opinion). It was pretty much a downer from start to finish. But a good downer.

Sean Penn & Josh Brolin were absolutely perfect in their roles!! The art of a really good actor is that the viewer sees only the character they are playing and not the famous star who is portraying them.

That's my opinion and I’m sticking with it. I welcome rebuttals.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Some unpleasant thoughts on putting gay marriage in perspective and black Ameicans and marriage/family

Most people try to be fair and to not hurt the feelings of others. Then there are bigots who are clear about their views and bigots who are secretly bigots. It might be better for us to know our enemies, both types.

First, though, let's put gay marriage in perspective, not only in the movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans, and then how non-homosexuals, in the past and present, view us. That is easy to answer. Just ask yourself how many people would have voted to give and keep marriage to homosexuals in 1950, or 1960 even.

The fact is that no one would have. Why has that changed? Start with the fact that (not ignoring a short try in Chicago in the 20s-Henry Gerber et al) in 1950 a group of people met—in secret—in Los Angeles and formed an organization to educate homosexuals about themselves. Then from that (Mattachne) organization came the magazine to educate everyone, homosexal and non-homosexual about homosexuality. And the organization behind ONE Magazine started the first public effort to serve the needs of the community/movement-education, social service, legal, psychological, religious, etc.

Then came the new" Mattachine and the Daughters of Bilitis, with chapters in several cities and their publications, Mattachine Review, and The Ladder. And then each year there grew up organizations and publications in major cities all over the nation, and groups started specializing-some covered legal issues, some religious, some political, some social service, etc.

And finally the media started giving our work publicity, and today the situation is reversed- now it is we who are marching in the streets against the bigots, where in the former times we were in the closet and the bigots were in control. Now it is they who are considered bad, not us.

So now that we have major gay/lesbian newspapers in major cities, with lots of ads from major businesses, and we get on tv shows and have major politicial offices, and notice of the President of the United States, and no sodomy laws, with major corporations giving us domestic partner benefits and most Americans saying they believe in us having equal rights, including the "rights" of marriage, we can face the major issue that has been before us from the start.

Our enemy is religion-all religions. All the different faiths and different churches in Christianity agree we are bad. Their books says so. They ignore most of what else their "books" say, but on this they are sure. If homosexuals are acceptable, then the world is destroyed. And the one thing they have been able to keep control of so far is marriage. They have lost on most of their misreading of the books-since the books approve of slavery, women being quiet, the divine right of kings, and the books even tell us that we are wearing the wrong clothing, eating the wrong foods, etc.

Now who among these "religious" groups are the most against homosexual marriage? Black Americans. They, who have suffered from the misuse of the Bible. Why is it that they also are the minority of citizens who, despite all the preaching of their (heterosexual) preachers have over 70% of their "families" led by unmarried women? They who seem NOT to need marriage are the ones trying to keep homosexuals from having the right to marriage? Is it jealousy? Or what? But even though they obviously are not following the teachngs of Jesus, they rush to quote-not Jesus, who never mentioned homosexuals-a book to "explain" their behavior and beliefs. One wonders if they are trying to convince themselves or the homosexuals.

To complain, as those fine Mormons do-who until very recently rejected black men as priests and with whom blacks seem to have formed an anti-gay alliance-that homosexuals are "using" the civil rights movement of others to gain their rights is hard to understand. A little bit of history should remind us all of similar issues at the time blacks and women were seeking the right to vote-denied them in the Constitution, each group asking that they be first. Never mind the issue of polygamy in the Mormon history, past and present.

No matter how unpleasant this sounds, it is factual and we must sooner or later deal with this issue, as America must finally deal with racism, and many people are hopeful that during an Obama administration this will happen. It is certainly not an issue pleasant to think about, especially for black homosexual Americans, who suffer doubly, or black female homosexuals who suffer even more-even though women are not a minority.

America must take a stand on racism, homophobia, equal rights for all, even as we face financial problems and attacks from terrorists-mostly radical Islamists. This is all the more reason for intelligent Americans to see the need for separation of church and state, which is NOT what the Islamists seek, nor some radical Christians. Homosexuals just are the first to see the danger from religion, and it must sooner or later be understood by black Americans that while they deserately seek to be more Christian than white Americans, they will not do it on moral issues where they are wrong. And a small point that may solve the problem and not to their satisfaction-very soon black Americans AND white Americans will be a minority and they will have less political power. It may be such minorities need to work together-not aganst each other, as Hispanics and Asians become the majority in America, as they are in most of the world.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Internet Communication

As I got up early this morning, I decided to send email and reflected over how computers/the internet has changed all of our lives.

I remember how slow I was to use the fax, and how much money Don Slater et al. spent on phone bills and stamps, and how much times writing letters takes. And paper, a typewriter perhaps.

I've said it before, but it is frustrating to have this great tool and Don didn't have it. Think of how much better, his work would have been-easier, etc, if he could have just sent his good thinking out, and kept it in his email file.

Count the number of emails I sent this morning, I think 5, but I sent each of them to dozens of people. Now perhaps they didn't want them, but that is irrelevant: it cost me nothing, and at least they can't say that they never heard the views expressed, often not mine but those of someone I think are worth sharing. I will send copies of this to Jim Schneider and others, as the point is valid for them too.

The internet gets me the news and I use the internet to then share it, pass it along, often with my thoughts, just as Jim Kepner did in the Tangents column in ONE Magazine. I doubt most of us would communicate as we do if we had to phone or write letters—this is so fast, and easy, even if we write shallow things, it is easy to glance a an email and delete it. And in rare cases, as in looking back at some of Jim's articles, and thoughts, we can learn from what was said in the 50s and 60s and remember how it was and perhaps use the information today.

Maybe even now there would not be the interest, but think about what Dorr could do with his lectures, he could do them onlikne-I stilldon't undersgtand it, but there are apparently several universities ONLY online, one sponsored by Western State Governors.

Even though our enemies can also use this resource, it is “sinful” for us and our community/movement not to use this resource (you could say God-given?).

Column in The (Shreveport) Times (12-2-08): Obama (family)sets new example

Your thoughts in a column in the local Gannett paper (The Times) this Tuesday, with the heading "Obama sets new example" is very timely.

You point out to people complaining that there is little "change" seen so far in the coming Obama administration, the change is Obama himself.

But it is your point that the Obama family is also a change. This young, black, happy family should not only be a good example for young black citizens who now see over 70% of black women having babies with being married, but it tells young black men who have been raised in a single parent family, without a father around, that another black child raised in such an environment is now the president of the United States, possibly the most powerful person in the world. And he got there by being intelligent, not ignoring educational opportunities.

I would like to direct your attention to how this also could be relevant to the issue of same sex marriage. It is clear that many black male heterosexual preachers have failed with their preaching to get their community to honor marriage. Yet these same men put their energy in opposing homosexual men and women whodo want marriage.

Is it possible that these men are on the defensive because they have failed and are jealous that members of another minority community do want to practice what they preach? What a thought-black Christians who seek a special right-to marry, that was denied them under Christian slave owners, and want to deny this right to homosexuals.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Open Letter to Patricia Nell Warren about her article on Mormons,gays and marriage

Regarding Blog Post by Patricia Nell Warren on Marriage, Polygamy, and Gays

Only by accident, thanks to the link I found on Daily Queer News, did I know of the information in your article (on Bilerico) on the plans of the Mormon church, Muslims and radical "Christians" to seek, to (essentially) eliminate DOMA so that they can have polygamy.

I hate to complain about the messenger, but this is extremely important information and obviously I would think every part of our media would be talking about it-certainly since it is these groupsthat seek to keep marriage from homosexuals. So why is this not covered elsewhere and before? Did the people supposedly working on the No on 8 campaign know of this aspect? I don't understand why this would not have been a good talking point.

I don't know how to deal with the facts reported without making our community/movement appear anti-religious, BUT it is clear that religion is anti-us.

But why have I not heard, for instance, that Texas already allows special rights for one religious group, Muslims, while it attacks another religious group, Mormons, over the same issue-marriage and children's and womens' rights?

With the risk of sounding racist, I do want to hear how the black, heterosexual, male preachers, who worked with the Mormons to keep homosexuals from equal marital rights, using the Bible, explain (knowing that Mormons didn't allow blacks equal rights in their church for many years) what they nowthink about the Mormon's integrity. And do they agree that Muslims should be allowed to have more than one wife and, in some cases, put their extra wives on welfare?

Where do we place this problem in America's list of problems, the war against Radical Islamist terrorists, the financial failures, etc?

Thank you for letting us know of this deceit of the Mormons-as if we were not already aware of their lies, etc. But please hlep us know your thoughts on what we can do to stop this threat to our American way of life, by religious fanatics of all types, all of whom, of course, hate homosexuals.

Billy Glover
Co-founder of the Homosexual Information Center