October 16th, 2012Uncategorized
You’ve heard the term ‘fashion-conscious’ right? What about having a fashion conscience? In a society that is unequivocally consumed with material things, we allow things to do define us. Western society likes to perpetuate this idea that we should celebrate individuality, and a strong sense of personal identity, but all of our actions contradict that. If you’re a lover of fashion, you’re probably busy trying to stay on top of the latest and greatest trends, right? Well what happens if one of those trends is, shall we say, controversial?
Two years ago, fur crept managed to slither its way back onto the runway. For some designers, fur has always been a part of their winter line-up in some fashion or another. They might have designed fur-lined boots, or maybe a vest with fur trim. In an effort not to appear politically incorrect and socially conscious, the idea has always been to either leave fur out of the collection, or only have it as ‘accent’. Designers are hiding anymore and we’ve seen full-on fur ensembles march down the runway with reckless abandon. So what is it about fur that makes it so controversial and after two decades of being chastised, how is it that fur is now back on the scene.
No matter how you slice it, if you’re wearing a piece of clothing with fur, whether it be a coat, a vest or a hat, the animal was more than likely killed in an inhumane way. Trapping animals for fur is considered illegal in most states in America, but there are plenty of ‘fur farms’ that raise animals for the purposes of turning them into pelts. Up until 1995, leg traps were the capturing device of choice for fur purveyors. An animals’ leg or legs would be caught in the trap, and if it didn’t die from starvation, it suffered at the hands of some trapper who would systematically bash its brains out, or just crush it with an instrument so as not to damage the pelt. If that isn’t enough to make you donate anything to make you ill, let us enlighten you further.
After the ban, trappers would resort to alternative methods, most popularly, the ‘noose’ method. An animal would run through a trap, and the noose would catch somewhere around its’ body, preferably the neck region. The trapper would then approach the half alive animal, of which was often squirming in terror, and again, use a crushing method so as not to damage the pelt. This is considered a ‘more humane’ way of trapping these animals.
The fur industry and designers still had a driving desire to sell fur to the masses so they realized that unless they re-branded the material as something more alluring, shall we say, they would not survive. This resulted in this new notion that fur was an ‘ethical and green material’. First of all, we all know there is nothing ethical about using forty to sixty rabbit pelts to make one fur coat. And what’s more, the manufacturing process to make a fur garment is not only one of the most detrimental processes for the planet, but the tanning process uses ingredients like lead and toluene, two things that can cause human fertility. So, what’s so sexy and luxurious about not being able to have babies? Are fashionistas so desperate to wear a dead animal on their back?
There are over 400 designers today that use fur regularly with design houses like Alexander McQueen leading the way. If animal rights big Whigs like P.E.T.A. and Green Peace can’t get these designers to stop using fur in their collections, and it would seem that consumers don’t seem to be all that concerned, it’s no wonder that fur is making a fierce comeback. So we put the question to fashion die-hards, is it worth it?
July 21st, 2012Uncategorized
T-shirts are making a come back. I feel so ridiculous typing that, but it’s the truth. For whatever reason celebrities, fashion designers and fashionistas around North America have decided that it was time for the revival of the t-shirt. What is so funny is that I’m not really sure how you can revive something that pretty much most of us wear on a daily basis, but oh well! It’s a fun little trend, and it doesn’t exactly require any of us to go running out to some expensive shop to buy a t-shirt. Though, you could if you wanted to. I once saw a plain t-shirt that was by the Dolce & Gabbana for something crazy like $350! I took a photo of the price tag and sent it to all of my friends with a caption that read something along the lines of, “Only if I won the lottery, would I be so crazy to blow half a pay cheque on a t-shirt!” They all thought it was quite funny, and then they all thought that it was plain insulting that any designer would think that their name on a piece of cotton was worth that much. I guess if you’re a fashion designer that’s had your designs worn by every major celebrity and pop star in the business, it just doesn’t matter.
So how do you style a t-shirt exactly? It’s a really good question, because being a regular old t-shirt and jeans kind of woman myself, I never really thought of my t-shirt being the center point of my outfit, unless it had something really interesting on it. If you’re a simple girl, consider something over sized and perhaps something with a vintage feel. I raid my boyfriend’s closet on a regular basis, and wear some of his old t-shirts from his university days. He’s a rugby player and about a good hundred pounds heavier than me, so of course the shirts are massive, but I still love wearing them. I usually like to pair them with something like my favorite platforms or, hold your gasp, clogs! Hey, don’t judge, at least the Dutch still think they’re cool, and if I lived in Amsterdam, I would fit right in!
If you’re not really into looking so casual, then think about marrying two trends to create one! This season, color blocking is all the rage, so think about pairing your favorite solid colored t-shirt with a pair of brightly colored denim. I haven’t put this together myself, but I’ve seen the look around town a few times, and it looks absolutely fabulous, I love it! If you really want to dress it up (which of course you should), than pair it with a fantastic pendant necklace. It’s really up to you on how couture you want to take your look. That’s the fabulous thing about personal style, it’s all your own and it’s always open to interpretation. So start digging around in those drawers of yours and put those t-shirts of yours to better use then just sitting around in them on the weekends!
June 4th, 2012Uncategorized
I don’t know if there is anything that I love more than reviving vintage style. As much as I adore the fashion community, it’s really rare that something jumps out at me that’s new and fresh. I often feel like we’ve plateaued in the design department, we just get a little more ridiculous and we use different colour variations. And there are of course some styles that I could never jump on board with on principle! I can’t say I was ever a fan of shoulder pads, and as much as I adore bohemian chic, I’m not really into looking like a dirty hippy who looks like I’ve just fallen off of a runway at Fashion Week! But what I’ve always been an avid fan of anything from the 1940′s and 1950′s and it’s the era that always inspires me to learn how to become a fashion designer. One of my favourite designs that came out of this era is the peplum, a neat little overskirt that you’ll find on a blazer, cocktail dress, gown or blouse. They can be built into the garment or they can be detachable to add a little extra flair to a particular look. But as chic as a peplum looks, they aren’t for everyone and there are unspoken rules about rocking a peplum, so here are a few things to keep in mind:
1) Rock a peplum with your favourite trouser pants
Trouser pants aren’t for every body type, but a peplum is a great little feature that breaks up the body in a flattering way. For women who are a little more on the stocky side, or who have a boyish figure and lack a visible waist can add a peplum to create the illusion of curvature. If the ratio between your shoulders is similar to that of your waistline than wearing wide leg trousers with a peplum feature can actually make you look a little more girly!
2) Rock a peplum with skinny jeans/pants
This is a super chic look especially if you pair this with a fitted blazer. If you are more on the petite side, and lack hips, a peplum gives the illusion of a fuller figure while skinny jeans or pants will accentuate legs, giving you length.
3) Mix and match your colours
If you have broader shoulders wearing a darker tone up top actually gives the illusion that you’re more narrow than you are. This also works if you happen to be busty and you want to distract added attention from the girls. Pair it with a lighter, or softer tone on the bottom, and not only will you look more put together, your body looks more proportional.
1) Wear strappy shoes
The peplum is a style that is designed to accentuate the curvature of a woman’s waist and hips, and even if you happen to be quite tall, because a peplum breaks the body up structurally, it can make you look short or squat. Stay away from shoes like Mary Janes or shoes that have ankle straps because they have the potential cut your legs off in an unflattering way. You never want to look squat, think length and height, and stick to heels that are a minimum of four inches.
2) Wear clingy fabrics
If you’re going to wear a peplum, consider something that has some structure to it. When you accentuate your hips and waist, you want to ensure that you’re not accentuating any flaws in the process. A more structured fabric will ensure that the peplum sits on a flattering part of the waist and won’t make you look like you know what you’re doing with a couture piece.
April 25th, 2012Uncategorized
Today, I had to take a half day off to grab a few essentials for my upcoming vacation to Cuba. Any other time of year, I would be bounding towards the mall like a retriever after a stick, but there’s just something about bikini season that gives me the heebie jeebies! Don’t get me wrong, I adore summer. Picnics at the beach, stand-up paddle boarding in the near by bay, gelato at my favourite shop, and months of fantastic festivals make summer in my city the best place on Earth. However, what unnerves me slightly, is when the mercury hits the roof, and I have to start peeling back the layers, especially at the beach, yikes! So it’s no surprise that I left the bathing suit purchase until the very end of my shopping trip.
The “bikini blues” are by no means a new notion to women across the board. It can strike fear in the heart of even the most perfectly sculpted goddess (even Cindy Crawford used to get nervous during bathing suit shoot!). But I’m here to tell you that there is an unbelievable collection of bathing suit brands that are making women of all shapes and sizes feel like a million bucks as they schlep across the beach, and one of my personal favourites is Pin-Up Couture.
Pin-Up Couture is a California based company that designs retro, throw-back bathing suits from the 1940′s through to the 1960′s and beyond. Other than the fact that their suits are designed and made in the USA, I’m a huge fan of any designer paying homage to an era that celebrated curvy bottoms and busty bosoms! I’m a curvy girl myself, and I find it rather dismaying to have to sift through all the size zeros to get to the real sizes.
Generous bust design makes this particular brand an obvious choice for women who don’t want to look completely naked at the beach (ladies like myself included!). There’s nothing wrong with an itsy bitsy teenie weenie polka dot bikini, but sometimes, a little extra coverage is even sexier than showing the whole kit and caboodle!
Let’s not forget that I’m not a wealthy woman, and because I’m a student always on the hunt for a bargain, the idea of blowing my entire shopping budget on a piece of clothing that I can only wear for a month or two out of an entire year doesn’t sit well with me. Pin-up Couture bathing suits, for the most part, are under $100! Even on a modest administrative assistant salary, you can afford to invest in a truly unique swimsuit, and be the talk of the town. So channel your inner Marilyn, and get yourself into a suit that will have you strutting your stuff across the sand, rather than scuttling like a wounded animal!
Tags: affordable bathing suits, bathing suits, bathing suits for real women, real women bathing suits, vintage bathing suits
April 8th, 2012Uncategorized
One of the last States in the United States to have sodomy laws was Texas. The Supreme Court ruled however that sodomy laws were unconstitutional, ending the criminalization of homosexuality. The case was Lawrence v Texas, but most people actually know very little about the case itself. Understanding the details of this case will help us understand exactly how far the LGBT movement has come and how far we have to fall if we do not continue the fight. In this case the police came upon two men having sex while responding to a false police report. Someone called police and reported “suspicious activity” in the apartment. Under Texas law at the time “homosexual conduct”, defined as either oral or anal sex between two or more people of the same gender, was not only illegal but a conviction for it would require sex-offender registration. There were still 13 States with sodomy laws on the books and all of them were ruled unconstitutional.
It is very important to understand the Court´s reasoning however and we must keep in mind that Court rulings are seldom made because they are the right thing to do or the ethical thing to do. Court rulings are supposed to be solidly based on the Constitution, not on morality or ethics. The United States Constitution guarantees citizens a reasonable expectation of privacy and the Court simply reasoned at the time that regulating mature consensual sexual behavior violated that expectation. While the Constitution has no express right to privacy, the Bill of Rights indicates that at least a reasonable expectation should exist and this interpretation seems reasonable considering the Founding Fathers other writings. While it is unlikely, given the direction of public opinion, that we will go back to the days before Lawrence, governmental discrimination still exists. While much of the discrimination on an institutional level has disappeared, individual discrimination still exists. The Court also ruled that these laws were a violation of the Due Process Clause as well. Finally the Court ruled that Equal Protection was also an issue because the same acts were permissible for heterosexual couples.
One at employee at the Library of Congress, Peter TerVeer, was recently fired from a job he had been doing for several years and at which he had received several promotions, simply because someone superior to him discovered that he was Gay. When Peter came out at work his immediate supervisor quickly created a hostile work environment, loudly disparaging both his sexual and religious beliefs. In one email, obtained by Fox5 News, contained text from the following email sent by the supervisor: “My personal perspective as to having my religious beliefs is that homosexuality is not a sin. And that was not the case up there,” said VerTeer gesturing toward the location of his old office.” TerVeer was essentially an Executive Assistant and loved his job. He stated work at the Library in 2008 as a temporary employee and soon began to rise through the ranks, making it to GS-11 in just three years. None of this mattered to his Christian supervisor who decided that defending the tenets of a Bronze Age superstition was more important than following the words of the Founder of his religion, a man who wore long hair and a beard, hung out with hookers and criminals and fed the poor, who said “Love Thy Brother as Thine self”. While we can celebrate great advances in obtaining our legal and Constitutional equal rights, we must understand that the largest majority of people who want to criminalize us only care about Supreme Court rulings when they agree with their religious beliefs.
March 31st, 2012Uncategorized
The above image is the seal of the European Council on Human Rights, whose position on Transgender rights is clear from their statement that “”Discrimination against transgender persons must no longer be tolerated“. According to one group 95% of “Inter-sex” people are forced to undergo sexual reassignment surgery with no consent. This issue came to light during a push by German hermaphrodites began a push for equal rights. This story begins with the tale of Christiane Voelling, 52, and German hermaphrodite. When Christiane was delivered the nurse on duty mistook an enlarged clitoris for a penis and listed her as a male on the birth certificate. Christiane was forced to lead a very difficult life because of this mistaken identification, finding herself extremely conflicted between her feelings of who she was but also because of the forced gender identification. When she was 18 years old Christiane needed surgery on her appendix. While the surgeons were aware of her duel physical nature they had assumed that her female reproductive organs had atrophied. According to the surgical reports these doctors not only extracted Christiane´s appendix however but also her 100% functional ovaries.
One of the first classes medical students in the United States and most of the European Union must take is Medical Law and Ethics. These classes are designed, for most people, to prevent just such a thing as what happened to Christiane Voelling from happening. The law that covers this particular incident is called the “informed consent” law and Germany does have a version of the law on their books. This law requires that medical professionals “inform” (in writing) the patients of all surgical work that will be performed, what any complications, side or after-affects, etc. During most surgeries there are at least two doctors (one for support) in the room. This are not medical-assistants, but full doctors who are supposed to definitely know better. The inside of a human being is not like the engine on a car. If you take parts out you cannot simply screw them back in.
But apparently this law only applies to some citizens. In most cases, in both the US and Europe, permission for procedures like this is seldom obtained before the surgery is performed. Because of social conditioning the operating doctors actually believe they are correcting a problem when in fact they are actually causing many more problems. Science is discovering that human beings, and in fact most animals, relate to sexuality on three different levels, physical, chemical and emotional. The problem is that with Inter-sex or Transgender are forced to deal with conflicting signals from what they see (physical) and what they feel (chemical and emotional). In Christiane´s case she had many male appearing primary and secondary sexual characteristics, but she also had female physical characteristics and, more importantly, felt like a woman.
The necessity of gender identification is clear, especially in infancy, for the simple reason that some medical procedures necessarily very between males and females. The problem is that this initial identification is forced on the child for the rest of their lives long before society can judge the other two aspects of internal sexual identification. In Christiane´s case, if allowed a choice later in life, she would have identified herself as female. Everyone except Christiane had a say however. Like Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, how we identify with our own sexuality should be a completely personal choice. The very idea that society should be able to make such a basic decision about people should be completely repugnant to anyone living in a democratic nation. Life has so much more to offer than just the things we feel.
March 16th, 2012Uncategorized
Political comedian Bill Mahr likes to take cracks at religion, especially when someone tells him that “…religion doesn’t cause any real harm…”. It is hard to argue with him when we look at the events of the last few years in the African Nation of Uganda. This blog has, on at least two other occasions, traced many of the social problems now being experienced in that country and their connection with American Fundamentalist Christian organizations. Since our original report in October of 2011 the national media, especially MSNBC and the Rachel Maddow Show, has done a great deal of research into this problem and some of the things they discovered are shocking and should be a death blow to the credibility of the American Evangelical Community. These revelations should rightfully effect the entire community simply because even if they were not directly involved, none has come forward condemning them.
In 1986 Fundamentalist Christian Joseph Kony formed the Lord´s Resistance Army (originally the United Holy Salvation Army (UHSA) ), a Ugandan guerillas group with the express mission of turning Uganda into a Christian theocracy. Since that time Kony´s group has rendered millions in the country homeless and created an army of children nearly 70,000 strong. Kony´s followers believe that he is either the Messiah or the Devil. While President Obama has committed at least 100 on the ground troops to hunting this psychotic monster down he has failed to order the Justice Department to assign even one FBI Agent to investigate Kony´s possible connection to Western Churches and no Christian Church has condemned his actions and some churches, like the Landover Baptist Church in Freehold, Iowa, support all of the things Joseph Kony has done and are encouraging him to continue the fight. The people of Uganda are upset because of a very well made film about Kony because they say that the movie gives the world a negative image of Uganda.
But Kony is hardly alone in Uganda when it comes to extremist religious beliefs. Last year David Bahati, a Ugandan politician and Member of parliament sponsored a Bill that would make any homosexual act punishable with life in prison and a second by death. Even knowing someone who is gay, and not reporting it, was punishable by up to three years. Both Bahati and the countries President, Museveni, are members of the Family and Museveni is said to be thought of as the Family´s “man in Africa”, although it is unclear whether he is a real Fundamentalist or merely riding the political winds and taking money from Western Churches. Bahati on the other hand is the real deal. While being interviewed by Rachel Maddow he contended that there was a plot among gays in Uganda to distribute gay pornography to children and that gays were kidnapping children ( is Joseph Kony gay?). He could not produce any of the videos or any other evidence that this was a problem but maintained that it was the reason for the new laws.
But not everyone in Uganda has lost their religious mind. One group, heroically named Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMU), has decided to fight this American Invasion in the courts. In what promises to be the first in a long line of such civil actions SMU filed suit against a Massachusetts Fundamentalist pastor for several violations of International law. The group claims that Lively is directly responsible for helping to create the Ugandan “Kill the Gays” Bill and has requested that African Christians fight against what he called the “genocidal”, “pedophiliac” gay movement. He even went as far as to suggest that this “cleansing” should reach the level of the Rwandan genocide. Lively claims that while he supports prison for homosexuality he has never supported the death penalty, despite several videos of him supporting the idea.
March 7th, 2012Uncategorized
This blog unfortunately has to spend a great deal of time talking about the links between Christianity/Islam and the anti-gay movement. The leaders of both of these cults are an interesting bunch. They claim that their traditions are the only real “historical” traditions, even going as far as to claim that religion owns the word “marriage”, implying that the act is literally impossible without their endorsement: A concept that the worlds Buddhists, Hindu and Shinto followers might find disconcerting. The only real difference between these two cults is that when Muslims butcher someone in the name of Allah, following his words, they are proud of it and tell the world. But when Christians do it as a group they immediately claim that the killers were not “real” Christians. And both of these religions claim to be non-violent religions of peace and tolerance.
We are watching a world-wide change with respect to extending basic human and civil rights to the LGBT community. But because of members of these two religions we are continuously threatened, with verbal and physical abuse, in many cases leading to death, and systemic discrimination. This week in Iraq a wave of murders swept through the country and more than 40 gays were snatched from their homes and tortured to death. Last month a group that does not identify themselves, posted death threats to anyone seen as gay or lesbian, calling them “adulterous” and telling them that unless they stopped they would face “the wrath of God” in the form of the Mujahedin. Detractors might claim that this is simply and escalation of violence in the wake of the American departure but the fact is that in 2009 this same group murdered hundreds because of their perceived sexual orientation. And, like the Bible, the Koran is pretty clear about homosexuality. It says: “Do you approach the males of humanity, leaving the wives that Allah has created for you? But you are a people who transgress” Koran (26:165-66) and “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets if be done to him.” (Taken from the Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, p 664-665. ).
We all know about the Gay Death Penalty Law in Uganda and the “corrective” lesbian rapes in South Africa. But many people are not aware of the extreme level of discrimination and violence that is being directed at the Gay Community in the United States by Christians and Christian groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that monitors hate groups like the Nazi Party, Skin Heads, Black Panthers, Ku Klux Klan and others, the Family Research Council, a group that has been heavily involved in both Presidential and Congressional elections for a number of years, is classified as an anti-gay hate group. There are 17 other groups with the same anti-gay agenda on the organizations list as well. In Chicago a few months ago the Catholic Church closed its adoption service rather than follow State law and adopt to same-sex couples. In Philadelphia last week a woman was refused Communion during her mother´s funeral because she was in a same sex relationship. In Tennessee this week a pastor and deacons both verbally and physically assaulted a gay couple who tried to attend services, while Christian church members looked on. When ABC investigated their report was that the couple might have deserved the treatment because they tried to enter a place that they were not welcome and the Sheriff refused to charge the pastor because he was “going through a divorce and was probably under stress”. Under every State and Federal law behavior like this can only be seen as Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy to Conceal a Felony.
The mainstream media will not touch the connection between anti-gay violence and these two religions while on the air but at the same time most journalists and editors will agree privately. The above video demonstrates that every medical organization in the world recognize that being gay is at least partially the result of genetics yet the information in it is never discussed in public. Christian opponents to homosexual equality often cite the “many studies” that say that being gay is a choice but they never actually cite the study or, if they do, we find that the study was conducted by a Christian University.
February 29th, 2012Uncategorized
“The issue is bigger than and our being personally offended. The spread of gay rights depends on the survival of freedom in the United States. And that freedom is threatened today by nuclear terrorism. The same holds true for all civil rights: racial equality, gender equality, etc. And it has become clear since September 11, 2001 that the Republican party, despite its many flaws, is the only party willing to defend America. “
The above is the preamble on the website of gayrepublicans.org. The entire statement is so ludicrous that it nearly defies explanation. But such is the curse of both gay Christians and gay Republicans. A social psychologist would identify possible “Stockholm Syndrome”, The condition manifests most commonly in long term hostage situations and is simply a defense mechanism used by victims to defuse possible violence against them by their captors by relating to the captors. The United States is nearly the only industrialized nation that fights so hard to refuse basic civil rights for such a large portion of Its population. Most Americans see Mexico as a backward country ruled by strict Roman Catholics but this “backward” nation legalized gay marriage several years ago. The interesting thing is that Mexico does not have nearly the gay population as the United States.
The sad part of the above statement is that these people, who claim to be gay, are completely ignoring their own civil rights for some illusion that if only terrorism were defeated, the radical right would accept them as equals. The fact is however that since 2004, when the Bush Campaign used homosexuality and gay marriage as a wedge issue, every single State that had a Republican controlled Legislature has voted to either pass legislation forbidding the practice or actually amending the States Constitution to ban it.. They engaged in an incredibly active misinformation campaign using tools like Fox & Friends and “Dr.” Phil, a psychologist who had his license stripped for engaging in a questionable sexual relationship with a 19 year old patient, while the good “doctor” was married. Registered nurses, doctors with questionable histories and twisted “facts” to influence the electorate.
In 1996 every single Republican supported the Defense of marriage Act after pressuring President Clinton into passing it as a compromise against even more Draconian legislation. Every single Republican candidate for President this year has supported the fight against gay marriage and civil rights. There is not one leader of either a State or the National Republican Parties that is openly gay. Not one. The Republican Party has at no time in its history supported extending civil rights to anyone. Every Republican administration since Richard Nixon has moved toward restricting civil rights in the name of “freedom” and “security”. The Republican objection to the repeal of DADT was that the presence of openly gay soldiers would be so distracting to heterosexual soldiers as to render them unable to fight effectively. During one debate this year the crowd, not the candidates, actually booed a gay soldier who simply asked a question of the candidates.. So we have both the leaders of the party and rank and file members who do not support equal rights for the LGBT community.
Martin Luther King did not join the Ku Klux Klan in order to make changes. Gandhi did not join the British controlled Indian parliament. Some gays claim to have joined the party because of its “fiscal conservatism” but the Democratic Party has fiscal conservatives in its ranks as well. The defining issue between the two parties is on social issues alone. Republicans want the status quo of only well monied, Evangelical Christian, ideas. The actively pursue an agenda of completely controlling the lives of all citizens and forcing them into that particular set of values. Social progressives do not indulge in gay bashing, social conservatives do
February 24th, 2012Uncategorized
The last week has seen two new State Legislatures pass new laws allowing gay marriage. In New Jersey the Legislature passed the Bill but Governor Chris Christy vetoed it, promising to put the question to a vote of the people in the November elections. The Bill in Maryland was signed by the Governor but minority Republicans promise to force a general vote in November as well. In New Jersey there is also a civil action that challenges that the State´s Civil Union laws, saying that they do not provide the same protections as marriage. The State´s argument is that there is no Constitutional guarantee of marriage rights, but while gay marriage rights are not mentioned by name, the word “marriage” is not even in the Constitution, which means that heterosexual marriage is not protected either. But all of this tells us that the fight for equality is on and public opinion is slowly shifting in favor of everyone being equal. In San Francisco for instance the local police made a video entitled “It Get´s Better” in support of the discrimination and harassment currently being suffered by Gay teens across the nation.
But the other side of the argument is far different. Instead of encouraging tolerance, individual rights and honesty, detractors serve a steady intolerance, invasions of personal privacy, including acting as directors in everyone´s bedrooms and using information that is simply dishonest in their causes. The intolerance is not surprising considering that most of the people who reject the idea of gay marriage are usually Christians, who are historically not the most tolerant people in the world. But Christians purport to be required to adhere to the Ten Commandments and one of those Commandments is to “bear no false witness against thy neighbor.” There was not sub-clause in this order that allowed you to lie if the person was committing a sin or when you disagreed with their choices. It clearly says: Do Not Lie.
Christian teachers in the State of Georgia do not seem to have a problem violating that particular Commandment with a smile on their face. One teacher, Tanya Ditty, testified that according to scientific research, acts like pedophilia, transvestism, bestiality and others are “sexual/gender identities and are in the same class as homosexuality and transgendered. She testified that she had a “research paper” which clearly included homosexual and transgendered people in the same class as the above fetish types. The fact is that “gender” identity deals with a person´s view of themselves in a certain gender role and deals with every aspect of that person´s life, not just sex. Researchers world wide have identified many different causes, including genetically created chemical imbalances, for both homosexuality. We use the term “imbalance” simply to identify that it is different than the current standard.
Ditty was trying to prevent workplace equality and promote workplace discrimination. This woman was upset at the idea that gays and transgendered Americans, some of whom are her neighbors, would no longer suffer workplace discrimination and a single day after her poisonous testimony the Panel voted 3-2 to destroy the equality Bill. Rational people should not have a problem determining which side of this argument has a more solid foundation. One side is using honest research into the important questions and are simply asking for privacy and equal rights as citizens. The other side has attempted to block every attempt at equal rights, uses lies and misinformation to the table, and will usually resort to violence when their demands are not met.
February 18th, 2012Uncategorized
“The world will not be destroyed by people doing evil. It will be destroyed by people watching them do it and doing nothing about it” – Albert Einstein
When we are children many of the images that are presented to us have friendly hippopotamuses gamboling placidly with people and other animals. The facts are far different however. These huge animals are responsible for more deaths on the African Continent than any other animal. Fiercely territorial these animals attack and kill with impunity. The same applies to chimpanzees. These primates, that bear such a striking resemblance to men, are portrayed in movies and on television as small, lovable animals when the fact is that they often engage in long bloody feuds and a full grown chimp is fully capable of killing a man in seconds. The lessons we can take from this is that the image we are presented with might not be entirely accurate.
The Neoconservative movement in the United States presents an image of people who want small, nearly invisible government and place themselves on a high moral platform. When we compare how they appear and the reality of their agenda however a far different picture appears, and the events of the past few years remind us that images can be deceiving. The Republican Party has always been anti-gay rights, but until the last three decades both Parties held these opinions. When public opinion began to shift however, the largest part of the Democratic Party shifted with it, but because of a decision made by the Reagan Presidential campaign in 1980, the Republicans, instead of following the will of the people, elected to put all of its eggs in a basket belonging to Christian Fundamentalists, led by the late Jerry Falwell. It does not take someone enrolled in a Political Science degree program to trace the real beginnings of this movement toward theocracy.
While this group regularly talks about the limited role of government in the lives of citizens, in practice they sponsor legislation that attempts to control every aspect of human behavior and to force the people to adhere only to the rules laid down in one religious belief. The Defense of Marriage Act is an excellent example. According to proponents of this draconian legislation say that marriage is “traditionally” between a man and woman, they are referring to Christian marriage. They submit the ludicrous proposition that if same sex couples are legally able to say that they are married that the entire institution of marriage will be destroyed, while completely ignoring the fact that Massachusetts, the first State to legalize gay marriage, has seen a rise in the number of marriages of heterosexual couples and an overall drop in the divorce rate State wide.
Now we have Rick Santorum. Santorum is an open opponent of not only gay marriage (he compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia) but abortion for any reason, including to save the life of the mother and even wants to make birth control illegal. Nearly 10% of the American people are openly gay and nearly 40% admits to at least one gay or bisexual experience in their lives and 95% of American women regularly use birth control. But while over 60% of Republican voters are in favor of contraception and an increasing number favor gay marriage, Santorum continues to win State after State in the primary contest, clearly winning nearly half of the States that have already voted.
Native Americans tell a story about a man who climbed a high mountain, far beyond the treeline and into the snows. He finds a rattlesnake who begs him to bring him back to the warm lowlands. The Indian rightfully fears the deadly viper and says so but the snake promises not to harm him. The man agrees, tucks the snake into the warmth of his clothing and brings him down to the warmth of the forest. When the Indian tries to remove the snake however, the asp bites him. When he asks why the snake tells him clearly, “Why are you surprised? You knew what I was when you picked me up.” Rick Santorum is very clear about who and what he is. Like that rattlesnake however, if we do end up putting him into the Oval Office, we should not be surprised when we lose even more of the few “rights” that Americans are so proud of. The time has come to talk about the Hippo in the room.
February 7th, 2012Uncategorized
While gays in the West and especially in the United States are cheering the Federal Court ruling this week that Proposition 8, California´s gay marriage ban, is unconstitutional, members of the gay community in the African nation of Uganda are in fear of their lives. MP David Bahati, introduced the bill in 2009 to strengthen the nations already harsh laws concerning homosexuality. Instead of mere decades in prison a person can be subjected to life without the possibility of parole for the first offense and the death penalty for two or more proven offenses. Bahati was shown by journalist Jeff Sharlet to be a member of the American based “Family”, and ultra secret conservative christian organization that uses its Brownstone on Washington´s “C” Street to influence conservative legislators. The fact that the Family has heavily financed this push in Uganda is indisputable and Bahati has said on many occasions that it was his desire to “kill all of the gays.
Most observers expected the issue to disappear after it died before coming to debate or vote last May. But those observers underestimated the drive of this bill´s proponents. Bahati, not to be deterred and ignoring the outrage of the rest of the world, introduced the bill, with no significant changes, again this Session. Bahati has made claims that can only make one wonder about his sanity. According to the Legislator, more than $15 million has been spent in Uganda in a program designed to recruit young children into the gay lifestyle. He said that videos had been found circulating in the country that said that it was acceptable for men to sleep with men and women with women and that this proved that children were being recruited.
While the Family insists that none of their members support this Bill, directly after Bhahati presented the idea during the Family´s Uganda Prayer Breakfast, Family member Bob Hunter gave him an interview and immediately tried to distance the Family´s involvement. But according to Jeff Sharlet, the Family has poured millions of dollars into Uganda through a convoluted chain of links and it is this money that is funding people like Bahati as well as a huge public misinformation campaign. The Family is also stressing, supporting a massive campaign launched by the Vatican, a negative campaign against condom use in one of the most AIDS ravaged parts of an AIDS ravaged continent.
Members of the Family believe that they were “chosen by God” to lead the world to Christianity, according to Sharlet, who lived with the group at “C” Street for two years. The problem with this is that at any one time a significant part of our Congress are not only members of the Organization but live for free in the Luxurious accommodations found at the Brownstone in D.C., the home of numerous sex scandals during the last decade. Understanding that every citizen has the right to freely practice their religion, allowing an organization that clearly represents the interests of only one religious group to have such a powerful influence in your life can only lead to speculation that there might be Separation of Church and State issues. It is one thing to attend Church and support religious causes in your free time. But these men and women are actually living inside the Church and being kept in a lavish fashion using Church money. Could it be possible to believe that these human beings are incapable of being influenced by this?
Americans can help the Ugandan people by putting the American branch of the Family out of business. This organization is posing as a Church, while its sole mission is to influence political policy and to do so under the cover of “Religious Freedom”. If any organization wishes to involve itself in politics, and this includes all religions and “Churches”, then it should pay taxes. Every voter has the right to vote their religion on election day so restricting the Churches themselves does not impinge on religious freedom. When religious organizations like this become so powerful that they can influence the politics in other nations, we have to wonder how long before the rest of the world suffers the fate of the Iranians and learns the true meaning of “theocracy”.
February 2nd, 2012Uncategorized
If you are gay in school in California you might have a hard time with other students and even teachers. But if you are gay in school in a State like Alabama, it is an absolute guarantee that you will have problems and it can even be dangerous. But regardless of where you live, or how difficult your problems are, you must realize that you are not alone. You have rights and there are many people who will support you in defending your rights.
The first thing to do is to consult with your schools counselor. Unfortunately not all school counselors are sympathetic but most are and if you want to both protect yourself and defend your rights. If you cannot get assistance there, the next step is to request assistance from school administrators. There are websites that tell you exactly what the laws are in your area so that when you go to administrators you will know your rights. By taking these two steps you have successfully documented attempts to resolve the problem and if you are still having problems your parents will have a reason to go to the School Board and possibly an attorney or the police.
Organizations like the ACLU LGBT Project has literally hundreds of resources. Many students, after using these resources, are finding that not only can they improve their own situation, they can work to improve the atmosphere of the entire school. The reality is that, even in the worst schools, a large majority of the students are not homophobic. Peer pressure drives most of them to hurl insults or have a negative attitude. The LGBT community has been subject to a huge misinformation campaign, one that is still going on today, and the best way to solve the problem is through education. The most gay tolerant segments of our society are College students, medical, law and software engineering majors. Poets and future writers and, of course, future politicians.
There are also a large number of chat rooms exclusively for gay teens. In many cases these chat-rooms are heavily monitored for the teens protection from possible predators and they give the teens a sense of community that they are missing from at home. The largest problem that most gay teens face is the sense that they do not below, or have been excluded. Getting involved with other gay teens will relieve this feeling a great deal.
January 26th, 2012Uncategorized
The anti-gay group confusingly named “ Americans For Truth About Homosexuality” is yet another Christian dominated group that has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)as an anti-gay hate group has stepped up the pace in providing the American public with twisted information about the homosexual lifestyle. The groups centerpiece and main vehicle for spreading this propaganda is the radio show hosted by Peter LaBarbara, the organizations founder and President. One of his recent guests, North Carolina Pastor and anti-gay activist Patrick Wooden, demonstrated quite well in a recent interview on the show exactly how far groups like this will go in their attempts to paint a misleading picture of the LGBT community. The SPLC says that there are currently 18 anti-gay hate groups in the United States and the AFTAH is one of the worst. The group has even had its tax exempt status revoked by the Internal Revenue Service for failure to file their taxes for several years, making it essentially a criminal organization.
During Woodens interview, which has been endorsed by the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council and the American Family Organization, Wooden claimed to have personal knowledge, having actually witnessed the events, of homosexuals who are using items like baseball bats, cell phones and even hamsters as sex toys, inserting them in their anuses to such extremes that by the time they are in their 40´s they have to wear adult diapers. The American Psychological Association defines this as “fetish” behavior in its like of “Paraphilias”, which are different aberrent sexual behaviors.
We at Pink Truths have a counter argument for Dr. Wooden (Doctorate in Religious Studies). The very idea that masses of people are using square cellphones for anal sexual devices is simply ludicrous, as any doctor or even nurse practitioner could tell you. The damage would be immediate and probably severe and if it were common we can be assured that the news would be full of stories. While there has probably been a case of someone stupid enough to try this, the idea that it s a wide spread practice is simply ridiculous. But Wooden´s claim of other objects, that are rounder and would cause less tissue damage, are in fact used, is completely correct. A “fetish” is defined as using any foreign object to penetrate or even stimulate a non-sexual area of the body. Archeologists have discovered sex “toys” that are around 28,000 years old and the first powered sex toy(vibrator) used steam and was invented by American Physician, George Taylor, M.D. In 1869. This does not even consider the fact that the largest majority of rapes are committed by heterosexuals, by a nearly 6 to 1 margin. There is simply no evidence that gays are more likely to commit violent sex crimes than straights, according to several studies.
The good doctors statements are misleading because he attributes such fetishes exclusively to the gay community. The fact is that nearly 40% of both men and women in the United States engages in anal sex and the use of artificial objects is actually more common in heterosexuals than it is in homosexuals, according to a study done by the Kinsey Institute and this number is rapidly climbing. Yet we see no large influx to the nation´s hospitals with anal injuries or cellphones that have become jammed. One last point is that if the doctor really wishes to do away with aberrant sexual behavior that truly is harmful he might want to start with the necrophiliacs, the majority of which are heterosexual males between the ages of 20 and 50. This information comes from a study conducted with 122 necrophiliacs by J. Rosman and P. Resnick in 1989 and published in Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 17(2), 153-163. This is not even considering that
LaBarbara, Wooden and these organizations are guilty of deliberately spreading misinformation to promote a questionable social agenda. The information presented here took us less than an hour to find online and all of it comes from reputable scientific organizations, like the American Psychological Association and others. The fact is that this false picture leads to violence being directed against the LGBT community and the rights of our fellow citizens are being grossly violated. We are challenging Dr. Wooden to defend his arguments on this blog with documentary evidence to support his claims. If the Doctor is unable to provide this evidence he should apologize to the public and to his Church for breaking the Biblical Commandment not to lie.
January 21st, 2012Uncategorized
There is a very important new film that deals with LGBT issues in schools. Produced by Debra Chasnoff and Helen Cohen the film is titled “Its Elementary” and it talks about the devastating effects of homophobia on young minds and how schools might begin to deal with the problems that are sure to come. The authors demonstrate that LGBT issues are here to stay and even our language encourages homophobia. Our children are blank slates and learn their initial attitudes about other people in the home and at school. Children today, the film attempts to show, are deluged by anti-gay rhetoric, from movies, news stories, hallway graffiti and classroom slurs hurled by other students at LGBT students. When these impressions are made at such young ages they tend to remain for a person´s lifetime.
The film talks about addressing the problems and actively engaging in reeducation in the classroom to try to counter balance any negative effects that some students suffer in the home from possibly intolerant parents, people who also learned these practices in school when they grew up. The authors and publishers plan to market the book to both individuals and schools and sincerely believe that the book should be required reading for students, especially at the elementary levels. The problem is however that while this argument might work well in large cities, especially in the Northeast and on the West Coast, but in the Deep South and Midwest, especially the Southern Midwest, places like Salt Lake City, Tulsa and Selma, Alabama, at least at the current time, it does not seem likely that any curriculum that is even close to this “liberal” would be adopted by any of these schools and many educators think that only stressing these ideas in certain regions and not others will lead to further division of the American people.
And excellent example of this is the Salt Lake City School Board who made the decision recently to ban all student clubs on campus when student formed a gay-straight alliance at the school. Rather than let this group exist, and understanding that exclusively banning it, they deprived all students in the district the opportunity to learn how to form legitimate groups and learn lessons in working together to achieve a goal, assign tasks, like President, Administrative Assistant, Secretary, Treasurer. Clubs like the school´s Key Club, sports clubs, Native American and other ethnic groups, and many others are now against school policy. The School Board´s decision came after considerable pressure from Beverly LeHaye, (a Christian Evangelical and wife of Tim LeHaye, author of the “Left Behind” Christian books) President of Concerned Women of America, who presented the Board with a resolution condemning any form of relationships that are not based on a mother/father/children paradigm. LeHaye was the women who claimed that the Barbie Doll caused gender confusion.
The group is so extreme that it condemns single parent and extended family homes. The Salt Lake City community is up in arms about this move by the Board, students are staging walk-outs and there are community-wide protests but the Board has not only not backed off, they have doubled down and are planning on increasing anti-gay intolerance by stating that “the curriculum will not promote or encourage same-sex sexual relationships or orientation.” But this should be expected since Salt Lake City School Board is elected and receives a great deal of financial support from both the above group and several other far-right and Christian groups.
Intolerance in American is nothing new. It seems that Americans have always needed some groups to be the victim throughout its history and this new wave of anti-gay sentiments, which began during the 2004 Presidential Campaign cycle as a wedge issue and was immediately picked up by right wing conservative extremists and religious zealots. The problem will not end however unless we begin to teach out children at young ages that hate and intolerance just is not the right thing to do.
January 14th, 2012Uncategorized
The American Christian Church has become a great deal like the American Government on one very important way: The promote one picture of themselves while practicing completely different behavior. Most Americans know the history of the Christian Church, starting with the Crusades, cruising through the centuries of Inquisitions that were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of innocent people, simply because these people did not agree with the Churches teachings. During the Inquisitions for instance Church officials burned “heretics” (anyone who did not agree with everything they did) at the stake after spending sometimes weeks torturing them, and tied anyone accused of homosexuality up and threw them on the piles of wood that was piled around the stake. It was from this practice that the word “faggot” was first applied to homosexuals, because a faggot is a bundle of sticks used as kindling.
While this history is great for morticians, it really does little to advance us as a civilization. In modern times the Church loves to say that while this was the history of the Church, such violent intolerance is not a part of current Church teachings. When we study the Bible and the actual teachings of Christ, which have a far more Eastern flavor than anything taught by Paul, who wrote nearly 40% of the New Testament ( 13 of 27 books and 31.57% of the text) and is one of the most intolerant religious leaders in history, we see that Christianity did indeed have the potential to be a peaceful religion. The current Christian Church attacks on homosexuality are perfect examples of which parts of the Bible today´s Christians follow and they certainly seem to love the Old Testament laws that Jesus said would be no more and the rules laid down by a man who, while he never met Jesus, somehow became the primary author of the Bible and a central figure in the Church.
One of the funniest, and most confusing, sites is watching a gay person join the Republican Party and/or a Christian Church. This is so much like a black person joining the Ku Klux Klan or a Jewish person joining the Nazi Party. The Republican Party has made anti-gay Legislation part and parcel of every electoral platform since the 2000 elections. Legislation like Don´t Ask, Don´t Tell, the Defense of Marriage Act, and the wave of new anti-gay legislation that has begun popping up since Republicans took control over so many State Legislatures in 2010. The current front runners in the Republican have all allied themselves, completely committing their resources, to primarily Christian Conservative causes. Newt Gingrich for instance has openly stated his support and Mitt Romney is cheering the endorsement of Kris Koch, who has very strong ties with the East Anglican Church in East African, who have been pushing for anti-gay legislation in the region, including Uganda´s death penalty law for any homosexual act.
The Catholic Church has decided to close down their adoption services in the State of Illinois because the State told them that they could not take State money and engage in illegal discrimination against gay couples when they are accepting government money. In the view of Newt Gingrich, this is religious discrimination. Gingrich claims that the Church should be able to discriminate against anyone they want and still expect the people they are discriminating against to actually pay to support this with their tax money. Basically the State gave the Church a choice: It could follow the law or it could stop using tax dollars. Instead of following the law, as the Bible in Romans 13 (submission to government authorities) and the words of Jesus himself (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars), and protect the children (Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”), the Church decided to abandon the kids in favor of discrimination.
While the Democratic Party has not been as strong as it should have been during the last two decades concerning LGBT rights, at least this political party has not worked incessantly to turn back the clock on civil rights. The United States currently has one of the two political parties who are catering to the social interests of less than 25% of the US population and the financial interests of less than 1% of the population and when members of the LGBT community vote to support this party, they are voting against their own interests.
January 5th, 2012Uncategorized
While this blog is targeted to younger members of the LGBT community, especially students, who our future leaders are and how they view us as people and as a community, is very important. Anyone who has watched the Republican circus this last several months will understand that if any one of the candidates currently running is elected it will cause a great many set backs in civil rights in general and the civil rights of the LGBT community specifically. These are the people who booed a gay soldier who was serving in a combat zone during a televised debate. Several of these contenders have jumped on the anti-gay wagon simply in an attempt to “out conservative” the rest of them but at least two are dangerously fanatic about this issue: Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum. Not only are these two vehemently opposed to civil rights for the LGBT, they are outspoken about their religious reasons for being so.
Bachmann has dropped out of the race simply because her entire campaign focused on only attracting Christian Evangelicals (fundamentalists), and the vote demonstrated exactly how much political power they wield. Rick Santorum however is not only still in the race but he placed a shocking second in the Iowa Caucus, after staying well under 5% since entering the race and despite having little organization or money. You do not have to learn how to become a police officer to dig up any number of places that talk about Santorum´s position on homosexuality. When the gay soldier was booed it was after asking Santorum a question about “Don´t Ask, Don´t Tell” via video link from the battlefield. While it is extremely unlikely that Rick Santorum will ever see the White House it only makes sense now to find out exactly what his stands are regarding LGBT civil rights.
Santorum´s anti-gay sentiments came to light during an interview with him conducted by the Associated Press in April, 2003 in which he claimed that American citizens have no expectation of privacy concerning sexual matters of any kind. Regarding homosexuality itself he claimed to not have a problem with the concept but the sexual act itself. When asked if he expected gays to not have sex he stated:
“In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —”
There is no question that Rick Santorum relates any form of sex other than male and female in missionary position for exclusively procreation as the same as “man-on-dog”. Associated Press gave the Senator a chance to change those remarks before the interview and he refused and later, after the interview, he said, “I cannot deny that I said that and I cannot deny that it is how I feel.” But then, in a later statement, said that his remarks had been taken “out of context”.
Even though he was a member of a historically Jewish Fraternity (Tau Epsilon Phi) he has been an advocate of Christian Conservative movements for his entire career. His views are simply that any lifestyle or relationship that is not based on a strict biblical definition of a “nuclear family” is wrong and will lead to the entire American “culture” to disintegrate. Santorum supports making any form of contraception illegal and banning the teaching of evolution in public schools. While he claims to be a family man, when John Ensign was about to be investigated for his sex scandal, Santorum emailed him to warn him before the ethics committee could be called.
Two more States, Hawaii and Delaware, are now allowing same-sex unions, bringing the total to five and six more states allow gay marriage. Despite this Social Conservatives continue to present ludicrous arguments in opposition to it. While their arguments can be broken down into several different sub arguments the central theme is that marriage between a man and a women is traditional and allowing same sex marriage would destroy the already failing institution. The claim that if gay marriage were legalized less people would get married and more of those would end in early divorce.
But now with nearly 25% of States allow some form of same sex unions and polls indicating that nearly 70% of the US population does not oppose changes in the law the argument that it is an unpopular idea will no longer hold water. It turns out that the claims that same sex marriage will destroy the institution of marriage are just as delusional.
Gay marriage has been recognized in Denmark since before it became a wedge issue in US politics. The numbers of marriages actually increased 12% while straight divorces actually went down more than 10%. Fortunately Denmark has been collecting data on this since they first legalized gay marriage and we can use their findings to assess possible risk. Therefore if conservation of marriage is a primary goal of social conservatives, it seems like encouraging a form of marriage that increases the number of marriages and decreases divorces would seem to be a good thing.
Opponents might argue that Denmark has a different culture and those numbers would not apply in the United States. There are more than 500,000 gay couples who are legally married in the United States now. We have large enough numbers that we can begin to determine if it would create a problem in the United States. The State of Massachusetts was the first to legalize gay marriage. While the divorce rate has been going down nationwide during the last several years, since its legalization of gay marriage the divorce rate in Massachusetts has absolutely plummeted, reaching rates not seen since 1940. The State has been measuring the viability of the institution of marriage by using divorce rate trends, a practice hotly contested by the Christian Right in the State. It turns out that States which have gone to great lengths to “protect” marriage from “the gays” have not done nearly as well as States that have decided to stand by civil rights. The States that are most active in opposing gay marriage, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, and Texas are actually experiencing increasing divorces rates, a nearly 2% increase and that list has four of the five highest divorce rates in the nation.
Regardless of what your personal feelings are about homosexuals or gay marriage, you will be dealing with members of the LGBT community every single day. Nearly 10% of the US population is openly gay, transgender or bi sexual and there are millions more who are not open about it. The next time your medical assistant makes you feel comfortable at the doctors office, remember that you may be denying this person a full and happy life.
December 29th, 2011Uncategorized
While most of us would rather not accept it, what our children do, how they treat others in our community, is our responsibility. It is our responsibility now only until they leave home, but how they perceive the world, how they see other people and consequently how they treat other people, is your responsibility. If a child is racist or commits racist acts then the chances are in the 90th percentile that the child learned the racist attitudes in the home. At the very least the child´s development of abusive attitudes is tolerated in the home instead of corrected. The same applies to the parents of children who are being bullied. Everyone of these parents when to school and knows exactly what someone acts like who is being bullied. But many parents say they never noticed as their children were moved slowly to suicide. If they ever want to see their child have a future in something like forensic science, or a lawyer or doctor, you must pay attention.
There are things that all parents can do however to correct gay bullying before it starts. If you are the parent of a bully you need to realize that everything you say is heard by child and children seldom have the social restraint that you might. This leads children to think that they are acting in a way that you would. The problem comes however with the fact that children do not understand the concept of other people pain. Few kids are empathic, with rare exceptions. They are seeking societal approval and having fun at the same time. This means that unless you are happy at the possibility of your child being responsible for the death of another child and regardless of your personal beliefs, keep your mouth shut around any kids.
If you are the parent of a child who is being bullied there are many things that you can do to correct the problem and all of them mean beginning to act like a parent. In many cases victims of bullying will go to parents but not in all cases. Be aware of your child´s moods at all times. This might require about an hour of your time every day in conversation with your child. If you discover that your child is being bullied you will have to start helping the child.
In many cases parents think that the child is making a big issue out of minor instances. Parents must realize that something that seems minor to them is not minor to the child. Think about how you would feel if you faced serious ridicule when you went to work each day and you might have an idea of how the child feels. While some cases are minor there is nothing wrong with teaching your child certain practices that will help them deal with bullying if they are ever victimized. The first things that you need to teach your child is that bullies feed on lack of conviction and fear. Standing up to them and for your beliefs, being proud of who and what you are, will usually back a bully down. It is up to you to teach your child that is OK for them to be themselves.
It is also important to teach your child that if the bully gets physical in any way, or demands money, that going to authority figures is not only important but that it is OK. Kids have the same code of silence as we had so long ago and telling teachers is against the rules. This is a belief that you must talk to your child about. Remind you child that they are probably not the only person being victimized and their silence will lead to more abuse to them as well. Tell your child that this person is not only being mean, they are breaking the law.
December 22nd, 2011Uncategorized
The contrast between the heavily publicized anti-gay rhetoric in the United States during the 2004 election and the huge up swell of support for the repeal of “Don´t Ask, Don´t Tell” and the many States who are now recognizing both gay civil unions and gay marriage can be seen as nothing short of confusing. How can a nation of more than 300 million so suddenly shift their attitudes about something that is supposedly so fundamentally “anti-American”. The largest wedge issue used by the Bush Campaign in 2004 was gay marriage and the campaign talked endlessly about the large majority of Americans who not only opposed gay marriage but homosexuality in general. Yet just a few years later it appears that this same American public is overwhelming supportive of LGBT equal rights.
But DADT was in fact repealed by the Obama Administration and every poll taken shows huge support among not only the public but among the military as well. But while most of the American military does support this repeal, there seems to be one group who is still totally opposed to the concept: Military Chaplains. While in theory military chaplains are supposed to minister to solders of all faiths, this is seldom the case. US military Chaplains are almost exclusively Christian. Since the repeal of DADT however, while the rest of the military is doing its best to erase the intolerance, Chaplains are apparently apparently refusing to recognize the reality of the situation. There have been numerous cases of chaplains refusing to preform gay marriage or even recognize already existing gay marriages, and in some cases they have even refused to minister to gay soldiers.
There is a solution to this problem however. Prior to the repeal of DADT, if military personnel admitted that they were gay then they were in violation of military policy and discharged from service. But since military policy now states that being gay is not a violation then any military personnel who discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation is in violation of military policy and should be discharged.
Again we find that it is exclusively Christianity that promotes discrimination against the LGBT community. George Bush was courting the Fundamentalist Right when he used this issue in 2004 and actually misrepresented the number of people who were against it. We find connections with the secretive Christian organization, “The Family” with the death penalty law in Uganda and “Corrective” rapes in South Africa and now Christian Chaplains in our own military actively discriminating against gays, against official orders and in violation of military law.
American gays should realize something. Read the Bible. It is completely impossible for a Christian to accept you as long as you are gay and still be a “Christian”. The largest part of the population is fully behind the LGBT but religion stills gives us fanatics and these people can be dangerous. Whether you are in school studying forensic science or medicine, or in the military defending your county, you must realize that there is still a small but very dangerous minority out there whose sole mission is to destroy who you are as a person.
December 12th, 2011Uncategorized
Recent statistics have determined that more than 160,000 students miss school each day because of severe bullying. This number only counts the number of students who miss school because of face to face, and sometimes physical, bullying. “Cyber” bullying, which has greatly increased during the last few years, is not included and these statistics have determined that at least 35% of students today have been attacked online but their peers. The horrible effect of school bullying is reflected in the more 50% rise in adolescent suicides during the last 30 years. American children are required by law to attend school until they are 16 years old and then can only quit with parental permission. We also know that schools have always had bully’s and this is a problem that is unlikely to go away anytime soon. But the number of cases, and their consequences, we must ask ourselves when it is time to do something about this.
Two years ago young Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers Honor Student and Classical Violinist threw himself from the George Washington Bridge after his college roommate streamed his private meeting with another male student at which they were kissing. The problem of bullying is a serious one but the problem of gay bullying is much more serious because gay students are seven times more likely to take their own life because of bullying. This blog as spoken out many times about this issue and MSNBC has led a very successful campaign to fight this problem and American Prosecutors are apparently paying attention. Tyler´s roommate is now facing a 15 year sentence for everything from felonious invasion of privacy to hate crimes violations and there are a number of other prosecutions on going across the nation.
But the question is not whether these young bully´s should be sent to prison, thereby ruining yet another life, but whether the parents of these children should be held accountable for their actions. Our children are mirrors of ourselves. The attitudes that they have, the way that they view others, begins in the home. In many cases if a child´s parents are homophobic, they will reflect these attitudes. The problem however is that while adults might keep their thoughts to themselves, if for no other reason than to be politically correct, children usually will not. These same children have been desensitized by television and video games and the concept of how much they can be hurting others seldom registers. Children are not born mean spirited, they are made that way by the lessons they learn at home. When a child´s acts damage someone´s property the parents are held legally responsible, but when a child´s bullying causes the death of another child the State goes after the child.
All students should understand that physical bullying is a crime of assault. Cyber bullying is not a federal crime as yet but if the bullying is directed toward their gay classmates that they can be charged and sent to prison, completely destroying their futures, for both State and Federal Hate Crimes if the bullying leads to a persons death. But students who are victims also need to understand that if parents and school authorities fail to act to protect them, for whatever reason, that they do have protections. Children of any age can report abuse to the police and if they police do not listen, they can report this fail to investigate to the media. Whether you are in third grade, with plans to become a lawyer or to have a criminal justice career, or a freshman in college, you have the legal right to protect yourself by seeking official help if your natural protectors fail you. Finally, student victims should realize that suicide never solves the problems. Your life is simply ended and your tormentors will only seek other victims.
December 6th, 2011Uncategorized
The debate about gay marriage has been raging since Karl Rove inserted it as a wedge issue during the 2004 election cycle and continues until today. Today we have six States in the United States who have legalized gay marriage and 30 more who have passed Amendments to their respective Constitutions either directly banning gay marriage or using the back door by defining marriage as only a male/female contract. As we watch the Republican circus during this seemingly eternal campaign season, we can see that any candidate who supports even a debate on the issue will get essentially zero support in among Republican voters. We have discussed one argument proposed by detractors that heterosexual unions are “traditional” and have come to the conclusion that while legalized marriage has been limited to these unions, enduring homosexual unions, absent a marriage license are actually quite common and have been practiced on a global scale for thousands of years. We have also concluded that the legal prohibition has exclusively religious roots.
Another important argument against gay marriage is that first of all the entire purpose of marriage is to raise a family and this is simply not possible for a gay couple because gay relationships and the very idea of homosexuality is dysfunctional. We want to address this issue today by actually listening to the gay voice of America.
The above video speaks loudly to the voters in ultra-Conservative Iowa. The speaker was raised from birth by a same sex couple and made an excellent point when he said that unless he told someone this they would never know. He was successful and well adjusted and extremely well spoken but we cannot realistically expect Iowans to relate to this simply because their objection is not really about reality, it is about religion.
When we treat other human beings badly we seldom consider the real affects our treatment has on them. This is because we seldom consider how we would feel if we were treated the same way. We all need to meet Jonah, the young man in the video below. Jonah began to identify with himself being gay at the tender age of 5 years old. Because Jonah was honest about who he was, as young children are still likely to be, instead of trying to help this young man find his place in the world he was for years treated horribly by nearly everyone he came into contact with. We live in a society that, for the first time in history, that we teach our children to be honest when exploring who they are as people. We do this simply because we live in the Information Age and children have so many more resources to draw upon. The problem is however when our children find that they feel that their place is something other than what others consider “traditional”, they are generally treated as pariahs. Young Jonah has been devastated by not only the horrible treatment he has had to endure but by the fact that after being told to be honest he vilified for doing so. Our children blank slates when they are as young as Jonah was and in his case we have decided to treat this child like he was somehow evil because of his feelings. Now, instead of studying to become a software engineer or medical doctor, Jonah finds himself cutting himself and engaging in self loathing, in direct reaction to the treatment he received from others.
There are certain elements who can only equate love with the physical act of sex. When you watched the above video about a long term relationship turning into a proposal to marry, no one watching could guess that a same sex couple was involved. Like Jonah, and they young man in Iowa, these are two human beings, with hopes and dreams and loving supportive families, and in a civilized society we can only treat them with equality.
The real debate over gay marriage actually did not begin until the 2004 election cycle in the United States. The Bush campaign organization, led by political genius Karl Rove, needed a wedge issue that would both divide voters and distract from the real issues of the time such as the debacle in Iraq and the massive deregulation and tax cutting campaigns for the wealthy that would, in just two more years, nearly destroy the US economy and the gay marriage issue fit the bill perfectly. This debate continues to rage today, essentially costing the American tax payer more tax dollars than acceptance ever could. But the United States is, at least on paper, a democracy and a democracy is supposedly supposed to represent the will of the people and a democratic government is supposedly elected to represent all of the people.
So what are the real pros and cons of legalizing gay marriage? Opponents claim that if gay marriage were legalized it would require the government to pay extra benefits, to the tune of approximately $500 million. This fact has been touted over and over by the Fox Network yet this network completely ignores that legalization would earn the State of New Jersey alone over $200 million and create and additional 800 jobs in State. It would seem that the relatively minuscule cost of $500 million (the federal government spends more than that providing toilet paper to its hundreds of thousands of employees world wide), when we extrapolate New Jersey´s earnings to the rest of the country, would not matter. This means that legalizing gay marriage would actually help the economy.
Another argument is that marriage between a man and a woman is “traditional”. The US Supreme Court, in the 1971, actually ruled that marriage can only be legitimate if between a man and a woman because the only purpose of marriage was for procreation and raising of families. This argument is ludicrous on its face for a number of reasons. A marriage license is not necessary for procreation. Nor is a marriage license necessary for the raising of a family. People have been procreating and raising families long before the governments were even created, let alone before they became involved in licensing marriages. In the United States however many people have been indoctrinated with the idea of a certain “family structure”, the man/woman/two kids and a house with a white picket fence. This structure however is not the only possibility for any society, it is simply the one commonly used in the United States during the last 50 years. The fact is that for most of human history slavery was “traditional”. For most of human history woman were second class citizens, with no say in how the world works and arranged marriages were much more common than marriages for love. These practices were traditional for thousands of years so, following this argument we need to return to those standards.
But the largest argument, and the one that really controls the issue, is that gay marriage is offensive to many of the largest world religions. This is yet another ludicrous argument however. First of all the only three religions that find it offensive are Christianity, Islam and Judaism, yet there are literally hundreds of different religions that are Representative in the United States. It is also true that is not gay marriage that these religions find offensive, but the homosexual act itself, which is banned in there “Holy” writings. This blog has exposed the many attacks, carried out on a global scale, by Christian groups on the homosexual lifestyle, from the creation of an iPhone application to “cure” homosexuality to the imposition of the death penalty in Uganda, to “Corrective Rapes” of lesbians in South Africa, and other atrocities. None of these attacks had anything to do with gay marriage and all were sponsored by fundamentalist christian groups.
According to the United States Census Bureau nearly 10% of the population of the United States is openly either homosexual or bi sexual. These are people who are prominent political leaders, like James Hormel, entertainers like Ellen Degeneres, news media commentators like Rachel Maddow, pharmacy technicians, truck drivers, doctors, lawyers, business leaders and and even people who are currently living in “traditional” families. Homosexuality is now legal in all 50 states and the only thing that legalization of gay marriage would actually change is that these citizens would be allowed to receive the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples with respect to benefits and maintaining families.