Saturday, February 19, 2011

 
 Douglas Worthen

Our day in the Representatives' Hall at the State House to lend our testimony to the effort to fend off repeal of Marriage Equality here in New Hampshire was fascinating but tiring.  We ended it with a real treat -- a friend of ours who is a highly accomplished flautist was giving a recital at St. Anselm's College in Manchester at 6pm.  It lasted just an hour in a handsome chapel in Italian-Byzantine style, now turned into an art gallery.  

Doug chose three works for flute and piano that were French or French-influenced: a 1957 Sonata by Francis Poulenc; the 1926 Sonata per Flauto e pianoforte by the tragically short-lived Mario Pilati (died at age 35); and the 1943 Sonatine by Henri Dutilleux.  The wonderful accompanist was George Lopez whose work impressed us enormously.  

As it happens, I'm not a great fan of the piano as an instrument; I find its sound hard, clangorous and monochromatic, exacerbated by the fact that I feel most pianists play much too loudly, particularly in vocal and instrumental recitals where they frequently drown out those they should be supporting.  But Mr. Lopez was a sterling colleague who scaled his volume to the space, the works and the solo instrument at hand.  The result was elegant, delightful playing that perfectly complimented Doug's virtuosity and beautifully controlled lyricism.  The very lovely second movement of the Poulenc Sonata served as the encore, again played with beautiful tone and perfect line.  

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Voters don't want gay marriage repealed

By Mo Bexley  

We should find out this week whether the New Hampshire Legislature will actually do what 96 percent of Republicans want them to do: govern with a laser-like focus on the economy.  A recent nonpartisan poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center unequivocally shows people expect the Legislature to dig us out of this stubbornly bad economy. Job creation and fiscal responsibility are what they care about. Not social issues.

And in a poll released days later by New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, in a number that politicians would love to claim in any election year, 63 percent have no appetite to eliminate the freedom to marry in the Granite State.  Nonetheless, on Thursday there will be a legislative hearing on whether to scrap the popular 2009 law that has allowed more than 1,300 loving and committed New Hampshire gay people to marry.

Fritz Bell, 78, and Will Fregosi, 65, of Raymond, have been together 14 years. They got married in Massachusetts seven years ago to make that commitment to one other. And they wanted to ensure that in their senior years, they can take full responsibility and care for one another as other married couples do.  "I actually carry our marriage certificate in my wallet," Bell says, "because if something should happen to me I want there to be no doubt that Will belongs by my side."

One of the bills to be debated Thursday, sponsored by Rep. David Bates, would take away that marriage certificate. The state of New Hampshire would no longer recognize the Bell and Fregosi marriage.

In the Freedom to Marry poll, Granite Staters overwhelmingly believe repealing marriage equality is a bad idea, including 66 percent of independents and even one in three Republicans.  Majorities of voters in more conservative-leaning regions - Manchester, Salem, Nashua and surrounding towns - oppose overturning the law. And despite the goal of some to insert these marriages into the Republican presidential primary, only 1 percent of Republicans see it as an important issue for the 2012 nominee.

Gay and lesbian couples are our neighbors, nurses, firefighters and small-business owners who get up every day and go to work. They take care of their families. Eliminating their freedom to marry doesn't square with New Hampshire values. We don't want the government interfering in our lives. Equality and freedom are what we value. And that means freedom and equality for all of us - not just some of us.

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Moment of delicious irony: this guy has taken the put-down of homosexuality from Leviticus 18:22 and tattooed it on his bicep, BUT just a little later in Leviticus 19:28 it is forbidden to get tattooed! So he believes in the one and not in the other, the cafeteria approach to the Bible that allows a lot of people to condemn what they wish according to their own prejudices, while flipping god the bird when they don't want his laws to get in the way of their own lifestyles. I sincerely doubt this guy would throw out all his mixed fiber clothing (polyester makes the cotton SO much easier to live with), toss out his pig skin belts and shoes, or adopt strict dietary laws 'cause, damn!,  surf 'n turf is just SO good, as is ham and cheese or shrimp scampi -- all of which are Levitical no-nos.

It needs to be remembered (as one anti-gay speaker in the Representatives Hall the other day did not) that Jesus never said ONE WORD against homosexuality.  His feelings on all kinds of topics, social, political, sexual and spiritual are recorded in the gospels but NOTHING about homosexuality.  He surely knew homosexuals.  The Romans lived and their soldiers were stationed throughout the area.  Four miles out of Nazareth was a Roman military town of some size.  A carpenter like Joseph whose son was being trained in his father's trade would surely have gone to the Roman town for work which would have been plentiful there.   

The Roman army was full of homosexual couples and singles.  And the one documented encounter between Jesus and a homosexual was the Roman officer who came looking for a cure for his young lover, as Biblical scholars have now admitted is the proper translation of what used to be called the Roman officer's servant.  If Jesus had condemned homosexuality, he could easily have refused the officer's request, or delivered a condemnation.  What he did was cure the young man and praise the Roman for his faith.  

Some people need to be reminded of these things at regular intervals.

Comments:
Nice post. And I totally agree with you on the "What would Jesus do?" litmus test that no Conservative will ask themselves. Because they know what the answer would be. Jesus would never condone such behavior. He may have not said anything specifically about homosexuality, but he certainly made it quite clear that his one "commandment" was that we all should just love one another. Without limits, or exceptions.
I love the irony of the tatoo guy story.
 
You are preaching to the choir, baby, but I have never been more proud of you both, & I have never loved you more. Thanks.

Tatoo story!
 
You guys are amazing! By the way, that tattoo story looks like it was on tv. Did the reporter mention the Leviticus conflict? And if so, was the guy asked about it? Just wondering...
 
OH, that's so marvellous about the anti-Levitican tattoo. More ammunition along the lines of 'God hates shellfish' that show what a nonsense those for-the-time commandments were/are.

Pianowise, if you still find the keyboard clangorous, you need to spend more time with Mme Pires, Martha A and late Horszowski - ethereality on a plate.
 
If there weren't a photo of the tattoo I'd have a hard time believing it was done....what a mental case he must be. . . . . .
 
Congrats on your inclusion in the fine piece in the Concord Monitor.
 
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