Wednesday, March 21, 2012

UPDATE: The Republican-dominated House of Representatives here in New Hampshire has just defeated the Republican-sponsored bill to repeal same-sex marriage by a not-even-close vote of 211 to 116.  This means that a number of Republicans DID vote the people's will rather than Republican Party Line.  Thanks to all who crossed the line to do the right thing!

 Award-winning gay political and cultural blogger Joe Jervis (left) posted a statement yesterday from Carl Siciliano, director of the Ali Forney Center in New York City that shelters gay youth thrown out of their families for being gay.  The Cardinal in question is famous for his whiskey drinking and luxury cigar consumption as well as for his homophobia.  My comment on Joe's blog follows.

 "Cardinal Dolan, I pray that you might be able to open your eyes and your heart to the cruel suffering LGBT youths endure when their parents reject them. I invite you to visit the Ali Forney Center, only 30 blocks from St. Patrick's Cathedral, and meet with youths whose Catholic parents drove them from their homes. I want you to hear them tell you what it is like to have their parents be ashamed of them, and tell them that they are against God. I want you to see what their lives are like alone, unloved, and abandoned in the streets. I hope that by meeting our kids you can understand the pain and anguish you help to cause.

"Decent people protect children from harm. I want you to be that decent person. I hope decent Christians will join me in demanding that religious leaders stop promoting homophobia. As the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, and as the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, you may well be the most influential religious leader in the country, and could make an enormous difference in this crisis of family rejection. I hope and pray that you can stop fighting the acceptance of LGBT people as equal citizens. I want you to understand how LGBT youth suffer because of such a fight. Please see these rejected children through the eyes of a pastor and figure out a way to stop causing them to be harmed." - Carl Siciliano, writing for Huffington Post.

I would like to see a boildown of that statement and Carl's picture on the side of every bus in New York City.  Joe, what would that cost?  Could it be made to happen with the assistance of some major donors and the contributions of hundreds of gays -- I'd send a check in a heartbeat.  The Cardinal needs to be shamed into putting down his glass of Jameson's and his latest cigar and into facing the reality of what his bigotry is doing to gay youth.


We're waiting for the result of a vote that will be taken today in the House of Representatives on the bill to repeal same sex marriage in New Hampshire.   The hope has been that our Republican Reps will follow the Party's contention that Legislators have to listen to the people, in which case the vote would reject repeal by a 2/3 majority as that's the percentage of the population that does not want to see Equality repealed.  However, we know from experience that when it comes to gay issues, Republicans tend to vote their prejudices rather than their constituents' will.  The Governor has promised to veto the repeal bill if it passes, at which point it goes back to see if the Legislature can override the veto.

Fingers are crossed.


In his new book, NIV Lessons From Life Bible: Personal Reflections With Jimmy Carter, the former President has an interesting President-Jimmy-Carter.jpgaside about LGBT rights and says he favors marriage equality.
"Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -- he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.
"I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I'm a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws shouldn't require them to.
"I don't actually have a problem with allowing churches to pass on marrying gay and lesbian couples either. Divorced people can't get married in a Catholic church. Some faiths won't allow those who don't follow their beliefs to get a religious ceremony. Big deal.

"It's the piece of paper and government recognition of rights that's important. Religion is all a bunch of arbitrary beliefs based on superstition. I'll take what I can hold in my hand versus what I can hope for in the afterlife."
~posted by Bil Browning on bilerico

Two steps forward:
Carl Siciliano and Jimmy Carter

One step backward:
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

"Nobel peace prize winner defends law criminalising homosexuality in Liberia"
That's great news from NH, and I heard it here first! (I read you before I read Joe.My.God) :)
It really is exciting, Walt, in that it means there's a different breed of Republicans here and the state has a staunchly fair-minded citizenry. Fritz estimates that perhaps as many a 100 Republicans voted to defeat repeal.
You go Carter!
Love that excerpt from Jimmy Carter's book!
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