Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thank you, Governor Doyle

Let's face it when the Republicans ran the Wisconsin State Legistlature, nothing good came of it -- and, yes, Cathy Stepp, I'm talking to you. Best thing to happen to Wisconsin politics was when she decided NOT to run for State Senator again to spend more time with her family.
Worst thing to happen to Wisconsin was that stupid anti-gay amendment. Yes, friends, that's what we can thank our state Republicans for -- an amendment to our state consitution to outlaw gay marriages and civil unions. But, did it attract one job to our state?
No, it didn't. And, all it did was place us in the same boat as those other states that voted for their stupid amendments -- we look like backward morons.
But, thanks to Governor Doyle, we can once again take pride in our great state. He is calling for a Domestic partnership registry -- he wants to make sure that no gay person is ever bared from a loved one's hospital room. He wants to make sure that no gay person has to chose between losing their job and being by their soulmate's side when the end is near. Thank God for Governor Doyle!
Last year, my mother-in-law passed away and I was heartbroken, but thanks to my very understanding employer, they allowed me to work from the hotel where we were staying to be by herside. They allowed me to work off hours, so I could spend the day supporting Cheryl and Mom in their time of need. But, a lot of employers wouldn't allow that. But, they would for a straight couple. And, that, friends, is one of the reasons we need equality in marriage for all, not just those that fit some mold.
God Bless

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Least of these My brethren...

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holyangels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'

"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'
"Then they also will answer Him,saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

For those of you who voted in AR, CA and Florida to deny gay people the right to marry and adopt, you are the ones on the left. For you had the opportunity to give to your fellow human being the rights, freedoms, acceptance and equality that you enjoy and you chose to turn your back and under some misguided idea chose not to give. I feel sorry for you; for you have not been paying attention to Jesus's words and message. You're lost and wandering in a desert of hatred and fear. I can only pray for two things: 1) you see the error of your ways and ask God for forgiveness and 2) if you do not do the first, that God has mercy on your souls.

For my gay brothers and sisters, we have lost a few battles, but we have not lost the war. Growing up, I was told that there wouldn't be a black President and just look at where we are today. There is hope for if we lose hope, we've lost it all. We will prevail in our quest to be treated equally to our fellow Americans. For Jesus said: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

We may not have our equality here on Earth, but in the eyes of Jesus we are loved and in Heaven our reward will be great.

God Bless

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, August 25, 2008

Times have changed

I'm going to admit something I'm not too sure many people know. My parents were NOT happy campers when I came out to them almost 20 years ago. My mother used to make comments like "straighten up" when we'd get off the phone and my father didn't have too much to say to me for a long time. Now, I don't want anyone thinking I'm complaining because they never sent me away to be "cured" or stop letting me talk to my brothers. I know gay people who haven't spoken to their parents since they came out. But still, it wasn't easy.

My parents love Cheryl -- sometimes I think more than they love me -- and they love her kids and, of course, they're thrilled with da boys.

But, something happened this weekend I just never thought would happen in a million years. Two friends of ours, Barb and Karen, were married last month. We missed the wedding because our cousin, Jeff, was married to his bride, Jen, on the sameday. And, I couldn't miss Jeff's wedding and wouldn't have considered missing it. Anyway, we met up with Barb and Karen at Ren Faire this weekend and caught up on news. I introduced them to Dad and told him that they had just gotten married. Dad offered his congradulations. I mean, it was so cool. Twenty years ago, I don't think that would've happened.

He's come along way. He's still voting Republican this November, but he's still come a long, long way.

God Bless

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Marriage Rights

So, I'm on the phone with my mother and I mention that Cheryl needs to pick up one of her prescriptions that costs $50.00. My mom says why does it cost so much and I explain that Cheryl's insurance doesn't cover this particular drug at which point my mother says, "Why isn't she on your insurance?" This I find humorous because my mother wrongly assumes since I make more money and work for a larger company that I have better insurance, which is not the case.

So, I explain to my mom that my company doesn't offer domestic partner benefits -- and she asks me why not -- and even if it did, we wouldn't use them. Which leads me to the reason for this column.

My mom goes back and forth on gay marriage. On one hand, she doesn't understand why gay people would want to get married. Afterall, if straight people can't get marriage right (i.e., the 50% divorce rate), what makes gay people think they can? Then, she thinks that there isn't any benefit to gay marriage. In her mind, if Cheryl and I separate, everything's much easier because one of us can just move out. But, it isn't easier and thanks to that stupid amendment, a court wouldn't hear our case against one another.

It is with my mother in mind that I write this column.

  • Domestic Partner Benefits: These are a wonderful idea. It is a way for one gay person to cover their spouse. And, actually, this covers unmarried straight people, as well, which I don't agree it should. If you want these rights, get married and get them. But, gay or straight, the same problem remains: The Federal Government taxes the benefit as income. So, if your employer pays $100 a month for your partner's healthcare, that's added into your salary for the government to tax. When you think about it, this is really crazy because if you cover your uninsured partner this way, it means the government isn't doing it.
  • Social Security: My social security benefits will be higher than Cheryl's and she will never be able to claim them. Ever. On the marriage side of this, if a man marries four women, stays married to each one of them for 11 years, all four women are entitled to one half of his social security. And this NEVER reduces his payout. Does that seem fair and just?
  • Health Issues: If Cheryl goes into the hospital and is unable to make decisions for herself, I do not have an automatic legal right to make decisions for her. I do have a Power of Attorney of Health, which is only valid in Wisconsin. If we're on vacation in another state, there's no guarantee that a hospital in another state would honor it. This doesn’t happen to a married couple.

These are just three main reasons why gay people want the right to marry. There are hundreds more and I'm sure I'll write about them from time to time.

God Bless

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lisa Pond and Anti-Gay Florida...

This morning I really wasn't sure what I should write. Then, I remembered a post I saw on Rosie.com. I don't often read Rosie's website, but Elisabeth Hasselbeck was on Access Hollywood, which I was only watching because the TV was on and one thing led to another and...

Well, that doesn't matter. Anyway, there's this post about Lisa Pond. Lisa died of a brain aneurysm on Feb. 18th, but that's not all. Below is a quote from another blog:

"From The Olympian: ``Langbehn, a social worker, said officials at . . . [JMH] did not recognize her or their jointly adopted children as part of Pond's family. They were not allowed to be with her . . . and Langbehn's authority to make decisions for Pond was not recognized . . .

``Even after a friend in Olympia faxed the legal documents that showed that Pond had authorized Langbehn to make medical decisions for her, Langbehn said she wasn't invited to be with her partner or told anything about her condition. She said she wasn't allowed to see Pond again until a priest arrived to give . . . Last Rites.''"

Situations like this are the very reason gays and lesbians should not be denied marriage. Family values my ass. The mean spirited people who do things like this do not know the meaning of the words family values.

This woman died without her kids and partner, because of hate and bigotry. A social worker, Garnett Frederick, told Langbehn that Florida is 'an anti-gay state.' Well, well, well. Langbehn had a legal right to make decisions for Pond and the hospital denied it to her. I hope she sues, I hope she wins and I hope that hospital has to close its doors for good. (I should note that Mr. Frederick has denied this allegation.)

Cheryl's been talking for years about going to Florida to see the sites and, even though I've never been a fan of Florida, I probably would've given in, but not now. I told her last night that I will never step foot into that hate filled state. I won't take a vacation there, I'll never travel there on business until this kind of foolish stops.

So, here's my final and very UnChristian thought, let's just stop visiting Florida. The whole state only has two things: Oranges and tourists. Let's stop drinking their juice, eating their oranges and visiting their way too hot and humid state. Let's just leave them be.

I think Rosie should sell her house and arrange for her cruise line to pick up passengers somewhere else. No gay person should do business in Florida and no straight person who knows a gay person or is related to a gay person should go there either.

I do want to offer up a prayer for Lisa Pond and her family. May God hold them close to His heart until they can all be together again.

God Bless

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Operation Save America

Operation Save America will be boycotting and protesting at Wal-Mart stores because Wal-Mart refuses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Why? Why do they think they have some God-given right to "save" America? And, from whom are they saving America?

From the men and women who pay the higher taxes because they can't get married and file married tax returns?

From the hardworking people who put food on the table for their families?

From the millions of churchgoing gay and lesbian Christians who pray to God everyday for the souls of those who have been misled by hatred and fear?

From the ones to whom Jesus himself referred when He said, "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake." (Luke 6:22)?

Yeah, those are the ones that Operation Save America wants to "save America" from.

But, what about the big businesses that pollute our soil?

Or, the factories that do not pay a living wage?

Or, better yet, why aren't they boycotting Wal-Mart because of the financial drain it places on our state's (and in turn, country's) economy because its employees do not have healthcare?

Where were the self-righteous groups such as Operation Save America and the American Family Association when the rest of us were boycotting Wal-Mart?

And, one last question, the average Wal-Mart shopper isn't college graduated. Go on any day and you won't see the part of society that is driving a Lexus to work. Wal-Mart's prices are so low that many of the families who shop there really can't afford to go somewhere else. The flip side to this is that these are the same families who are counted among Operation Save America and the American Family Association's members. They really should've kept that in mind before they called for a boycott of a store at which the majority of their members shop. They won't get far with this boycott.

People only care about "morals" when it doesn't affect their wallet.

God Bless

Labels: , , ,