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4 January 2005

A friend of mine has a mailing list where he passes along items of interest to people on his list who are gay or gay-friendly.  They are mostly news articles, taken from either mainstream or gay press, some excellent editorials, etc., etc.

He sends out a LOT of articles and lately I haven't been keeping up with them very much just out of the sheer numbers and not having the time.

But today I went through some of the articles that have appeared in newspapers lately and it just makes you want to cry for the amount of hate that is in the world today.

Let's start with the biggie, the man you love to hate:  The "Rev." Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, who has once again showed his Christian compassion to the victims of the tsunami.

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With his usual obsession against anything that might hint of homosexuality, Phelps writes, ""How many tsunami dead Swedes are fags and dykes? vacationing on their fat dispensable incomes without kids to bother with and spend money on. With respect to each of these earthquake-dead perverts, "He shall be buried with the burial of an ass." (Jer. 22:19)  Maybe Sweden can pass another law -- making it a crime for God to send earthquakes and tidal waves to kill vacationing Swedish fags and dykes."

This is a man who has been keeping a log on his web site of how many days Matthew Shepard has  been "burning in hell," complete with a photo of Matthew surrounded by fire.

I suspect that pretty much everyone except only the most radical think Phelps is an idiot who gives a bad name to good Christian people.

But the articles continue. 

In Orange County, California, 18 parents of a Catholic school have submitted a petition to have two little Catholic kindergarten boys evicted from the school because their parents are gay.  "Such a position isn't "radical or mean-spirited," the parents write, but merely an assurance to prospective parents that the school adheres to Catholic doctrine." 

To their credit, the school officials have rejected the demand. The Rev. Gerald M. Horan, superintendent of diocese schools, said that if Catholic beliefs were strictly adhered to, then children whose parents divorced, used birth control or married outside the church would also have to be banned.

Some parents have vowed to ask the Vatican(!) for help in getting these two Catholic 5 year olds out of their school.

According to Dana Wilson of the L.A. Times, "It illuminates the age-old question that people of faith should ask themselves: If God's word is inviolate and serves as my guidepost, why do so many people of the same faith so often disagree? That being the case, how sure am I that I'm right in my interpretation of God's will?"

Good question.

In a real leap of logic, Egyptian demonstrators blamed the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib on "homosexual American executioners."     Mustafa Bakri, the editor of the Al-Osboa Weekly newspaper is quoted as saying, "Those gays forced our brothers in Iraq to practice homosexuality and filmed them. If we remain silent, we will be next."

Since the American military is still under "don't ask, don't tell," I'm not sure how all these homosexual executioners were running around.   But apparently if you're homosexual, you can get away with anything.

In Baghdad, three Iraqi rebel groups, including the one claiming responsibility for the Dec. 21 suicide bombing of the U.S. military base at Mosul where 22 people were killed, said Thursday they are fighting to prevent "homosexual marriage".

In its second attack in a month, the "Gay Days" office in Orlando Florida had a "volley of gunshots" fired through the window, and the building was splattered with eggs and paintballs.

In Tempe, Arizona, a Christian student group is suing Arizona State University, which won't let them bar gays from joining.  The University would not give recognition to the group because it violated the school's anti-discrimination policy.

The Dallas Morning News reports that a student who was a varsity athlete and a winner of service and citizenship awards at a fundamentalist private school in Addison was expelled when it was learned he was gay.   He was active in the school theater, was a yearbook editor and helped younger students with Bible study.  But in Texas, a private school is allowed to discriminate.  The boy was just months from graduation.

Two thirds of Massachusetts corporations say they will not extend retirement benefits to the spouses of gay and lesbian employees even though same-sex marriage is legal in he state and those same companies are offering the benefits to the spouses of heterosexual workers. In an opposite-sex marriage, an employee's spouse is entitled to receive the traditional pension benefit or 401(k) portfolio if the employed spouse who earned the benefit dies.  Only 35% of the companies surveyed by The Boston Globe said they would extend that benefit to legally married same sex couples.  Sixty-one percent of the state's employers offer health care benefits to married same-sex couples according to The Globe study. However, many of Massachusetts' largest employers are dropping health benefits for unmarried gay couples.

Part of the reason for this is that most employer-sponsored pensions are federally regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.  The act is governed by the federal Defense of Marriage Act which bans the recognition by the federal government of same-sex marriage.

And then there is California, where they are bound and determined not only to make same sex marriage unconstitutional, but also to strip any existing domestic partner benefits from same sex couples.

Superior court judge Richard Kramer has told the City of San Francisco that it cannot include arguments countering the assertions made by conservative groups opposing same-sex marriage that gays can be cured and that children are better off with opposite-sex parents.

Among the documents submitted by the Alliance Defense Fund are statements by Princeton University psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover that gays misled the American Psychiatric Association into removing homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973. Satinover regularly promotes so-called reparative or aversion therapy' for gays.

Another document submitted by the group was from "ex-gay" leaders Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas of Exodus International which also promotes "converting" gays to heterosexuality. Yet another, by University of South Carolina professor George Rekers,  claims studies show children do better with heterosexual than with gay or lesbian parents.

Judge Kramer told the city that he would not accept counter testimony, saying that he will base his ruling on legal arguments, not factual disputes.

Now--how fair and accurate is it to accept documentation with certain assertions from one side and not documents from the other disproving the first assertions?

I'll tell ya, you read all this stuff and it's enough to make your head spin, or at the very least put your head down and have a good cry. 

A group of people who just want to live their lives in peace, and have to fight discrimination and hatred at every turn.

I will never understand why homosexuals are so reviled by people who have probably never (to their knowledge anyway) met a gay person.

It just isn't fair.

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I hardly slept at all last night;
this is going to be me today!


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