Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Category: Gay Rights (page 1 of 3)

We were married!!!

Giving Cheryl her ring

Photo courtesy of “Loki” David Lott

On November 14th, just after 7PM, Cheryl and I did what thousands of couples before us have done – we were legally married.  We’ve been together for nearly 19 years and it has been an amazing ride.  We’ve gone through home ownership, trying to have children, having grandchildren and more.  Our journey isn’t ending, but this new beginning is, well, just something.

I honestly didn’t think that when I awoke on the morning of November 15th that I would feel any different.  After all, Cheryl and I had married in 2001 in a ceremony complete with gowns, unity candle and the breaking of the glass.  I have considered myself married for the last thirteen years.  How can a piece of paper make that much of a difference?

Lighting the Unity Candle on April 28, 2001 - our first wedding. (Look how young I was!)

April 28, 2001 – our first wedding.

Well, it does.  I feel closer to Cheryl, more involved, safer.  I know that my family would never be the kind that would toss her out on her ear if something would happen to me and I’m pretty sure her family wouldn’t do that to me,.  But, I’ve been kept out of her hospital room (not for long) and a nurse did tell me that I wasn’t Tommy’s grandmother, so I wouldn’t be able to be in his room.  No one will ever be able to tell me that again.

Cheryl’s daughter, Kim, has always treated me as a true step-parent.  She’s always respected our relationship and I’ve always treated her like a daughter. Dustin took a little time to warm up – accepting your wife’s family can be

Listening to Pastor Dana

overwhelming – but he’s always called my parents grandma and grandpa and he’s been a pall bearer for my family, I think more times than for his own.  His acceptance of Cheryl and I extended to his family.  Having all of them be a part of our wedding day was amazing.

The outpouring of love from friends and family was amazing.  Having our relationship be recognized by the state, as well as people close to us is an indescribable joy.  I can’t wait for the whole country to come to their senses and legalize gay marriage.

Our first official introduction as Julie and Cheryl Totsch

Photo courtesy of “Loki” David Lott

 

Marriage Equality

Going to the Chapel and we’re gonna get married…

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal cases for Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Indiana.  This means that marriage equality in those states have won.  Virginia has already changed their forms.

This morning at around 11:30, I called the Racine County Clerk’s Office and spoke with Pat. She very sweetly informed me that yes, they were issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.  I cried.

I’m really torn and stunned by this.  I’ve overjoyed that Cheryl and I can now make it legal, but I wish my mom was still here.

For a very long time, my mother was against gay marriage.  We went round and round.  Then, one day, I either explained it better or she just gave up the fight, because she agreed with me.  For the rest of her life, at least once a month, she would say to me, “Why don’t they just let you get married?”

Now, they are letting us get married and she’s not here to see it.  In the year and four months, since she’s been gone, I don’t think I’ve missed her more.

So, now, Cheryl and I have to pick a date.  I think we’ve narrowed it down to two.  🙂

 

Indiana’s Unconstitutional Anti-Gay Law

According to Indiana law, which will take affect next July 1st, breaks the separation of church and state in a manner that is shocking:

IC 31-11-11-5
Solemnization of marriage in violation of this article
 Sec. 5. A person who:
(1) is authorized to solemnize marriages by IC 31-11-6; and
(2) solemnizes a marriage in violation of this article;
commits a Class C infraction.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.3.

In other words, if you are legally capable of performing marriages in the State of Indiana and you perform a gay marriage, you commit a Class C infraction (“A person who commits a Class C misdemeanor shall be imprisoned for a fixed term of not more than sixty (60) days; in addition, he may be fined not more than five hundred dollars.*“)  Really? And, two sections down, there’s this:

IC 31-11-11-7
Solemnization of marriage between persons prohibited from marrying
Sec. 7. A person who knowingly solemnizes a marriage of individuals who are prohibited from marrying by IC 31-11-1 commits a Class B misdemeanor.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.3.

If you perform a gay marriage, you commit a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in 180 days in jail and a $1000 fine*. I’d like to mention that this is not only against the Constitution of the United States of America – it is, also, hypocritical. One of the right-wing arguments against gay marriage is that it is against their religion (which isn’t true).  But, if they believe in religious freedom, how can they possibly support a law that restricts religious freedom?

Oh, who am I kidding?  Anti-Gay people would give up their own freedom in order to harm gay people.  They’re truly crazy!

Pity the Anti-Gays

So, I posted on the video page about a comment I had read about on Huffington Post.  The whole thing was that the person making the comment didn’t like the gay agenda.  I questioned what that means, as of writing this, the author has not responded.  I stated my case that the gay “agenda” is no different than a straight agenda.  You can read the whole post here.

Here’s why I writing this post, someone commented calling themselves hiwaychristian and he or she compared being gay to the difference between liking onions and not liking carrots:

Why can’t you folks see the difference? If I prefer onions to carrots, I don’t go out and make it a political issue. Why is your sexual preference so crucial to your identity?

Well, there is a difference, as I wrote:

No one is going to fire you for hating carrots. No one is going to deny you the right to buy a home or rent an apartment, because you hate carrots. No one is going to say that your love of onions is unnatural and you don’t deserve your full rights as an American citizen.

(You can read the whole comment on the post, go ahead, I’ll wait.)

Then, the brave poster went on to mention God, which really has nothing to do with gays and lesbians civil rights.  We have separation of church and state, but apparently the only time anyone of them remembers that is when I mention Matthew 25.

Anyway, I wrote what I considered a logical and unemotional response.  Not that I really expected hiwaychristian to come back and read it, but apparently he (she?) did.

Did this person respond with logical arguments?

No, of course not.  I posted another response last night, but this morning, it dawned on me that it was a complete waste of time.  You can’t argue with an anti-gay.  They believe that they have God on their side – no matter how illogical that is.  Truth is that none of us can know what God wants or expects.  That said, I’m pretty sure Jesus meant it when he said to love thy neighbor and what you do for the least of you, you do for me.  However; I don’t think the anti-gays get that.  I don’t think they can comprehend anything that doesn’t fit into their little world of “love the sinner, hate the sin” and that denying equality doesn’t equate love.  (Jesus didn’t say love thy neighbor just a little, which would keep you and your neighbor on unequal terms, He said, “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself”, which means you’re equals.)  I honestly believe that if hiwaychristian realized that they’re just as much as a sinner as I am, their head would explode.

So, to my gay brothers and sisters, take my advice – just ignore them.  Yes, then they think they’ve won the argument, but let them.  They have so little in their lives.  They aren’t logical, they’re obviously not educated and they don’t realize that their hatred is both Biblically wrong and part of a dying breed.  We will gain our rights – slowly, but surely.  And, while we do, we must just pat these people on their tiny-brained heads and say, “settle down, partner.”

When we get down on our knees at night, we should include them in our prayers, as they need us to show them God’s mercy and we need to follow Christ’s teachings, and consider them equals.  Which reminds me of an Irish Blessing I’d like to pass along:

May those who love us, love us
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts
May He turn their ankles
So we’ll know them by their limping.

Peace.

Marcus Bachmann – Closeted Gay Man?

“Me thinks thee lady doth protest too much.”

Oh, Dear Lord in Heaven, have you seen this man walk?  Have you heard his whining, gay toned voice?  This is my own First Amendment protected opinion, but Marcus Bachmann is a closeted gay man.  It explains his absolute hatred and fear of gay people.  It would explain his pseudo-psychology practice where they try to “cure” gays.

The man is a flamer, as only a lesbian can identify.

Come on out, Mr. Bachmann.  We promise not to hurt you and we’ll protect you from your wife.

(I wonder if they married to hide him or her?  No, too scary a thought to have Michele Bachmann as a lesbian.  I shudder.)

House Bans Base Chaplains’ Religious Freedoms

The House voted to ban Base Chaplains from being allowed to perform same-sex marriages. Talk about a blow against religious freedom. If a Chaplain’s religion or his own religious beliefs do not prevent him from performing a same-sex marriage, who the hell is the House of Representatives to prevent the marriage from taking place. I swear it is like the right-wing House hasn’t read the same Constitution as the rest of us.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

Shame on those House members who voted for the ban.

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Anyone Seen a Ark Builder?

Throughout the years, right wing religious commentators have blamed everything from hurricanes to 9/11 on homosexuals.

In fact, Jerry Falwell appeared with Pat Robertson just two days after the the 9/11 attack and pretty much blamed everyone who is left of him and Robertson for 9/11.

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.” – Jerry Falwell

Here’s a quote from Cindy Jacobs:

“According to Biblical principles, a marriage is between a man and a woman. So, we have to say what happens when a nation makes a decision that is against God’s principles. Often what happens is that nature itself will begin to talk to us, for instance violent storms, flooding.”

Now, I want you to know, that I’m not using the whole quote here – not yet. She’s actually going to help me make this point.

This morning, when I saw the news that North Dakota is next on the list for severe flooding, I started thinking about how these extremist like to blame gays and it made me wonder.  Why are we having all of the flooding that has hit the nation?  What in the world could be going on?  Is God mad at us?

According to Cindy Jacobs, the answer is yes.  To continue the quote from above, she says:

“There are actually some patterns you can see where a nation will make a decision that is contrary to the principles of God and after that there is some kind of answer that God gives.”

Based on her beliefs, God is most likely punishing us for something. Now, she thinks that God is punishing us for the removal of DADT, but I think she’s way off base. (She, also, was referring to the death of some birds.)

I think these right-wing Christian extremists are right. God has removed his protections from us. God has literally rained down upon us huge floods.  But, if you look at where he has chosen to take out his anger, you’ll see that he’s taking it out on the Red states.  The states who have declared a war on health care for all.  The states that have declared a war on marriage equality.

I thought, perhaps, we should look at what has happened to the states that banned gay marriage.  I’m finding that quite a few of them have had their answer from God.

Nevada passed an anti-gay amendment in 2002.  In 2003, “The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized firefighting funds to help Nevada fight the Red Rock fire that began July 10 in Washoe County northwest of Reno. The authorization is only the second granted to the state this year.”  They needed a lot of help in 2003.  Think God was mad at them for something?

Florida passed their anti-gay amendment in 2008.  In 2009, “Nearly 1,300 north Floridians have registered for federal-state disaster assistance following the storms and flooding of late-March through early May and there are still a few days left for others to do the same…Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance was approved for eligible homeowners, renters and businesses in the following counties: Calhoun, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington.”

I know what you’re thinking, but that’s no proof, Florida is always getting hit by storms and needing Federal Aid. There’s more.

In 2004; Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah banned marriage equality.

In 2005, Huricanne Katrina ripped through Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia and caused millions of dollars of damage. A severe winter storm cause parts of Kentucky to be declared a disaster area by FEMA.

Also in 2005, 26 counties of Oklahoma were declared disaster areas because of the Texas-Oklahoma wildfires.

I think all of this just proves that God isn’t happy with these states for passing bans on marriage equality.  I don’t think He’s really into all the right-wingers.  Think about it.  He’s pulled his protection, but He’s aiming for states that lean the farthest to the right, not the left.

Glad I don’t live in a Red State.

 

 

 

Gay Marriage will lead to Anarchy

According to football great, David Tyree, gay marriage will lead to “anarchy”. Tell that to Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. All five states recognize marriage equality and I don’t see them falling under anarchy. To Tyree, fighting gay marriage is a way to honor his God. Fine, if you believe that gay marriage dishonors God, then don’t have one. I find marriage inequality dishonors our founding fathers, our constitution and our country. We pride ourselves on being a free society, yet we don’t recognize the basic human right to allow our citizens to marry another adult.

While I respect Tyree’s opinion and his right to broadcast it, I believe he’s wrong. He’s missed the point of marriage equality. It doesn’t take away anything from straight marriages – it just adds to the pot of stable, legally recognized couples. Further, if he wants to protect straight marriage, perhaps he should work toward outlawing divorce – that thing that has caused a huge decline in longlasting marriages.

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Gay Rights and the GOP

I’m just going to lay this out for you:  If you are gay, you shouldn’t vote for a Republican.  Period.  End of story.

Yes, I know that you shouldn’t really be a one issue person, but gay rights and our fight for freedom is too high to put it into the hands of the Republican Candidates for President.

There are only two Candidates that do NOT support a gay marriage amendment – Herman Cain and Ron Paul – and neither of them has a chance of winning the general election.  A majority of Americans support gay marriage and the Republican Party is pandering to the extreme right of their party.

I don’t trust anyone of the Republican candidates on the issue of gay marriage.  I don’t want these people making what amounts to an important decision.  Although, I will admit that there is a part of me that thinks it won’t happen.  Afterall, Bush supported a anti-gay marriage amendment and it never came.  It’s a wedge issue and Republicans don’t like to give up their wedge issues.

On the other hand, I never thought the great state of Wisconsin could pass an anti-gay amendment and I was wrong.

So, let’s recap:  Gay = anti-Republican, at least until we have equal rights.

DOMA Defense…

Previously on Top Of My Head…

Back in February, I wrote that I was torn on President Obama and the Justice Department’s decision to not defend DOMA in Federal Court.  Today, I’m experiencing Deja Vu.

The Republicans announced that they will defend DOMA.  Again, I’m torn.

On one hand, I don’t want someone being able to challenge a law in court without the government mounting a defense against the challenge.  On the other hand, this law affects me and mine, so I want to see it go down in flames.

As quoted by NPR, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, “I don’t think the House had any choice but to take the position that we were going to defend the work of the Congress. And only the courts are in the position of determining the constitutionality of any bill.”

And, he’s correct.

Unfortunately, this defense is falling along party lines.  The Democrats should sign on to defend the law as well.  However; I can understand their reluctance to do so.  Fifteen years ago, support for DOMA was huge.  A great many people were against the idea of gay marriage.  A vote against the law back then was probably more risky then than a support to overturn it is now.  To me, DOMA is an example of why we shouldn’t make DOMA a Constitutional Amendment.  A law is much easier to overturn than an Amendment.

That said, the Republicans have nothing to lose with their support and everything to gain.  Setting aside that they are doing the right thing, they will gain momentum with their base – people who are anti-gay.  On a side note, most of their base is anti-something.  The law, even as unjust as it is, needs to be defended in court.  That’s how our balance of power works.  I would give more credit to the Democrats if even one of them had the courage to say, “I don’t believe in the law, but it needs to be defended.”

Of course, I would give the Republicans more credit if they worked this hard to repeal DOMA.

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