Marriage Wasn't Enough, part 2

Update to post below.

I JUST HAD to add these two comments from our newspaper online:

What is the difference between homosexuality, beastality, adultery, and any other sex offender ? Well homosexuality and adultery are pretty much accepted. The others are not. Are big employers gonna offer insurance to animals?

The homo fear factor wouldn't be complete without a reference to bestiality.

But this one made me think of a new idea:

I know people who use the ruse of same sex domestic partners to insure their roommates and their roommate’s kids on their insurance. I am sure it is more widespread than we would like to think.

Marriage rights for gay couples would put an end to this. There wouldn't even be a need for DP benefits if we were allowed to marry. Oh well, they voted for it, live with the consequences.

Marriage Wasn't Enough

Last night, I went to a great meeting for the Tennesse Equality Project (TEP) to brainstorm ideas, post-election, to deal with next steps. It has been said many times that gay rights opponents will not be satisfied with simply keeping us from marrying. One of the board members of TEP was very clear in warning us that we have many more battles ahead in this war. Legislation has been brought up before and it will be coming up again to try to take away our right to adopt or simply visit our children in the event of a divorce.

There have also been instances in other states where companies have been attacked for offering domestic partner benefits, especially after these amendments have passed.

I have a feeling Tennessee won't be avoiding this.

An article in The Tennessean today highlighted the growth of large, national companies with a presence in Tennessee offering DP benefits. It's a great article!

However, what's interesting and downright scary are the comments! I never knew that company benefits were somehow connected to God, but apparently in TN, they should be.

Here are a few of the comments:

The chest-thumping "I have spoken!" commenter:

Let's face it, the people of Tennesse spoke very loudly last week. We don't care what you do with your partner in your house. But the majority feels that this lifestyle is not for the benefit of this state.

Hmmm, the standard "we'll have to pay for you to take care of each other" argument. Yeah, makes perfect sense to me!

It is a right, if corporate america wants to offer benefits to domestic partners, that in no way affects me. Now it does become an issue if the government does. That effects me and everyone else that pays taxes. And like the marriage admendment, should be the choice of the people.

This one cuts to the chase.

Please go back in the closet.

Love how there's always one who knows many, many gay people and that he knows several that have over 800 partners a year (guess he's counting and keeping track). Ironically, someone else comes along later to do the math, which is 2.19 partners a day-little time for work or heck even sleep!

Not to mention we should not support immorality in our society, it is not fair for the rest of us to support those people who live their lives recklessly. There is a reason God has placed rules on his people. Not to judge anyone (God’s job), we are called to live a moral life. ()

When I suggested that the TN economy would plummet if all the gay's up and left, this is the response I got:

I'm willing to risk it. Have a nice trip.

Then they have to make the comparison of our long-term, committed relationships to a whole host of harmful actions. I'm surprised they didn't throw in murder while they were at it.

The science of the matter is that homosexuality is a behavior, just like alcoholism or beating your wife (oh, partner, sorry!) is a behavior. You have a choice to act one way or the other.

And, of course, the grand finale:

To all you people being fooled by Satan into thinking homosexuality is not a choice see Leviticus 18:22: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." This passage is God's answer to homosexuality. You are in my prayers. As Christians we dislike the sin, not the sinner.

Ah, yes, tell me something I didn't already know or have had hurled at me a thousand times in my lifetime. Being original is not their forte!


Oh Yes, Tennesseans ARE Stupid!

This was posted to our local paper's online comments section (bold is the commenter; italics is my response):

As to the sinister implications of “same sex marriage” here are a few. Our society would experience the loss of religious freedom. This has happened in Canada where Biblical preaching against sodomy is interpreted as hate speech.

and you should care about this why? laws were passed allowing blacks and whites to marry but it hasn't stopped my home church from preaching against it (among other things) and refusing to marry interracial couples.

The public schools will teach homosexuality because it will be the law of the land. Moral instruction on sexual matters may become obsolete and even forbidden.

proof??? schools can't even teach safe sex what makes you think they'll be teaching gay sex. btw, gay sex is not performed any differently than straight sex, only the genders are the same. i know, too much for your mind to handle.

Adoption laws will collapse with regard to the make up of the family and any party will be able to adopt children.

and being able to get kids out of orphanages and revolving foster care is a bad thing? gee, i thought you guys cared about the kids.

Children will be expected to develop emotionally without the permanence of family life.

what's more permanent than marriage? first we're condemned for being promiscuous and then those that want permanence with their soulmates through marriage are told they can't possibly be permanent. who are you to say? how many kids are already expected to develop emotionally without the permanence of family life? you know, divorce? and how many kids are shifted from one parent to the other, from grandparents to aunts/uncles to cousins twice removed? want kids in permanent environments? work on your own first, eh?

Traditional marriage will begin to disappear like it has in Scandinavia where cohabitation is the norm.

show proof, please. The fact is that Scandinavia doesn't have "gay marriage," per se, but "registered partnerships" open to only same-sex couples that give MOST of the rights of marriage but by a different name. For instance, a same-sex couple can adopt each other's children but not children outside of the relationship. So, again, this is a bad thing? What has been seen as the "fall" of traditional marriages is really the rise of same-sex couples entering into "registered partnerships." Not to mention the fact that Scandinavian countries have the lowest poverty rates and highest education rates which basically take away the need for forced marriage of heterosexual couples. They're doing it (marriage) because they love each other, not because the HAVE to.

Oh, here's my source(s):
Freedom to Marry

Immorality will become impossible to avoid in public.

and we can avoid it now?

The health care industry could be destroyed.

how? so apparently having gay couples being able to care for each other "in sickness and in health" will destroy health care? that doesn't make any sense.

And for those of us who believe in the Bible where sodomy is a symbol of social destruction it could get even worse. That was why we voted for the amendment.

and that's YOUR beliefs, not everyone's. p.s. not only gay people perform sodomy. your bible also says that the races should be separated and that it's okay to have slaves, that women shouldn't cut their hair, and that it's wrong to eat shellfish, that your supposed to keep 300 concubines and sleep with your daughter. sounds like you guys have the corner on perversion and bizarre ritual!


Feel Safer?

Only 5% of the precincts are reporting, but as of 8pm:

TN Constitution Amendment #1
Precincts Reporting = 5.3%

Yes 297,928 83.7%
No 58,142 16.3%

I wonder, does my neighbor feel sufficiently safe now? Am I no longer dangerous to his marriage? Does he have so little trust in himself and/or his wife that he has to keep my life in check?

With numbers like this though, I can't help but wonder how many people I know voted against me. That's the truly disturbing part.

as of 11:00pm

Statewide results
Phil Bredesen (D) 1,107,680 68.5%
Jim Bryson (R) 484,476 29.9%
*Bryson has conceded

Bob Corker (R) 832,403 51.2%
Harold Ford Jr. (D) 773,542 47.6%

The Let's Fu*k Queers Over Amendment
Yes 1,264,704 80.7%
No 301,695 19.3%

Davidson County results on the amendment:
Yes 75,083 73.4%
No 27,248 26.6%

I comfort myself with the little piece of news that my east Nashville neighborhood we strong Vote No supporters.

Yet, it is sad to know that the rights of me and my family has been decided by only 27.4% of registered voters.

Another little thing that is kind of flipping me out here. One precinct is reporting these results:
Pearl Cohn School 18,168-Yes 0-No out of only 1,182 registered voters.

Hmmmm, what's wrong with this picture?

Almost Over

Thank God this damn mid-term election cycle is almost over! I have a severe love-hate relationship with politics. I'll be honest though, if my personal relationship with my partner wasn't at stake, I probably wouldn't give two hoots as to what is going on. I'd numbly go to the voting booth and vote a straight Dem ticket and be done with it, but NOOO I have to have my personal life up for a vote so now it's all very personal to me. Imagine that! Now I know that I had no options for a gay-friendly Dem candidate in TN and I also know that several of my neighbors think I'm less of a human being than them. Nice...

This frustration and angst is manifesting itself now in my DREAMS! Thank goodness this only happened last night. If I had been going through these kind of dreams for weeks, I would have run from this state screaming by now.

I remember this of the dream:
I open my front door, not expecting anything unusual, to see my neighbor and a black friend of his (surprise, he looks kind of like Harold Ford! NOT!) in my front yard, kicking and stomping my Vote No on 1 sign. They're laughing and cackling as they do this.

I lose it. I start screaming every obsenity in the book: "get your sorry f***in' ass off my property!" and "I'm gonna kick your motherf***in' ass!" I grab my weedeater that is sitting on my front porch (odd because I never keep it there, but I guess I needed a weapon in my dream) and gripping it at the skinny end, motor out, I start swinging at the little shits for all I'm worth.

You know how sometimes you don't feel strong in your dreams, like when you try to punch someone and it seems like you're barely moving. I didn't feel that AT ALL in this dream. I was a machine of pure, unadulterated vicious anger, and I was going for blood.

I don't remember making contact, but I do remember seeing them fleeing for their sorry lives with their tails between their legs. It felt damn good, and by God, if anyone ever does something like that, I think I just might lose it.

Like I said, I'll be glad when this is over. Then we'll just get ready for round 2 when the fundies start going after our adoption rights and hospital visitation rights. Think it's over? Think again. This is only one battle in the war.


Tax Exempt?

I thought churches were supposed to worship God, not politics. Guess I was wrong...


Tricked on Halloween

Halloween, a Pagan holiday, is being taken over by "christians."

I've always loved Halloween. It's a great time of year with parties, fun, and lots of candy. My partner and I had some kickass Halloween parties back when we had all of our friends in one city. It marks the change in the seasons and I've always LOVED fall (spring I hate, it just means summer is coming and we'll be sweating like freakin' pigs for 4-5 months). But fall and Halloween mean the start of the holiday season (and cooler weather!).

But Halloween is being hijacked by so-called christians. Some of them are handing out candy with Bible quotes attached to them. And they want to claim that gay folks recruit kids? What the hell are they doing? They'll also come knocking on YOUR door, on your private property, and start preaching to you. That happened to me on Halloween this year. I opened the door to what I thought were your average trick or treaters. I should have known something was up when I saw they didn't have any candy in their bags. They were just teenagers being driven around by their parents, but they handed me a "Way to Salvation through Jesus Christ" pamphlet. You know, those corny looking tri-fold things that look like something from the 50s (guess it's appropriate to their mentality).

I don't remember exactly what they said when they handed it to me, but it was something like "we want to let you know that the way to salvation is only through Jesus Christ." It was the last thing I was expected and I just looked at them dumbfounded and said, "Ummm, okay." I wish I had snatched the candy back from them or something but I was speechless at the gall and arrogance of them.

What makes them assume I'm NOT saved? Was it the Vote No sign in my front yard that made them assume since I'm gay or at least gay-friendly that I MUST NEED SAVING? Certainly someone who is gay or a gay ally can't also be a Christian. They're lucky I am a Christian; otherwise, I would have snatched a kink in their nappy little punk asses and drug them back to their daddy's pickup truck by the short hairs.

How dare they be so presumptuous and arrogant as to come on my private property and try to preach to me!

Vote No on Harold Ford

It seems I’ve been saying “no” a lot lately. Ever since Daddy Dobson showed up with his Vote Yes on Amendment 1 thugs, I’ve been in a contrary and irritable mood. I have three neighbors, in my typically tolerant and diverse neighborhood, who have Vote Yes signs up. One right next to me. They are the same couple (well, the wife anyway) who stood outside our house with us when a water main broke, flooding our house and pool, and called and recalled the water department trying to get someone out there to stop it. They’re also the same ones whose kid busted a window and the husband promptly had replaced at his expense. They’ve warned us about a freezing A/C line too. What makes people who are seemingly so nice be so vindictive?

I don’t know the answer to that. Fear, I guess. I want to go up to them on Nov. 8th and ask them if they feel like their marriage is now safe now that I can’t partake in their privilege. What do they think will happen if I marry the person I love? Does the husband fear his wife will see a new possibility and leave him? Are they afraid their son will no longer think it’s a bad thing to love someone? Like a great bumper sticker says: will I be judged for loving or will they be judged for hating?

Anyway, that’s a whole other post. This thread is all about why I say “no” to Ford. On election night, I’ll be covering the Ford/Corker race on Pam’s House Blend. Today, I’m saying “no.” I’ve been saying no on other blogs and it’s not getting a warm reception. I think I’m close to being called a troll or Republican plant. Why? Because I don’t swallow like a good little queer should?

I don’t buy the bullshit that we have to get Democrats, or at least Democrats like Ford, elected to make change. That’s utter horse hockey. Ford has been adamantly against anything to do with gay rights. Someone tell me how this is different from Corker or some other Republican. The argument is that he’ll be one of few that will think this way and that the other, more left leaning, Democrats will out weigh him and the anti-gay others. I beg to differ. Back when we had Clinton, we thought that he’d certainly be amenable to gay rights. We were crazy enough to get on the damn platform on election night and support his sorry ass. What did we get? DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That was done by a supposedly gay-supportive Democrat. We’ll be better with Ford how? I don’t see that happening.

There’s also the argument that we’ll push him back to the left once he’s elected. How? I mean he just got elected, basically rewarded, for being anti-gay. How many people do you know will change a tactic that has worked for them? It worked for him to be as “nasty as he wants to be.” Why would he change horse midstream? We won’t move him back to the left. You don’t get a misbehaving child to behave by rewarding their bad behavior. The kid will always come back using the same tactic to get that same reward again.

Not only are we rewarding Ford, but the DNC who has turned its back on the gay community. They have given buttloads of money to the Ford campaign, and they haven’t disciplined him for being anti-gay. They just keep throwing more money at him. While you have candidates like Angie Piccione in Colorado, who is very pro-gay, going against the author of the Federal Marriage Amendment, Marilyn Musgrave, and Angie barely gets a dime from the DNC. Don’t tell me that just because we are in the South, in the heart of the Bible Belt, that we have to run nasty, anti-gay campaigns to win an office. That’s BULLSHIT! Recently, an open lesbian and Democrat won office in a predominately black neighborhood of Birmingham, AL. She got no support financially or otherwise from her fellow Democrats or the DNC, but she won anyway!

How hard would it have been for Harold Ford to simply say, when he went off about the NJ marriage court ruling, that all Tennessee families deserve to be treated fairly and that we shouldn’t try to make life harder for some families? Making lives better and helping families is a good thing and it is, in fact, one of Ford’s campaign messages. I received a mailing the other day saying that Ford believed in “enable[ing] communities and families to thrive.” How can families thrive when he’s voting for and supporting amendments that DISable us from thriving?

I wrote a letter to Ford (see thread below for full letter) and sent the mailing back asking him this very question. As a black man, he should know and realize that families come in many shapes, sizes, and forms, and not all are related by blood or marriage. The black community is a testament to this fact. What Harold is doing is hurting ALL families. He’s not just blatantly chastising gay families and making our lives harder, but he could very well be making it harder for other families.

Just like another great bumper sticker says: Be careful who you hate, it could be someone you love.

Letter to Harold Ford

I got a mailing from the Democratic Party and the Ford Campaign the other day. It irked me because he's such a lying little bastard. I sent this letter back to him along with his mailing (maybe I should smear it in some of my dog's shit too because that's what his words are worth...shit):

Mr. Ford,

I received this mailing the other day encouraging me to vote for you. Thanks very much. I appreciate the personal touch.

Something the mailing said though kind of bothered me. It mentioned that you want to “enable communities and families to thrive.” That’s noble and a great thing to stand up for.

Did you consider, sir, that by voting away my ability to marry the person I love that you have DISabled me from being able to help my family thrive? The $2500 my partner and I will have to spend on legal documents just to visit each other in the hospital, which probably won’t even be acknowledged in a court of law after Nov. 7th, could have been used for so much more. The additional legal costs to defend these documents in court can’t even be calculated. Did you know that a Tennessee man had to spend $300K on lawyer fees just to get property back from his deceased partner’s family? He had all of the legal documents too. I could have given it to your campaign if you’d been more tolerant and supportive of ALL families, or maybe I could have put that money away for a college fund for our kids so they won’t have to rely on federal loans. Would it be wiser and more prudent to allow us to marry so we can provide the insurance and benefits marriage provides or to rely on government programs?

It would have been so easy for you to simply say, when you spoke out against our relationships, that no family should be penalized for simply being a family (that’s not a bad thing, you know), and that we as a state should consider ways, if not marriage then something, to help ALL families thrive.

Sir, do you want ALL families to thrive or just heterosexual families? As a black man, you should realize that families come in all forms and sometimes they’re not always blood or marriage related. What about those families, Mr. Ford?

You’re doing more than obtaining your goal of hurting gay people. You’re hurting entire communities, groups, and even the state of Tennessee. Is that your goal?

I’m a lifelong Democrat, and I didn’t vote for you. I cannot and will not support anyone who doesn’t support my family.