Uncertainty, when accepted, sheds a bright light on the power of intention. That is what you can count on: not the outcome, but the motivation you bring, the vision you hold, the compass setting you choose to follow.
An excerpt from The Greatest Danger Via Tricycle.com
Read all about the leadership of Buster and his unique gifts.
Alexander Kargaltsev's 'Asylum' photographs capture the gay men who fled from Russia in fear of their lives
Check out these arresting images showing gay asylum seekers from Russia.
Check out these compelling images of LGBT couples in Vietnam.
Read Andrew's full opinion piece here:
On the universality of access to healthcare, on torture, and on pre-emptive war, my conscience therefore requires me to withhold support for the Republican candidate. I disagree with him on many prudential policy grounds - but none reach the level of moral seriousness of the above. Yes, a lot of this comes from my faith in the teachings of Jesus and the social teaching of the Catholic tradition in its primary concern for the poor and weak and the sick - rather than praising, as Romney and Ryan do, the superior morality of the prosperous and strong and healthy. But on all three topics, a purely secular argument also applies, simply based on the core dignity and equality of the human person, and the fragile advances we have made as a civilization against barbarism like torture.
That matters. It matters in a way that nothing else does.
"I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, 'My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.' It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you 'disagree' with your candidate on these issues." - Pulitzer and Tony winning playwright Doug Wright,
This fall gay people are confronting family and friends who are voting against them by supporting Romney-Ryan. This is a powerful way to hold people responsible for their choices
Max von Essen, who currently stars in the Broadway revival of Evita, publicly shared a letter — via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr — that he wrote in response to a friend who expressed support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his page. That letter went viral.
Hey ( ),
Listen, I know you didn't mean any harm commenting on this post and I like you, we had some great times growing up. But Romney and Ryan believe that I am less than you. They believe I am a second class citizen and don't deserve the same rights that you had the privilege of being born into simply by being straight. They want to add a constitutional amendment that will ban gay marriage forever. It will set us back decades and ensure that I never legally have the opportunity to have a family or a partner in my lifetime.
They also believe that being at your partner's side when he/she is dying is a benefit, not a civil right. They could keep me from my partner dying in a hospital. Could you even imagine something like that in your own life? Being separated from your wife on her death bed? Could you imagine your marriage never being recognized and being told that your family is not a family and you do not deserve any federal rights that comes with marriage. Over 1100 rights. Did you know that? 1100.
Ryan doesn't believe in the hate crimes act fought unwaveringly for by Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, murdered for being gay in Wyoming. Murdered for being gay. Could you imagine if I was murdered for being gay? Could you really look my mom in the eye and say 'oh well, we can not prosecute this crime as a hate crime'?
I know there are important issues involved in this campaign. I know people are suffering and the economy has not improved at a rate we all wish it would. Yes, people are suffering but the gay and lesbian community has been suffering for hundreds of years and I am so tired of it. So tired of feeling that I am less than. So tired of knowing I have friends on here who will vote for someone who will keep me a second class citizen for my entire lifetime. I have already spent half a lifetime hiding, half a lifetime conforming. It is exhausting, demeaning and I am worn out. I want to love myself full out. I want a president who can look me in the eye and say 'You are equal!' 'You are equal to everyone else in this country and I will fight for your rights. The time is now and it is long overdue.' Romney and Ryan could not look me in the eye and say that and I feel sorry for every gay and questioning child who might have to listen to a president who believes that he/she is not equal. Children will take their lives. It is the WORST form of trickle down bullying and it absolutely splits my heart in half. When the president says you are less than, it gives permission to every authority figure, every politician, every teacher, every bully on the playground to push you around and bully you and treat you less than. It is dangerous and lives will be lost.
If this is not important to you, please remove me from your friends list. I need people in my life who love me and consider me 100% equal.
If you are gay, working to re-elect President Obama is smart and sexy. It also shows your self respect
If we don't work to re-elect Barack Obama, we will be bullied to by Romney, his appointments to the Supreme Court, his policies, and his commitment to a proposed constitutional amendment to keep us from marrying.
We owe it to ourselves to protect our rights, families, and well-being. We love ourselves too much to suffer as we did under Reagan (where thousands of our brothers and sisters died of AIDS because his administration didn't want to upset the Moral Majority and others) and George W. (who used initiatives against marriage equality to win re-election as well as appointed anti-gay judges to federal courts). We want to be treated as full and equal citizens, and have a president who will stand up for us, as Barack Obama has done. He is not a perfect man, but he has the integrity and courage to do to the right thing for us and our country.
Join me in giving $ and volunteering your time for Obama during these next 11 days. You can volunteer from your home https://dashboard.barackobama.com/
or go down to the local Democratic campaign office. Don't just worry or complain about this election: do something for yourself and your community. Be useful! Let's go forward and re-elect President Obama!!!
In 2003, Governor Romney wouldn't allow the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics to revise birth certificate forms for babies born to same-sex couples. The plan was to have the box for "father," for example, relabeled "father or second parent." But according to documents obtained by Waas, Romney rejected the plan, demanding the agency continue using old forms. Romney then demanded hospitals get permission from his office each time a child was born to a same sex-couple in order to cross out, with a pen, the label "father" or "mother," and write-in, with a pen, "second parent." (Romney also required gay male parents to get a court order before any birth certificate was issued.)
Those children would then go through life with birth certificates that marked them as strange, abnormal, less than everyone else, punished because Romney didn't approve of their parents. As a Department of Health attorney warned Romney, the children would be disadvantaged and would have trouble applying to school or getting drivers licenses as adults, particularly in a post-9/11 world where they might be considered security risks, having birth certificates that appeared altered. It was a "violation of existing statutes," the attorney warned Romney. But Romney waved off the warnings, not caring about the the legal, psychological or personal ramifications.
Read this moving letter by Walter Kapfer
Dear Mom and Dad,
You raised me to be a man and a proud American. Please don't vote for someone who would shamelessly take my rights away! Please don't cast that all-important ballot for someone who has publicly vowed to pursue a constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage.
As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney actively sought to take away the rights of same-sex couples to marry, and he has signed the National Organization for Marriage's anti-marriage-equality pledge to push for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as "the union of one man and one woman." How would you feel if someone told you that your marriage wasn't worth recognizing? It would feel pretty lousy, and I know because I'm going through it at the moment. You've made it clear that you are huge fans of the Romney-Ryan ticket, and it's not clear to me why. You're not millionaires who will benefit from the tax cuts Romney would most certainly pursue for those with plenty of resources. Also, everyone in our family benefits from the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, I don't see the rationale.
But what is especially galling is that if Romney and Ryan were elected, they would pursue policies that would identify one of your four children as lesser than everyone else and not deserving of the same freedoms other Americans enjoy, such as the ability to love and to live as a respected member of this nation. You've seen firsthand how my love for my partner Eric has flourished for over 20 years. You've embraced my relationship and welcomed him into our family. I am asking you to consider not only our lives under a Romney-Ryan administration but those of future generations of LGBT Americans who will follow me. I remember how difficult it was for me as a little boy fighting to be myself, combatting bullying and bigotry. I did not give you the opportunity to share in my personal struggles; it is just not what we did when I was a child. However, now you have an opportunity to protect the next generation of young people.
I believe that the United States is the most prosperous and prominent nation on Earth, not only because of its democratic values but because of its large and diverse union. LGBT Americans are part of that union, and it should be self-evident that we are all created equal and deserve the same rights as all Americans, including the right to marry. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are steadfast in their resolve to strike down marriage equality, and that makes them unfit for office, in my opinion. I ask you to please sit down and think about what life would be like for your son under their administration.
During a recent interview with Focus on the Family, an anti-gay group that bills itself as "a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive" (albeit just families that "reflect God's design"), Paul Ryan asserted that a Romney-Ryan administration would fiercely oppose gay rights. Ryan is only 42 years old, making him a contemporary of mine who, presumably, went through a similar journey in his 20s and 30s. I simply cannot understand how he can align himself with a group that knowingly spreads false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people.
Marriage matters to gay people in similar ways that it matters to everyone. Gay and lesbian couples want to get married to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love, and to protect their families. During this primary season, Romney noted that he would appoint federal judges who oppose gay marriage. Every law and every ruling against gay men and women goes against my life -- the life of your son. I don't know how you are able to separate one from the other.
The next president is likely to have an opportunity to fill two or three vacancies in the U.S. Supreme Court. The fact that he will be suggesting these appointments to the Senate is sometimes overshadowed by our day-to-day concerns, but the power of the executive branch to appoint Supreme Court justices is one of the major ways in which a president can affect how Americans live for decades after his presidential term ends. I ask you to please weigh the potential consequences of your vote for a Romney-Ryan ticket.
A vote for Romney-Ryan will hurt me. I am equal to everyone. Your vote matters to me most, so please think about it. If you vote for Romney-Ryan and my rights are affected, it'll probably be something you regret. At least I hope so.
Lt. Gen. Baron Friedrich von Steuben, the Prussian military genius whose service was critical in the American Revolution...and was as gay as a goose!
Gen. Washington rewarded Von Steuben with a house at Valley Forge, which he shared with his aide-de-camps Capt. William North and Gen. Benjamin Walker. Walker lived with him through the remainder of his life, and von Steuben, who neither married nor denied any of the allegations of homosexuality, left his estate to North and Walker. His last will and testament, which includes the line “extraordinarily intense emotional relationship,” has been described as a love letter to Walker.Read more about this great gay general here.
Andrew Sullivan rightly smacks down this sort of neo-con revisionist history:
There was plenty of compromise by Obama from the beginning, both symbolically and substantively. But a Republican decision was made that, even in the worst recession since the 1930s (whose impact on unemployment was devastating) not a single Republican House vote would go for the stimulus. It shocked me at the time, coming so soon after such a big election. I was naive enough to think that an emergency action that prevented a second Great Depression was something the opposition party might have supported, after losing an election badly to a newly elected president in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. I naively believed that just as a group of Democrats had supported Ronald Reagan's massive tax cut because they thought he had a mandate for one, a group of House Republicans might put country before party and give the man who ran on bipartisanship a chance.
Instead, they set out from Day One to destroy him, because they knew that if his moderation and modern cultural identity succeeded, their reactionary radicalism would be sidelined for good. And Rove's method is always to see what your party's own worst flaw is among the public and, with a straight face, accuse your opponent of it.
You know what we're fighting in this election? That cumulative, snow-balling, post-modern, cynical faction of deceit and partisan amnesia. If we are to get past the Cold Civil War we are in, the defeat of the rigidly ideological and theological GOP is vital.
Today Obama announced his support for marriage equality in ballot initiatives in Washington, Maryland, Maine and Minnesota. Thank you, Mr. President!
Read this incredibly good news here. Thank you, President Obama. You continue to earn my admiration and respect.
As the end of this election approaches, it's worth taking a step back and asking this question: In the entire history of the United States of America, from George Washington's election in 1789 on down, has there been a single candidate as unmoored from ideological principle or belief as Mitt Romney? I'm not just throwing an insult here, I ask this question sincerely. Because I can't think of any. -- Paul Waldeman
The Washington Blade listed 22 rights, benefits and protections we could lose under a President Romney.
-The Administrative Procedures Act provides safeguards against politically motivated policy switches. Thus repealing the policies below would involve a multi-year process.
-The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted a regulation ending the ban on HIV-positive visitors and immigrants.
-President Obama issued Presidential Memorandum in April 2010 directing HHS to issue regulations requiring all hospitals receiving Medicaid and Medicare to prohibit discrimination in visitation against LGBT people. HHS issued a final regulation that went into effect in early 2011.
-HUD issued final regulations in January 2012 prohibiting discrimination in federal public housing programs and federally insured mortgage loans. HUD also requires its grantees to comply with LGBT-inclusive state and local housing discrimination protections.
-The Office of Personnel Management published final regulations in the Federal Register expanding the eligibility for long-term care coverage to same-sex partners and sick leave to care for a same-sex partner.
-The federal Prison Rape Elimination Commission proposed national standards to reduce sexual abuse in correctional facilities, including standards regarding LGBT and intersex inmates. They were later instituted as a rule finalized by the Justice Department last month.
Sub-Regulatory Guidance/Policy Announcements
-These are policy advances instituted by — and subject to the will of — the administration.
-The Department of Health and Human Services revised its funding guidance around abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education programs, requiring that recipient programs are inclusive of and non-stigmatizing toward LGBT youth.
-HHS, in partnership with the Department of Education and Department of Justice, launched stopbullyingnow.com.
-The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency recently released new 2011 Performance Based National Detention Standards. These new standards provide guidance that aims to improve treatment of LGBT and HIV-positive people in detention facilities.
-In summer 2011, ICE published a memo and clarifying guidance providing that an individual’s family relationships, including a same-sex relationship, would be considered as a factor in labeling certain deportations as low-priority deportations.
-The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol announced a proposed regulatory change expanding the meaning of “members of a family residing in one household” for the purposes of the customs declaration form, which must be completed prior to re-entry to the United States.
-The DOJ issued an opinion clarifying that the criminal provisions of the Violence Against Women Act related to stalking and abuse apply equally to same-sex partners.
-The State Department revised the standards for changing a gender marker on a passport, making the process less burdensome for transgender people.
-In September 2011, the Social Security Administration confirmed that it ended the practice of allowing gender to be matched in its Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS). This resulted in the immediate cessation of SSA sending notifications that alert employers when the gender marker on an employee’s W-2 does not match Social Security records.
-The State Department extended numerous benefits to the partners of Foreign Service officers, including diplomatic passports and access to emergency evacuation.
-The State Department reversed a Bush administration policy that refused to use a same-sex marriage license as evidence of a name change for passports.
-The Department of Education issued guidance clarifying when student bullying may violate federal law, distributed a memo outlining key components of strong state anti-bullying laws and policies and made clear to public schools that gay-straight alliances have a right to form and meet.
-The Department of Education published guidance and, in coordination with the Department of Justice, has pursued Title IX complaints filed by LGBT students experiencing harassment based on sex or sex stereotyping.
-OPM added gender identity to the equal employment opportunity policy governing all federal jobs.
-The Department of Labor issued guidance clarifying that an employee can take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for a same-sex partner’s child.
-The IRS clarified that domestic partners (and their children) can be designated beneficiaries for VEBA funding/payment purposes.
-The Census Bureau overturned the Bush administration’s interpretation of the Defense of Marriage Act and agreed to release data on married same-sex couples along with other demographic information from the 2010 Census.
On Monday night, Romney changed his hawkish views on foreign policy to be more aligned with the President's. it is clear: Mitt will say anything to win. Has he no shame?
“She goes to Washington, D.C., it’s a little bit like one of those dogs, you know, ‘fetch.’ She goes to Washington, D.C., and gets all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies, and she brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in Missouri.”
-- Republican Todd Akin, MO candidate for Senator, talking about Senator Claire McCaskill and a not so subtle to a female dog
Yesterday, I volunteered at Obama headquarters in SF, calling Colorado voters and dealing with my anxiety
No matter where you live, there is probably an Obama office nearby to make phone calls from into key battleground states. Or you can make calls from your home. Go to: https://dashboard.barackobama.com/
No women in binders for Obama: he appoints twice as many women judges in one term than W. did in two
Obama has been a strong supporter of women and LGBT judges, appointing far more than George W.
Kate Riley, Seattle Times Editorial Page:
It was often about someone else, says state Sen. Ed Murray of what led individual lawmakers to change their minds and participate in the legislative victory of a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry in Washington state.
"It's about their kids. It's about their grandkids. It's about people in their lives that got them there," said Murray, whose strategy of incrementalism, probably more than anything, brought Washington to this point. Lawmakers, some Democrats and some Republicans, and the governor shared stories of their intellectual and emotional journey to yes.
On Nov. 6, if voters approve Referendum 74, affirming the new law, Washington could be the first state where same-sex marriage was approved at the ballot box.Full editorial
"Governor Romney supports a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children. I referred to the Tenth Amendment only when speaking about these kinds of benefits, not marriage."
-- Romney campaign adviser Bay Buchanan, clarifying to Buzzfeed that he still opposes all federal rights for LGBT Americans. Earlier this week a remark by Buchanan left the impression with some that Romney no longer supports a federal ban on same-sex marriage. Buchanan was the keynote speaker at GOProud's most recent event