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Archive for the ‘Paul Ryan’ Category

I wonder if the people who go to Las Vegas know that the United States is facing an economical challenge. I also wonder if they know and understand that people are not supposed to have money to burn. I only ask this because I’ve seen a whole lot of people throwing money into machines and on tables and at scantily clad women while I’ve been in Las Vegas the past few days.

If I were not a person who read or watched television and only based my knowledge of the condition of the American economy on what I have seen the past two days; I would honestly assume that we were the richest nation on earth, we have no poor or homeless, everyone had jobs, everyone was secure, and everyone had hundreds and hundreds of dollars to just give away.

I sat with a group of older gentlemen this afternoon who were a-waitin for their “women-folk.” Yes, they actually did call them their “women-folk.” We were all in this amazing Parisian bakery inside the Paris Hotel and Casino.  I was eating this chocolate twist that made me want to do a little happy dance, as it was almost as wonderful as the one I had when we were really in Paris, France.  I was totally enjoying the decadence of it all without one ounce of guilt, when these gentlemen asked if they could use the extra chairs at my little table.

They were from Alabama, and they wanted to sit and wait for their “women-folk” who were shopping, would I mind if they just “sat a spell?”  How could I possibly refuse?

The liberal lesbian from California with three white men from Alabama with their “God Bless America” baseball hats, their fanny packs, and their “Bama” t-shirts.  What on earth could possibly go wrong?

Had I won any money they asked?  Yes, I had won a little right here in the Paris Casino.  What was I playing? The nickel Wheel of Fortune machine. Was I in Las Vegas on vacation? Yes, I suppose I was. Was I with my husband? No, I wasn’t married.  “A pretty little thing (which sounds like thang in that southern drawl) like you?”  “I just caint believe a man hasn’t laid claim to you.”

Now – at this particular point in time – I wondered if I really needed to make my gay-marriage, gay-rights stump speech.  Did I really need to attack these 3 old white southern men who were simply a-waitin for their women-folk? Would it make a difference? Would they even understand what I was a-sayin?

They didn’t give me any time to answer them as they started drinking their Parisian coffee and talking politics amongst themselves.  I started to eat my chocolate twist a little faster as I was sure the Republican rhetoric was going to force me from the table. I was thinking of what liberal comment I could make before leaving the table, and what gay image I could leave with them. I was preparing my little speech in my head when I heard one of them say: “I sure hope The President shows that Romney a thang or two in the debates. That poor white boy don’t stand a chance.”

I must have had this look of total shock on my face as these 3 men looked at me and apologized if they had offended me.  I told them that I was not offended on any level and I apologized to them for just assuming they were white, southern Baptist, racist, homophobic men from Alabama.  They roared with laughter and said that no they indeed were not, but their “women-folk” most certainly would fit that description!

I sat with these three men for another 45 minutes and we talked about more things than I could ever write on paper.  These men were sweet and funny and knew the ways of the world. They hated the south of the 1960’s and never agreed with the whole slavery thang. They aren’t fans of the Rebel flag, they don’t like re-hashing the Civil War, they believe in the freedom of and from religion and don’t believe it has any place in government. They think Paul Ryan looks like Eddie Munster and they called Mitt Romney: “Milk-Toast.” I’m not exactly sure, but I don’t think it was a positive thang.

They do not like Chick-Fil-A, they love, love, love college football and confirmed for me that football in the south truly is a religion. These men were WWII veterans, and their voices changed when they spoke of their service to this Country during WWII.  War has a way of defining the people who fight in it, and live to tell the tale. Their eyes filled with tears and they spoke softly of buddies who never came home and they told me that some 70 years later they have never really come to terms with the men they were told to kill. Indeed – war changes people.

I wanted to stay and meet the “women-folk” but I somehow knew that I would have absolutely nothing in common with these women, so I hugged each of these men, and went on my way.  I stopped at a bench, pulled out my journal, and wrote down everything I could remember from the past 45 minutes. It was like taking notes during a college lecture on history, religion, philosophy, sports, politics and human nature all in one course!

I will smile every time I watch an Alabama football game knowing that these three men are somewhere together cheering on their Crimson-Tide.  I will forever be grateful for their honesty, their kindness and the lessons learned in that Parisian Bakery in the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  The jackpot I hit with these three men was far better than any I could have hit from a slot machine.

Roll Tide!

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This election is one of these moments in time when you have to look yourself in the mirror and ask the reflection you see just what it is you believe in.

You have to ask yourself if you want to keep perpetuating the anger and hate and blame and bigotry and homophobia, or do you want to rise above that and vote for acceptance and tolerance and citizenship.

There are a great many people in our country who will choose the path of hate, and hate is really is what it’s all about. If you ask any of the Mitt Romney supporters what he plans on doing about the tax policy, they can’t tell you. They can’t tell you because they don’t know. They don’t know because Romney doesn’t know. He has been real clear about not revealing his plan until after the election. Think about that: You have no clue how he will reform the tax policy – and then think of what sort of mind-set it would take to cast a vote for this man.

Mitt won’t discuss abortion – but you know that he was once pro-abortion and is now pro-life. But don’t ask him or his wife – they won’t discuss it because that isn’t what this election is about. Mitt is for an amendment to the Constitution to make marriage be between a man and a woman – but don’t ask him or his wife any questions about that — they won’t discuss it because it isn’t what this election is about. Mitt’s economic plan is to give more tax breaks to the rich and raise taxes on the middle class. Do you know his plan for Afghanistan? Do you know what his foreign policy is all about? Ask yourself what exactly it is you do know about this man – other than what he is against, which is: gays, women, Medicare and Social Security.

If you really know nothing about Romney and his plan for America, one must ask oneself, am I voting for Romney or am I just voting against President Barack Obama? And if you say yes to the later, then you must ask yourself why it is you are voting against President Obama? Is it the economy? Is it the whole gay-marriage thing? Is it his belief that a woman has the absolute right to equal pay? Is it his belief that a woman should make her own choice when it comes to abortion? Is it his stand on Afghanistan? Is it because he bailed out the auto industry? Is it his decision to kill Osama Bin Laden? Is it the fact that he ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and gave gays and lesbians the freedom to serve their country openly? Or, is it simply the color of his skin?

One cannot ignore the race question when it comes to this election. I’ve seen too many websites filled with racist cartoons and hate-filled rhetoric for me not to believe that we are still a nation filled with bigots who believe that gays, women and people of a certain color and religion have their place and need to be kept there.

Sadly, the Republican Party plays on that with their anti-gay, non-Christian-baiting, women-hating, “let them eat cake” platform. The folks who don’t know Wall Street from Main Street only know that this is the party that validates their hatred of gays, women and religions they don’t understand.

This is the party to associate yourself with if you want to own guns you don’t need, and have enough ammunition to kill whoever and whatever you want a hundred times over. This is the party to cling to if you want to blame everyone but yourself for what you perceive to be wrong in America.

Mitt and his party will take us down the road of hate, bigotry and towering fences at our borders. The poor will get poorer and the middle class will be no longer. You’ll have to leave the country to find a job, and anything with the stamp “Made in America” will be called nostalgia.

My fellow travelers in the gay community, our time is now. Our time is now to stand and be counted. Our time is now for you to be proud of who you are as a person and who we are as a community. Our time is now to vote as if our future depends on it, for it most surely does.

Vote!

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As we in the gay community continue the fight for gay marriage – there is still the ground-swell of:  “Why do you need to be married? Can’t you just have a lawyer draw up all the legal papers you need? Just be domestic partners that will give you all the legal rights you need.”

Have you heard of the Lesbian couple, Brittney Leon and Terri-Ann Simonelli, who are registered domestic partners in the State of Nevada? In Nevada the law states:  “Domestic partners have the same rights, protection and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law, whether derived from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.”

This couple went to Spring Valley Hospital because Ms Leon was having pregnancy complications.  Upon arriving at the hospital, Ms Simonelli was told she would have to get herself power of attorney to be with her partner.  The public relations person at Spring Valley Hospital stated that the hospital requires gay couples have power of attorney in order to make medical decisions for each other.

Even though President Obama ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to write a rule that would prevent hospitals from not allowing visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners – this hospital chose to discriminate against this and other gay couples.

Ms Leon lost her baby – while her partner – her legal registered domestic partner – was left to wait without news on the fate of her family. They lost their baby – while the hospital refused to allow them to share in their loss. I cannot imagine how lost and alone they were feeling.

Imagine, if you will, losing a baby – your baby – and not having your partner – male or female – gay or straight – with you holding your hand, giving you comfort. Imagine a country that uncaring, that discriminating, that homophobic. Can you?

Well, you don’t have to imagine it. Go to the polls in November and push that Romney/Ryan button and you will be enforcing and supporting this uncaring, discriminating, homophobic kind of world. Spin it any way you choose and try to justify it in your head and your heart – however, f you vote Republican this November – that’s who you are, that’s who and what you are voting for. It’s a reflection of you.

The Romney/Ryan ticket will not ever entertain the thought of gay marriage. Gay couples – even those who think they have the law to protect them – will continue to be treated as second-class citizens and will not have access to certain functions that only a legal marriage can offer  couples and families – which would most certainly include health care access.

If you choose to vote Romney/Ryan and think or say to me: “Barb it’s not personal.” I can only say to you: “What could be more personal than denying me access to the person I love when they need me the most? ” And don’t tell me you want smaller government – this is not smaller government – This is the government intruding in the lives of people who simply want to be recognized for who they are – Americans.

This election is important – Please vote to end the hate…

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I read a comment on an article I had written about the Romney / Ryan ticket and their stand on their opposition to gay marriage.

   marriage IS about religion. If you don’t care about God why would you care about being married? Most people get married in a CHURCH, and then a preacher              wont marry them because it goes against what the Bible says.

I don’t know if this person is gay or straight, but they left a few other comments that showed their bias when it comes to issues that affect the gay community.  Let me enlighten this person and others who may be confused on the subject of marriage…

Marriage in the United States of America is NOT about religion.  The act of getting married to someone is not a religious act. It’s not based on any religion, any Bible, any book, any belief, any potion, any leader, nothing. One does not have to be religious to get married, and religious leaders do not have to preside over a marriage ceremony to make a marriage legal.  Religion has no legal influence on any marriage. You do not have to hear: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church: which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence…” to have your marriage be legal.

To be legally married in the United States you need a government-issued marriage license and a certificate of marriage. Period. This has nothing to do with religion – nothing. You can argue that it should have everything to do with religion if you’d like, but legally, it has nothing to do with marriage.

See the beauty of the First Amendment to the Constitution is that it prohibits the government from telling the many religious sects what the meaning of marriage is, AND it also stops the many religious sects from telling the government what the meaning of marriage is.  Well – allegedly, that’s what it was set up to do. This is where the problem begins and ends when it comes to marriage. – Religion.

I understand that there are some churches that do not now, and will never allow the concept of gay marriage to enter through their doors. Fine, I get that. I’ll leave you to worship whatever you chose to worship, I won’t try and close you down or picket outside your doors or give millions of dollars to politicians to keep you from your Constitutional rights as an American.  I’m not saying you have to accept gay marriage – I’m saying you have no legal right to ban it.

You don’t have to care about God, or even believe in a God to care about marriage.  If you need religion in your life to get you through the days and nights of what the world throws at you, then by all means you have the freedom to have your religion. Worship whatever god you believe sustains you and carry on with your life. Just try to understand that not everyone has to believe as you do, and live as you do.  However,  if your god and your pastor/priest/whatever doesn’t teach tolerance, understanding and loving one another, you might want to regroup and look elsewhere for your inner peace.

My partner Susan has been my wife in my heart for 30 years. She always has been, always will be.  Her children are my children, her grandchildren, my grandchildren.  We share a home, and all that goes with the daily struggle to survive.  We’ve been there for each other through the death of parents, friends, a grandchild, and pets. We’ve had good times, and bad times, we argue, we laugh, we cry, but mainly – we just love each other a little more every day.  Organized religion turned their back on us, so we looked inward and found our peace and our balance in the everyday living of life.

We have lived our life together without the benefit of a marriage license or a marriage certificate because here in the State of California millions of dollars were spent by the churches – Mormon and others – to make sure we couldn’t get married. They didn’t want us to ruin the sanctity of marriage… Well, we’re still together, so the churches have to keep fighting…

Marriage is about so much more than religion – so much more…

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I do not understand the concept of being a gay Republican.  I don’t know how one goes from saying: I’m gay and then adding: And I’m a Republican.  I don’t know how one does this…

I’ve asked how it’s done and the answers I usually get are vague or angry or completely nonsensical. I’ve heard everything from; it’s the Republicans who back the military to Republicans want smaller government to Republicans would be more fiscally responsible.  Then there’s the whole tax thing, and a whole bunch of other garbled jibber jabber.

Okay… but Republicans also want you to go back in the closet, not get married, not be able to legally adopt, serve in the military openly. They don’t respect you on any level.

I ask the questions because I honestly do not understand.  I was told to just separate myself from the whole being gay thing, and just concentrate on the whole government thing.

See, I don’t know how you get past the being gay part.  Being gay is who I am; it’s not a choice or a lifestyle, it’s who I am every day of my life.  I don’t wake up in the morning and say: “Well I think I’ll be a Lesbian today.”  It’s just who I am.  Every law, every ruling that goes against gays and lesbians goes against me and my life.  I don’t know how to separate one from the other, and I’m not convinced that separating yourself from who you are at any time is a good thing.

I understand gay republicans believe the only way to change the Republican Party is to work among them and make them understand inclusion – I get that, and I understand that they have done good things – still, trying to make change and voting for people you know are never going to change, and people who will spend any amount of money to keep me in what they believe is “my place;” this I will never understand.

I have a Republican lesbian friend who goes to her Catholic church every week. She doesn’t leave feeling full of faith and loved by her creator. She leaves knowing her church will never accept her for who she is and every week she asks forgiveness.  She asks forgiveness for who she is.  Every week she allows this church to take a little piece of her soul and make her feel a little more unworthy. When I asked her why she continues to go there she says: “It’s my church.” When I remind her of how the Catholic Church and the Republican Party don’t really validate her existence she says well, maybe they know something I don’t.  It just blows me away that she cares so little about herself.  Every life deserves validation – no exceptions.

This Romney/Ryan ticket is not gay friendly, on any level. Thinking that voting for them would be a good thing because you could get inside of the party and change hearts and minds is just foolish. If you’re a gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgendered citizen and you push, click or fill in the circle for the Republican ticket you will have voted against your own best interest. You will have voted for people who don’t like you, don’t respect you, and would be happier if you just didn’t exist.

Paul Ryan is a scheduled speaker at the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit in September.   In case you didn’t know The Family Research Council believes the following about homosexuality:

“Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed.  It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects.  While the origins of same-sex attractions may be complex, there is no convincing evidence that a homosexual identity is ever something genetic or inborn. We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools. Attempts to join two men or two women in “marriage” constitute a radical redefinition and falsification of the institution, and FRC supports state and federal constitutional amendments to prevent such redefinition by courts or legislatures.   Sympathy must be extended to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions, and every effort should be made to assist such persons to overcome those attractions, as many already have. “

If you are a member of the gay community and you believe you can change the heart and soul of Paul Ryan – you’re dreaming.  So, if you still want to support these folks, please don’t preach to me about smaller government and fiscal responsibility, especially when your party is pandering to the rich and smacking the middle class, and know this; If they get elected, they will throw your gay life under the big election bus the moment President Romney says; “So help me God.”

Right now – I’d like us all to be on the same playing field, and the gay community has finally gotten ourselves into the Ballpark. I don’t want to be in the Ballpark only to be shoved back in the locker and not be allowed to dress for the game.

 

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