Saturday, October 28, 2006

My Brief History Search of Marriage

With the recent ruling by the NJ Supreme Court and the battle in NJ between gay marriage/civil union or whatever it's going to be called, I decided to do a little research on the history of marriage. Was "marriage" really ordained by God and directed in the Bible? When did the word, "marriage" actually begin to be used? Have there been gay "marriages" or unions before in history. What I found left me even more confused. For you see, "marriage" as we know it today in the US has been an ever changing ritual.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God orders a man and a woman to marry. There are certainly references to a woman and a man joining together, but it is nontheless very confusing as to what the Bible actually states about marriage. And the union between a man and a woman was not even called "marriage" way back then.

I did come across one piece of information that seemed to sum up all of the other research I did. It is The History of Marriage as an Institution, by Larry R. Peterson, PhD. Several interesting facts, at least I think they're facts, are brought up in Dr. Peterson's writing:

1. From the 5th to the 14th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church conducted special ceremonies to bless same-sex unions which were almost identical for those to bless heterosexual unions. At the very least, these were spiritual, if not sexual, unions;
2 From the 1690s to the 1870s, “wife sale” was common in rural and small-town England. To divorce his wife, a husband could present her with a rope around her neck in a public sale to another man;
3. Marriage was strictly a civil and not an ecclesiastical ceremony for the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay until 1686;
4. Until 1662, there was no penalty for interracial marriages in any of the British colonies in North America. In 1662, Virginia doubled the fine for fornication between interracial couples. In 1664, Maryland became the first colony to ban interracial marriages. By 1750, all southern colonies, plus Massachusetts and Pennsylvania outlawed interracial marriages;
5. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state anti-miscegenation laws in Loving v. Virginia.
As a result of the decision, Virginia and fifteen other states had their anti-miscegenation laws declared unconstitutional. Those states were: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
In the fifteen years prior to the decision, fourteen states had repealed their anti-miscegenation laws. Those fourteen states were: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

What conclusions do I draw from this? That marriage has had many different connotations througout history. And most importantly: If it was not for a US Supreme Court ruling in 1967, there would still be states to this day that prohibit interracial marriages! Those State legislatures would never, never have changed the law except for the US Supreme Court ruling! Those goddamn activist judges!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Decision Expected Tomorrow On Gay Marriage In NJ

Expect a decision tomorrow in the battle for gay marriage in NJ. Winnie Comfort, a spokeswoman for the state judiciary, said the New Jersey Supreme Court will release its highly anticipated decision in a case brought by seven gay couples who claim the state constitution entitles them to marry. If the court rules that NJ's Constitution does not prohibit gays from marrying, NJ will become only the second state in the country, beside Massachusett's, in which gay marriage will be legal. Although conservative groups will try to amend NJ's Constitution to define marriage between a man and a woman, Governor Jon Corzine has already said he will support no legislation opposing the court's decision. NJ is known to be a progressive State when it comes to civil rights, so tomorrow we will know. Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Thank God For The Non-Traditionalist

In his piece of shit book, Cultural Warrior, Bill O'Reilly touts himself a "traditionalist" fighting against the "secular-progressive movement." The battle in America is not between conservatives and liberals but those that want to keep things the way they are versus those progressives that want to change the way things are. O'Reilly "condemns the "erosion of societal discipline" flowing from an alleged "S-P [secular-progressive]" agenda of drug legalization, teenagers' rights, moral relativism, church-state separation, therapy instead of punishment for criminals and, above all, the "communist" freeloader's doctrine that the government should tax the rich to fund housing, health care and early-childhood education for the poor."

I say thanks be to God for those non-traditionalists in our history. And every minority group, including women, should also agree with me. If it wasn't for the "secular-progressives" in our history, where would they be today? The Ann Coulters of the US would be in the kitchen, cooking for their man, instead of in the media blowing their horns. If it wasn't for the "secular-progressives" in our history, a good number of us would not have the freedoms we do today. If it wasn't for the "progressives in US history, slavery would still be the norm of the day. These are just a couple things that were only changed by those "secular-progressives." I must say that I, as a white male, would be enjoying life, while those not meeting my makeup, would still be oppressed today.

So I say to Bill O'Reilly, "STUFF IT, BILL!" If moving forward with equal rights for all, and if creating change so all Americans so they can enjoy life to it's fullest, makes me a "secular-progressive," I'll gladly wear that title and do everything in my power to fight the "taditionalists."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hillary/Condaleeza Showdown

A friend sent me this...........You gotta see it!

A Day In AC....And Not A Penny Spent On Gambling

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Everytime I go to Atlantic City I am amazed at how much it changes. There is now so much to do that does not involve gambling that it can actually be a very entertaining day if you do not like to go into the smoke filled gaming halls and throw away your money.

My trip started with a visit to Atlantic City Outlets-The Walk, where at least I have something to show for the money I spent. Then, it was dinner at Los Amigos, my favorite Mexican restaurant. Then, over to The Pier Shops at Caesar's, where there are several new restaurants as well as many expensive, but interesting stores.

I would encourage everyone to spend a day in AC. And if you really feel the need, there are the many casinos you can visit as well. And who knows, maybe you'll get lucky. Some people do!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Another Gay Celeb....But Little Hoopla!

I hear people say, "Why is that gay celebs or politicians only get outed when they're involved in a scandal of some kind? Wouldn't it be nice if a "big star" would just come out on his own." Well, they do!

This week T.R. Knight, who plays Dr. George O'Malley on the ABC hit series, Grey's Anatomy came out telling the world that he's gay in PEOPLE. But guess what, there was little fanfare made about this, and that's probably how Knight preferred it. I know T.R. Knight is not a "superstar" actor or politician or sports figure, but he is a fairly well-known guy. I commend Knight for his honesty and courage, and I agree that more celebs need to be honest with themselves and everyone else.

But T.R. Knight is not the only celeb on the out list. Lance Bass, from the former boy band 'N Sync came out about a month ago. And there are many more "famous" gay men and women: take a look at this short list. Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher one of Maher's panel guests was Barney Frank, Rep. from Massachusetts, OUT, LOUD, AND PROUD!

My point here is that celebs come out on their own quite often. Not everyone is outed in the McGreevey or Foley manner. But the McGreevey's and Foley's of the world make for more interesting news. The Knights of the world do not entertain as much as the celebs caught in a scandal. And just like everyone of us that is a "non-celeb", celebrities weigh the consequences of coming out. And just like many of us, celebs may not even realize, or wish to admit to themselves or anyone else, that they are gay.

I also wish more big name celebs, politicians, and sports figures would come out. (You cannot for a moment tell me that if statistically approximately 1 in 10 males are gay, that a professional football team does not have any gay players). But they are out there, and I believe they will slowly acknowledge who they are as society becomes more accepting. And from personal experience, these men and women will enjoy a much fuller, happier life when they do come out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Dems Strategy

The Democratic candidates are really pounding the failed Bush Administration policies! The Dems are especially attacking the Republican candidates that supported Bush and the Iraq war. And this pisses me off a bit!

Where were these same Democrats 3+ years ago? Where have these Democrats been since? They seem to have vanished except for the past 2 months or so during the campaign. Why did they not stand up to Bush and the Republicans that supported him earlier?

Sure, I'm going to vote for those Democrats, but part of me would like to see "them all" out! I just wish men and women with true convictions to serve could be elected. I just wish men and women who stood for what they truly believed, not what they think will get them elected, would serve this great nation.

It's about time the Dems started to stand against the Bush agenda! I only hope it's not too late!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Please Do Us All A Favor: VOTE!

Every man and woman, and especially gay men and women, should do all they can to get out and vote this November. There is so much riding on the results of this election: whether or not US troops stay in Iraq to be slaughtered; whether or not Bush gets pummelled with inquiries into his illegal behavior; and whether or not gay rights move forward or backwards. For more information on the gay rights issue, the Human Rights Campaign gives some good advice and suggestions on how you can help. It's Menedez for NJ and Casey for PA.

Give Me A Break!

Conservative religious and political leaders in Boston claim their religious rights are being violated by Massachusett's allowing of gay marriage. ''Here in Massachusetts, activist judges struck a blow to the foundation of civilization: the family,'' Republican governor Mitt Romney, a likely presidential candidate, told an applauding crowd of about 1,000 people, some of whom responded with ''Amen.'' GIVE ME A BREAK!!

I don't know of any gay man or woman that believes someone cannot worship the way they want! Legalization of gay marriage does not stop anyone from practicing his/her beliefs the way he/she wants. And what's even sadder is eight states will vote in November on constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, following 20 states that have already approved bans. Prompted by a ruling from its highest court, Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004. Massachusetts lawmakers are expected to consider a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on November 9.

You don't have to like gay marriage. You don't even have to like gay people! However, they pay the same taxes and provide to this society just like anyone else. And gays should be entitled to the same rights as any other citizen.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Another Good Reason

A story out of Philadelphia gives yet another good reason why every home should have a gun: A 3 year old boy was killed when he found a gun in the home and accidentally shot himself in the face, killing himself. I hope all the gun advocates put this incident on the list of why guns are necessary!

Has The US Helped?

If you think the US has helped the Iraqi people, think again. According to a UN chief anti-torture expert, tortue in today's Iraq may be worse than it was when Hussein was in control. Manfred Nowak said the situation in Iraq was "out of control", with abuses being committed by security forces, militia groups and anti-US insurgents.

One of the most used techniques includes the use of power drills. "They torture them, breaking hands and legs. They use electric drills to pierce their bodies and then the killing is carried out at close range," said Salman al-Faraji, a human rights activist and lawyer. And the "they" in this case: the Iraqi police force.

How much more help can the Iraqi people take?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Problem With the Mark Foley's of the World

The problem with ultra-conservatives, who I will call the Mark Foley's of the world, is that they set a standard for themselves so high that no human could live by. Then, when they fall, they fall hard! The Mark Foley's of the world hide behind causes (or the flag) to cover up their humaness, and when they themselves cannot live up to the standards they have set, they tumble with full velocity to the ground. If you're going to set those kind of standards, you better make sure you can really live by them!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My Life....My Goal

I have never intended for these trivial thoughts of mine to be a pulpit for any cause, but the longer I live, and the more I experience, I feel I have a goal to achieve in this short time I am here. I also never intended for this to be a place that would single out one issue, but more and more, it appears that is what is on my mind, and that is what my goal is. The more I read in the media and hear from people, I feel compelled to make sure that gay individuals learn to live as who they are, and that society realize that gays are not some two-headed freaks, but people with dreams like anyone else. I want gay individuals to be proud of who they are, and society to allow gay individuals to live as who they were created. For I strongly believe it is our society that makes the Jim McGreevey's and Mark Foley's of the world. It is society that makes men and women do things to "hide" their gayness and push to be someone they are not. And in portraying an image of what they are not, instead of embracing who they are, men and women are driven to create an image that covers up the real person, rather than live freely as who they honestly are.

I am a gay man that took many, many years to come to grips with who I really am. I did everything I could to not be gay: play sports; be Mr. Macho; marry and raise a family; get deeper into religion and prepare for the ministry; and pretending to be as straight as they come. This was not a conscious decision on my part, but all the proceeding behaviors would certainly make me straight, and push my gayness out of me. It wasn't until I divorced, being gay not the reason for this, that I finally, after years of hiding from myself, discovered who I really was! It was only then that I came out of the closet; to myself and to everyone around me! And I will never, never, never, go back into that closet no matter what it costs me!

My goal is that every gay person come to grips with who he/she is sooner than I did. Nobody can come out until he/she is ready. And it is nobody else's job to out anyone. But if I can help one person find themselves, I have accomplished my goal. I applaud those gay men and women who, at an early age, realized who they are, but many, like me, continue to try find ways to make themselves straight. And guess what? You're gay because that's how God made you! There is absolutely nothing you can do to make yourself straight! You can try all you want, but fact is, if you're gay, you're gay! Not a damn thing you can do to change that! So, embrace your gayness and be proud of who you are. And society, instead of trying to squish the individual, should begin encouraging kids and adults to be who they were created to be!