Jun 28, 2013

MADNESS DOESN´T ATTRACT PEOPLE: ¨I often wonder if many of these religious types really think about the message they are sending out...¨

What goes on in the minds of the overly religious?
¨Sometimes I wonder what goes on in the minds of some overly religious people. Do their minds function like regular people or having been addled by the constant bombardment of religious drivel, it functions like that of a person flirting with insanity?

I don't say this to be unkind, it's what I honestly feel because I find that the greater the religious indoctrination, the lesser the ability to reason rationally. Take for example, that Pat Robertson guy on television. The things that come of out his mind sometimes make me wonder if he should be locked away in a padded cell somewhere.

Closer to home there are columnists and men of the cloth who believe that legislation currently before Parliament - the anti-buggery law, legislation of abortion and the seven-day flexi-week - are signs of an all-out attack against the Church. For an organisation that is rapidly losing relevance in today's society, who really needs to attack the Church?

The Church gets all riled up over issues that don't concern them - what happens in the bedrooms of consenting adults and what a woman chooses to do with her body. And what exactly does giving someone the option of working longer hours over a longer period of time have to do with Church?

And why has the Church been silent on those pastors who want to have their way with the women in their congregations?

The Church has become irrelevant primarily because of its inability to make an impact on a society where people are fed up of the rhetoric; the fire and brimstone and the ever-returning Kingdom of the Lord, not to mention its constant thirst for money and its frightening silence on serious issues that affect people in the communities in which they operate.

For example, people are being beheaded left, right and centre in Jamaica. The economic situation has many Jamaicans terrified of what the future holds as the dollar continues to slide and jobs are hard to come by. But the Church gets all riled up over gay issues and casinos. You want to see the Church excited, mention homosexuality or gambling and what happens next is like watching piranhas in a feeding frenzy.

Part of the problem is that the Church has become as polarising a force when they should be a force for understanding and healing. The recent gay marches are an example of that. I don't pretend to be knowledgeable of anything biblical but I am sure that if Jesus was alive today to see how churches are against gays he would go nuts.

The Church should be teaching us how to get along even though we disagree on these social issues, teaching us tolerance, teaching us how to care for our neighbours, but it chooses to teach hatred and segregation and encourages this society to discriminate against people who are different, just because they are different.

That to me is counter to what anything that Jesus would have taught back when he was here on earth more than 2000 years ago. If anyone is on the attack, it's the Church that is.

The flexi-week thing is just ridiculous. What, are people only allowed to worship on a specific day? What is the Church saying that if you are a Christian and get on your knees each night to pray and worship, that doesn't count? What if you choose to do your worshipping at night, now that you have more time as you don't have to work eight hours a day five days a week? Doesn't that count?

I mean, I often wonder if many of these religious types really think about the message they are sending to people out there. Madness doesn't attract people, it scares people and that is why the Church struggles to get people...¨ read it all: 

Jun 25, 2013

ANNIVERSARY TODAY: The Rainbow Flag has reflected diversity in the LGBT Community for 35 years!

A milestone indeed for the symbol of LGBT prowess worldwide.
The rainbow flag, sometimes LGBT pride flag or gay pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s. The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and the flag is often used as a symbol of gay pride in LGBT rights marches. It originated in California, but is now used worldwide.

Designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, the design has undergone several revisions to first remove then re-add colors due to widely available fabrics. As of 2008, the most common variant consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The flag is commonly flown horizontally, with the red stripe on top, as it would be in a natural rainbow.

The original gay-pride flag flew in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. It has been suggested that Baker was inspired by Judy Garland's singing "Over the Rainbow" and the Stonewall riots that happened a few days after her death. The flag also strongly resembles the ribbon colors of the WWI Victory Medal, though no connection is evidenced. Another suggestion for how the rainbow flag originated is that at college campuses during the 1960s, some people demonstrated for world peace by carrying a Flag of the Races (also called the Flag of the Human Race) with five horizontal stripes (from top to bottom they were red, black, brown, yellow, and white). Gilbert Baker is said to have gotten the idea for the rainbow flag from this flag in borrowing it from the Hippie movement of that time largely influenced by pioneering homosexual activist Allen Ginsberg. The flag consisted of eight stripes; Baker assigned specific meaning to each of the colors:

hot pink: sexuality
red: life
orange: healing
yellow: sunlight
green: nature
turquoise: magic/art
indigo/blue: serenity/harmony
violet: spirit

Thirty volunteers hand-dyed and stitched the first two flags for the parade.

Gay flag 8.svg
Original eight-stripe version designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978
Gay flag 7.svg
Version with hot pink removed due to fabric unavailability
Gay flag.svg
Six-color version popular since 1979. Indigo changed to royal blue.

Thanks to Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transexual Jamaica, sidebar

Jun 20, 2013

CENTRAL AMERICAN DELIGHTS: A beautiful private home with luxurious gardens, in Antigua, Guatemala (brimming with Spanish Colonial antiques and few Leonardo Ricardo originals too)

¨The Otherside of the Volcano
¨Faces in Time¨  Leonard Clark (painted on round Totonicopan  glazed  apaste and mounted on the chimney)
¨The Otherside of the Volcano¨ 4´x5´ painted on panel, (far left wall)

Rolling Table in the gardenroom with 4´x 6´ Maya Geometrics, painted panel

GAY TO STRAIGHT THERAPY: ¨For quite some time we've been imprisoned in a worldview that's neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical...¨

Purveyors of ‘ex-gay’ therapy, Exodus International says it’s shutting down

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Exodus International, the nation’s oldest and largest Christian ministry devoted to performing controversial gay-to-straight “reparative therapy,” announced Wednesday night that it is shuttering its operations after more than three decades.
In announcing its decision, president Alan Chambers, 41, repudiated the organization’s mission and said he was “sorry for the pain and hurt” so many experienced by the group’s efforts to “repair” their sexual orientation.
“I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents,” said Chambers, in a statement.
“[W]e’ve ceased to be a living, breathing organism,” said Chambers. “For quite some time we’ve  imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical...¨

Jun 15, 2013

JOSH THOMAS: Retired RC Bishop Calls for Complete Re-examination of Teachings on Sex & Gender

Geoffrey Robinson, retired auxiliary bishop of Sydney, Australia. (Graham Crouch/Daily Telegraph)
Geoffrey Robinson, retired auxiliary bishop of Sydney, Australia. (Graham Crouch/Daily Telegraph)
¨I posted a photo and notice about this yesterday on my Daily Office sites, but it deserves wider attention: a retired Roman Catholic bishop, Geoffrey Robinson, has emerged as a thoughtful, constructive critic of Vatican policies in light of the worldwide sexual abuse of children by priests and some religious.
He knows what he’s talking about, because he was the Church’s lead investigator when the scandal hit Down Under. That has led him to question the Church’s entire approach to sex and gender issues.
To me he speaks with the voice of an insider who loves his Church. It’s lost its way, he knows it and he says so publcly.
The Vatican, including this new Pope, who’s been yammering lately about a “Gay lobby” inside the hierarchy, will probably dismiss him as just another publicity-seeking turncoat. That’s their first response to all criticism; the real pressure comes later.
An absolute monarchy is the same thing as a dictatorship. But Jesus of Nazareth never ruled with a pope’s iron fist; Christ left people free to choose, because that’s God’s way.
Joshua J. McElfee of the National Catholic Reporter had a great article on Robinson last year, reprinted on The Huffington PostRead it here.
McElfee wrote:
Among the other aspects of Catholic culture Robinson said contributed to the abuse crisis are mandatory celibacy for priests, a “mystique” some attach to the priests as being “above other human beings,” and a “creeping infallibility” of papal decrees, which is used to protect “all teachings … in which a significant amount of papal energy and prestige have been invested.”
The application of the church’s teaching on infallibility is a “major force in preventing a pope from making admissions that there have been serious failures in the handling of abuse,” Robinson said.
I took particular interest in Robinson’s critique of homophobic and simplistic “natural law” theory, which states that since human reproduction occurs due to sexual intercourse, Gay people are “outside of nature” and “intrinsically disordered.” These concepts, endlessly repeated by popes and prelates, have led to murders and suicides all over the world.
I think God made Gay people expressly because we’re less likely to reproduce. But the Roman Church has made a total fetish out of the Stone Age line, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Heterosexuals multiply too well; that’s their problem. They need some birth control!
On Easter Island in the South Pacific, the heterosexuals reproduced so well they went extinct. The island can't support human life anymore, no matter how many gods they made for themselves.
On Easter Island in the South Pacific, heterosexuals reproduced so well they went extinct; no matter how many gods they made for themselves, the population dropped from 15,000 to 111. (It’s rebounded in modern times.)
The Roman Church isn’t the only group to make this mistake; evolutionary biologists do it too. But bee-keepers don’t; they know that asexual drones keep a queen bee’s colony going.
I call GLBTs “caregivers for communities.” That’s why there are so many Gay guys among Roman Catholic clergy—and so many Lesbians leading those churches that allow women to function.
But patriarchy dies hard, especially in dictatorships.
I have little hope that Pope Francis is going to change much. But he would do well to listen to Geoffrey Robinson. So would you. Patriarchy is killing the Church – it’s killing all religion everywhere. Sexism is patently unjust. It breeds violence and therefore cannot be of God.
Geoffrey Robinson doesn’t come across to me as a partisan. He comes off to me as a thinker. Go now, click the link and see what he says.++¨

Jun 12, 2013

LIVE LOVE: Over 300 pastors and delegates meet at LGBT-affirmative Christian conference in Hong Kong

From left to right: Chan Ka Timothy (Chairman of Queer Alliance Fellowship), 
Anthony Wong (pop star and Big Love Alliance member), Chun Yum
(Big Love Alliance member), Rev Silas Wong (BMCF, Hong Kong),
Rev Miak Siew (Singapore), Rev Oyoung Wen Feng (US/Malaysia),
and Rev Elias Tseng (Taiwan) at a press conference on Sunday
holding up a banner that reads: "God loves LGBTs.
Asian pastors and clergy support LGBT anti-discrimination legislation".
Photo courtesty of the BMCF.

Organised by the Blessed Minority Christian Fellowship (BMCF), an inter-denominational Christian community in Hong Kong, the 3-day Amplify Conference comprised workshops and lectures about Christian ministry as well as the role Christians and churches play within the wider LGBT community and LGBT activism. Over 300 attendees from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States attended the conference that ended on Sunday.

Rev Miak Siew, an openly gay pastor from Singapore’s Free Community Church who conducted a workshop titled “Fuel for the journey: The Journey of Social Justice, Serving God and Others”, said that the conference is very significant for the Christian LGBT community as well as the wider Christian community as a whole.
He told Fridae in an interview: “It’s really amazing and encouraging to see so many people to come together for a conference like this one. It’s the first few steps to healing and reconciling our faith and sexuality.”
He added that many who attended the conference are in leadership positions and are well-positioned to affect change within their communities and beyond.
The conference was attended by representatives of LGBT and inclusive churches, and openly gay pastors from the region including Rev Elias Tseng who became the first ordained gay pastor in Taiwan and Malaysian-born, US-based Rev Oyoung Wen Feng.
- See more at: http://www.fridae.asia/newsfeatures/2013/06/10/12341.over-300-pastors-and-delegates-meet-at-lgbt-affirmative-christian-conference-in-hong-kong?n=sec#sthash.l2p64GO9.dpuf

Thanks to Sylvia Tan

Jun 8, 2013

THE SAD TALE OF BISHOP OROMBI -- SCAVENGER and VINDICTIVE HATEMONGER: African architect of homophobia supported by USAID?

Henry Luke Orombi,  former Anglican Archbishop  of  Uganda  (grazing for even more greener $$$ pastures?)

Dear Secretary Kerry

Thank you for your inspiring words to the international community as we celebrate LGBT Pride around the world this month. There have been many examples of support and assistance given by your staff and the government of the United States to the struggling LGBT community in 76 countries where it is illegal to be LGBT. This stigma and persecution is also often transferred to LGBT allies.

While visiting the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda last week and accompanied by a delegation of LGBT service providers who are in need of PEPFAR and USAID resources, I met the retired Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, as he was exiting the compound. He was either meeting with U.S. officials to discuss funding for his $15 million new Orombi Foundation or seeking a visa to return to the USA where he will raise money from American taxpayers and faith communities for his work in Uganda and throughout Africa.
While the LGBT community globally struggles to find funds for basic human services and HIV prevention we are discovering disturbing trends in the allocation of PEPFAR and USAID funds to Christian fundamentalist organizations that are often in the front lines of encouraging the further criminalization of homosexuality. My recent visit to Uganda also uncovered a disturbing trend among religious NGO’s who have agreed to serve most vulnerable populations including LGBT and men who have sex with men (MSM), signed contracts with the U.S. government but define their own vulnerable populations excluding these two target populations. There is no recourse when these contracts are not fulfilled. A recent report from amfAR shows how this problem is affecting eight southern African countries and may be systemic in many of the countries we are supporting with PEPFAR and USAID funds.
Please click HERE.

This failure to reach vulnerable populations raises two important questions for the American public.
1. Why is the U.S. government making a very public stand on LGBT human rights (epitomized in Secretary Hillary Clinton’s speech in Geneva in December 2011 and your own Gay Pride correspondence) while it sends millions of dollars to organizations who work daily to undermine this policy?
2. Why are we giving a visa to someone like Henry Luke Orombi who has been described as the architect of homophobic hate in Africa which allows his access to fund a leading anti-gay organization subsidized by the American taxpayer?
It may be time for the U.S. State Department and USAID/PEPFAR to inform the American public of how much money we have given over the past 10 years to the Anglican Church of Uganda under the leadership of Luke Orombi. These contracts may be direct or may be under the oversight of the Ugandan Protestant Medical Bureau, or Inter-Religious Council or the Joint Christian Council.

The former Archbishop’s financial success

The Archbishop was the first leader in the church of Uganda in 40 years to complete the construction of a 16-story tower block in the Center of Kampala estimated to cost between $16 million and $20 million. Financing and fundraising for the Church House Project remains a mystery, though investors were encouraged to buy “shares” in the property.
Please click HERE.

Many of the investors came from the USA and the UK and as principal donors would also have links to Orombi’s personal Foundation, which has a $15 million annual goal. We are not talking about raising a few thousand dollars here and there to help Ugandan AIDS orphans, we are describing a multimillion-dollar investment project that appears to have gone awry.
Please click HERE.

A report that the project may lose $400,000 in September 2012 coincided with Orombi’s early retirement announced eight months earlier. Half the funds had been paid to the contractor in 2011 and we would like to make sure no PEPFAR or USAID funds were used to support this project or fund Orombi’s extensive travel schedule that was needed to secure this ambitious financing in a country where the average member of his church lives on $2 per day.
Because of the complexity of Church of Uganda PEPFAR and USAID funding during Orombi’s tenure, it may be necessary for the General Accounting Office (GAO) to pen a full investigation of the Church House Project and its relationship to American funding. USA churches and NGO’s are required to report any funding to overseas projects on the IRS 990 form, so it would be east to connect the audits and major donors to this project and American support. I assume USAID and PEPFAR have access to these audits as part of the extensive review process to be awarded these kinds of grants.
Although Orombi’s personal Foundation is registered in Uganda, USA donors would also likely be using IRS C 3 Tax exempt privileges through sympathetic churches and non government organizations. A link to the Church House Project isHERE.

A link to the Foundation is HERE. On the Foundation website page for donors, administrative costs are cited as some of the items covered under donations, but the donations will also pay for the promotion of Orombi’s theology and ideas that have contributed to the demise of LGBT people throughout Africa
“Purchase of equipment for the publication and mass production of the sermons CDs and DVDs
of the messages of Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi,”

Who is this man?

Most Americans, including potential donors have no idea what Luke Orombi’s theology and political ambition has done to undermine American foreign policy and cause a rise in misinformation and persecution of the LGBT community, not only in Uganda, but throughout Africa. His work has also caused significant rifts between faith communities in the USA and cost millions of dollars in legal and litigation costs that could have been applied to more needy issues here and in his own country. Allow me to list some of his activities during his tenure as Archbishop from 2004 to last year.
2004: Orombi refuses to lift the inhibition imposed upon Bishop Christopher Senyonjo (who served the Diocese of West Buganda for 24 years) causing him and his family increasing financial hardship and social stigma. The bishop was not allowed to baptize or marry any of his grandchildren and was threatened with burial in unconsecrated ground if he did not recant his statements in favor of LGBT inclusion in the church. His sanctions against Senyonjo would become worse.
2007: Orombi leads the assault on the Episcopalian church property war where many disaffected congregations invite him to give Episcopal oversight to their congregations and try to seize their church properties. This legal battle has cost millions of dollars of American funds and in almost every case, the Episcopal diocese has won the case. The disaffected congregations who tried to claim these properties were acting illegally and American courts ruled against them including the California Supreme Court. Orombi gave them spiritual sanction to begin this campaign and until 2009 he oversaw these fractured congregations from Newport Beach, Calif. to Truro church in Virginia. This was not merely an inter-church rift. The political ramifications were clear from the beginning when Orombi consecrated an American priest to become a bishop in North America to oversee this schism. The fact this ceremony was attended by the Ugandan Prime Minister who gave a personal message from President Musevene supporting the consecration and a gift of $1,000 to the new bishop’s fund illustrating Orombi’s political agenda.
THE Anglican Church of Uganda has consecrated an American priest as bishop to oversee Christian congregations that have split from the main Episcopal Church in the US over the issue of homosexuality.
John Guernsey was consecrated at St. James Cathedral in Mbarara town yesterday in a ceremony, presided over by the Church of Uganda Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi. He was assisted by bishops from Canada, Argentina, Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria, and priests from the US.
Please click HERE.

2007: Orombi deposes Bishop Christopher Senyonyo for creating an LGBT supportive ministry in Uganda (Integrity) and accuses him of starting his own church. The bishop is compared to someone with gangrene and was never given due process or church procedures were never followed as outlined in the Church of Uganda’s constitutions and canons.
“The archbishop blasted the Integrity organization saying it had no place in Africa. "Integrity has a beach head in Uganda but we have cut off Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo for organizing the group here. He has been banned from preaching and "we will not let him function with us. What he is doing is totally unacceptable. Would you tell a man who has a leg with gangrene that you approve? No you would say it is unacceptable. You would cut it off to spare his life."
Please click HERE.

2008: Allegations of death threats are made in public while he is travelling in America is used by Oromi to further demonize the Ugandan LGBT community.
Please click HERE.

“I don’t wear my collar when I am in countries which have supporters of homosexuals” he said while addressing Christians at Kitunga archdeaconry, West Ankole diocese in Ntungamo district. “I am forced to dress like a civilian because those people are dangerous. They can harm anybody who is against them. Some of them are killers. They want to close the mouth of anybody who is against them.”
Were these threats ever reported to the State Department or United Kingdom government? If so, what security costs continue to be supported by the taxpayer every time Orombi embarks on a fundraising mission to the west?
2010: Allegations of bribery by the President to Church officials and bishop s ignored during Orombe’s term in office. Please click HERE.

The church calls for an end to government corruption. Please click HERE and HERE.

February 2010” Orombi leads the Church of Uganda’s support of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in a statement supporting itsspirit and intentions but suggests amendments to existing penal codes. Please click HERE.

Anglican and MP David ¨Kill all the gays¨  Bahati
David Bahati, the bill’s author, is an Anglican and his stepfather is the retired Anglican bishop of Kigezi

All Africa Bishops Conference (note deposed Bishop Bob Duncan of TEC on right)

August 2010: Orombi hosts the meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (representing 60 m Anglicans) in a lavish hotel in Entebbe as guests of the Ugandan President. He tries to convince the 400 African bishops that the American Episcopal Church should be ousted from the Anglican Communion and replaced by the disaffected Episcopalian breakaway moved known as the Anglican Churches of North America with deposed Bishop Duncan as its newly proclaimed Archbishop. The move was defeated by the majority of bishops. The overt political nature of Orombi’s work continues to be disguised under religious teaching and polity.
Please click HERE.

October 2010: Orombi is one of the main leaders in an historic gathering of 4,000 evangelical leaders in Capetown, South Africa, where Exodus International is invited to present its theology and psychological framework about homosexuality in Africa. (The Rev. Kapya Kaoma will release some new research on the significance of this American based ministry on African homophobia.) The information presented about homosexuals to Christian leaders at this conference was deeply flawed and can be compared to the “weapons of mass destruction” misinformation campaign used by the Bush administration to invade Iraq. (This conference was described as the equivalent of the evangelical movement’s Second Vatican Council and had a huge impact on the modern church in Africa). When the research is released, it will become clear how the African evangelical churches were deliberately misinformed by Orombi and his Exodus International allies at this conference. Although Exodus International and Alan Chambers are reshaping their North American profile to look more benign, (see Lisa Ling’s upcoming program on June 20 “Gays and God” with Chambers apologizing while Exodus International continues to preach misinformation to the Global South market.
Please click HERE.

Orombi was invited to be the honored preacher at the closing ceremonies of this historic event and religious leaders went home to places like Nigeria, Zimbabwe , Malawi and Zambia to begin a concerted campaign of anti-LGBT legislation and persecution, exclusion from services and having voice in the public square.
June 2011: Orombi leads the Ugandan Joint Christian Council (a PEPFAR-funded organization) to call for the reading of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as his last official act as Archbishop.
Please click HERE.

It is clear from this brief history of Orombi’s association with the anti-LGBT movement in Africa and ties to American and British fundamentalist organizations using tax exempt funding (and often supported by the Musevene government ) that his negative impact continues to be with us. LGBT Ugandans are currently excluded from receiving PEPFAR and USAID funding at any significant level to meet their needs. Meanwhile, freed from the administrative and pastoral responsibilities of an Archbishop, Orombi is using his new Foundation as a new beachhead for American based donors to continue his war against the LGBT movement and current American foreign policy. What is the State Department’s position on this strange dichotomy and how much are we actually giving him and his networks?
It is important for the American taxpayer and American Christians to know to what extent the U S Government has supported or is supporting the various organizations mentioned in this document. It is also important the American people are forewarned of Orombi’s imminent arrival in this country to further his rather successful campaigns subsidized by our taxes.

While it is good to hear and see the symbolic gestures of support of the LGBT movement from the US State Department during Pride celebrations, these tokens of convivial solidarity fail to impress anyone reading this litany of complicity by the US government in supporting one of Africa’s most accomplished agents of deception and misinformation. With the recent public release of two documentaries on the effects of American evangelicals on the LGBT community in Uganda, Orombi’s connection to this suffering can no longer be hidden from the American people.
It will become increasingly difficult for the former Archbishop to quietly pass through our cities and communities collecting money from well-intentioned Americans (clerical collared or not) given his history. The more difficult question to ask is simply this: Why is our government supporting his work?

Yours sincerely,
The Rev. Canon Albert J. Ogle
St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation
San Diego CA


Jun 7, 2013

IT'S JUST THE WAY YOU ARE: "Being lesbian or gay is not a choice," she said. "It's got nothing to do with culture or parenting skills¨.

A PREGNANT woman who is "having a lesbian" stars in a provocative new billboard to promote gay marriage.

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays spokeswoman Shelley Argent said the campaign was designed to garner support from mainstream families for gay marriage, on the grounds that gay children were "born that way".
"Being lesbian or gay is not a choice," she said.
"It's got nothing to do with culture or parenting skills.
"It's just the way you are. You're born that way."
The billboard shows a smiling woman baring her pregnant belly, with the slogan, "Congratulations, you're having a lesbian".
Billboard giant GOA has donated space for the ads, worth up to $60,000, in Queensland.
GOA managing director Chris Tyquin said he would ask interstate billboard companies to donate space as well.
"I've got very close friends who have got children who are gay," he said.
"If you have a child who walks in and tells you they're gay, you'd still love them just as much as you did before.''
The campaign is the brainchild of Steve Minon, a freelance advertising creative director from Brisbane, who donated his time.
"It is designed to get people thinking, and challenge them a little," he said.
"We're trying to point out to any family that marriage equality can be your number one priority, without your knowing about it."
The billboard is accompanied by a YouTube video - "What R U having?" - featuring a woman having an ultrasound.
"You're having a lesbian!" the doctor tells the overjoyed parents.
The campaign's theme is that "any child can be born gay."

View the wonderful video: http://video.news.com.au/2389914908/Congratulations-youre-having-a-lesbian

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/i8217m-having-a-lesbian8217-billboard-launched-for-gay-marriage-campaign/story-fnet085v-1226659025585#ixzz2VYW3gL9p

Jun 2, 2013

THE PERILOUS WORLD WHERE BOYS BECOME MEN: "Homophobia and sexism go hand-in-hand."

Maya Dusenbery at The Atlantic points out what a lot of us who are gay have always known, the intimate connection between homophobia and misogyny.  Homophobia always played a central role in enforcing gender norms and heteronormative conformity.

¨There's no doubt those are stereotypes that need unpacking. Sociologists have long noted that homophobia is a fundamental ingredient of masculinity in modern American culture. In his seminal 1994 article "Masculinity as Homophobia," sociologist Michael Kimmel, author of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men, argued that "homophobia is a central organizing principle of our cultural definition of manhood." Since homosexuality is associated with femininity, feminizing and anti-gay comments are the primary mechanism for enforcing the boundaries of masculinity. If a guy steps ever so slightly outside of gender norms, his peers will bring him back into line by calling his heterosexuality into question (which implicitly challenges his gender). The pressure to prove and re-prove hetereosexuality is part of what it means to "be a man"—and it pushes men to embrace both homophobia and hypermasculinity. "Homophobia, the fear of being perceived as gay, as not a real man, keeps men exaggerating all the traditional rules of masculinity, including sexual predation with women," Kimmel wrote. "Homophobia and sexism go hand-in-hand." 

Homophobia, then, is not simply social disapproval and discrimination against gay people, but an entire cultural structure that disqualifying all but the "most virulent repudiators of femininity" from "real manhood"—in the process upholding gender inequality and maintaining a hierarchy of men based on sexuality, race, class, ability, and so on.¨

My only argument with this is that I don't think the connection between homophobia and misogyny is all that particularly American.  I look at anti-gay violence in Eastern Europe and the very large role that both misogyny and homophobia play in religious fundamentalist movements of all faiths around the world, and how these attitudes play a central role in anti-imperial resentments in Africa and the Middle East, and I conclude that this unholy alliance between fag-baiting and chick hating is universally male.  "Being a Man" around the world depends on how far a man can distance himself from women and from all things identified as feminine.  And what better way to distance himself than by despising those things extravagantly and hating them violently?...¨ please read it all, Thanks to Doug at Counterlight's Peculiars: 

France's First Gay Marriage: Vincent and Bruno Start the Revolution

The French public is deeply divided over the recent legalization of same-sex marriage, but that won't stop couples in love from exercising their rights. Amid the emotional debate, the country's first gay marriage will make history on Wednesday in Montpellier.
 By Stefan Simons in Parismore.