Jos76’s Blog

Thoughts and musings on life in a gay marriage.

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Marriage or Civil Union

Posted by jos76 on June 14, 2008

We hear so much about the word “marriage” these days. We usually hear it along with terms like “traditional” or “institution.” With the whole debate about gay marriage, those who are not in favor call for a more socially conservative view of “traditional marriage.” There are those opposed to granting gay couples the title of “married,” but are okay with civil unions. Then there are those that oppose any form of union for gay couples. I did some research (actually the Log Cabin Republicans did most of it it for me) and found out what “traditional” marriage really is and has been in history.

Many socially conservative, extreme right-wing politicians and religious leaders latch on to this idea of a return to traditional “marriage” and make statements like, “It is an institution that has been the norm for years and should not be changed or challenged.” Given what marriage has been historically and traditionally, Dac and I are not really interested in the “marriage” label. Civil Unions are fine with us as long as we can keep what we earn, give each other what we have earned, and visit each other freely.

Here are some examples of “traditional” marriage that should (apparently) not be changed. Dac and I are fine not having to adhere to these norms that the social conservatives think are important to retain in our modern society.

  1. An adult man would be allowed to marry a 12 year-old girl.
  2. Someone could be forced into a marriage arranged by their parents.
  3. A person would not be allowed to marry someone of another race.
  4. Men could treat their wives as property to be disposed of at will.
  5. A husband would be allowed to have multiple wives.
  6. A person could not marry someone of a different religion.
  7. A person could not marry someone from a different economic class.
  8. It would be impossible to divorce, no matter how physically or emotionally abusive your spouse.

Jos76

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Posted in Faith, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Working from the Inside

Posted by jos76 on June 7, 2008

Now that Obama is the Democratic nominee for President in the November election, I have begun to compare McCain and Obama on “the issues.” I have not yet decided who to vote for. I never thought that I would be in a position to actually vote Republican. I guess that I have been a single issue voter in the past and voted for the the Democrat because he was also more pro-gay, regardless of his stance on other issues facing the country.

I’ve become quit interested in the Log Cabin Republicans recently and I am impressed with the work that they do. The Log Cabin Republicans are the nation’s only organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans.

As I have looked into this group further, I discovered that they are working to change the Republican party ideology so that it remains fiscally conservative instead of socially conservative, which has nothing to do with the origins of the Republican Party. The name goes back to Lincoln’s presidency, thus the reference to the log cabin. The work that they do rivals that of GLAAD, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the HRC. The difference is that the LCR work from within the party, rather than from the outside. This is bold and brave work in my opinion.

Many might see this as self-hating or internalized homophobia, but I do not. This is a group that believes in the fundamentals of the Republican Party, such as individual responsibility, lower taxes, a strong national defense, limited government, free markets, and individual liberty. When you take the (new) socially conservative ideology out of the picture, this makes sense…at least to me. The LCR works from the inside, using the language of the party.

Log Cabin Commercial with Cheney

Log Cabin Commercial with Reagan

This does not mean that McCain will get my vote because he does not have a great record of supporting gay people (actually, he has a bad record). Civil Unions are the way to go in my opinion and McCain may have indicated that he is supportive, but it is unsure. I’m just thankful that the LCR is helping to make this a non-issue when voting. They are working to see to it that one day all Americans will be able to vote based on the quality of the candidate rather than on whether he/she (the voter) will lose or gain rights as a result of the election.

Jos76

Posted in Politics, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

By the power invested in me

Posted by jos76 on May 17, 2008

We had a lot of choices with our wedding ceremony.  Dac and I chose everything from the color of the chair covers to the words of our minister.  As a mentioned in a previous post, we were married by Dac’s sister-in-law’s father who is a (now retired) minister in the Unitarian Universalist Chruch.  He also married Dac’s brother and sister-in-law.  How many families can claim that the same minister married two of the siblings in one family, let alone one of the siblings having a gay wedding?

Prior to the ceremony, Rev. F sent us several versions of same-sex and heterosexual wedding ceremonies.  We looked through all of them and pieced together the best parts of all of them into our ideal ceremony.  The ceremony began with Pachelbel’s Canon (played on piano and cello by friends of Dac’s from high school) as Dac and I came down the isle on the arms of our mothers.  Dac went first, he’s younger.  Then Dac’s mom’s best friend, CC, and another friend of ours sang Ubi Caritas to set the mood for the ceremony.

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One important part of the ceremony was the very end, when the minister pronounced us married.  It was so great to actually hear him say:  “By the power invested in me by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I now pronounce you married.”  This was a very traditional ending to a not-so-traditional ceremony, but it was very powerful to be able to make this claim in front of our family and friends.

Posted in Faith, Family, Friends, Politics, The Past | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Not the most popular kids in school

Posted by jos76 on May 10, 2008

Family is so important.  Growing up and dealing with teenage angst can be near impossible without the help and support of friends and, most importantly, family.  Dac and I have been lucky.   I do think that it is important, though,  that we all understand that it is not always so easy for the young gay kid growing up in a difficult situation.  These statistics are from Lamda Legal (A National Civil Rights Organization) and GLSEN (Educators Network):                     

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  • Gay youth are 4.5 times more likely than non-gay peers to skip school because they feel unsafe.
  • 31% of gay students had missed at least an entire day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe based on their sexual orientation.
  • Nearly one-third of LGBT students drop out of high school to escape the violence, harassment, and isolation they face there – a dropout rate nearly three times the national average.
  • Gay youth are 4 times as likely than their non-gay counterparts to have attempted suicide.
  • 84% personally had been verbally harassed at school (that is, called names or threatened) because of their sexual orientation.
  • 39.1% had been physically harassed (by being shoved or pushed) and 17% had been assaulted.

As supported as Dac and I are now, we look back at our school days and unfortunately identify with many of these statistics.  I’m sure that any parents would not want this for their child.  This, however, does not stop many extreme-right socially conservative politicians (Huck, Mitt, Bush, …to name a few) from working toward a school system that excludes any positive recognition of gay people. 

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I’m sorry if you came hoping to get something a bit lighter this week, but I saw Bill O’Reilly on TV today saying we should not “teach kids about being gay in school,” and I had to use this opportunity to show how misinformed he (and FOX news) really are.

Jos76

 

Posted in Faith, Friends, Politics, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Single Issue Voter

Posted by jos76 on March 26, 2008

I’ve been more invested and interested in politics during this election than I have every been. Maybe it is because I’m a bit older, or maybe it is more interesting. Dac and I often talk about what we want in a candidate (and eventually President) and we revisit who we support more each time we hear the Democratic candidates speak.

I initially thought that I would vote for the candidate who supported gay rights more, but in the past few years I have realized that I am not a single issue voter. It seems also that I am not alone on this. The Washington Blade recently reported on a Human Rights Campaign survey that reported that about 25 percent of the gay. lesbian, and bisexual voters that responded said that the economy and jobs are the most important issues. Another 24 percent said that health care was the most important and 18 percent put Iraq as their top concern. Others voters chose taxes and government spending or the environment and global warming as their biggest concern. Only 21 percent of respondents made gay rights/marriage their top issue.

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Unfortunately, the conservative right is not being as liberal in their voting issues of preference. NPR had an interview with Richard Land, who holds an influential position in the Southern Baptist Convention, which claims more than 16 million churchgoers. Land said that he is working to convince evangelicals that they should prioritize “the sanctity of human life (abortion) and … the sanctity of marriage” when voting.

That sounds like single issue voting for me and if that is the ideology of the socially conservative right-wing, I’ll just have to call myself a liberal.

Jos76

Posted in Politics, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

There are Liberals in Texas

Posted by jos76 on March 5, 2008

One of the reasons that I wanted to start this blog was to show people in other states (and perhaps even other countries around the world) that life in a legal gay marriage is nothing out of the ordinary. Sure we have to deal with politicians dismissing our relationship and contributions to our community and economy, but for the most part we lead lives that are not very different from our straight friends and family. It has been several years since gay couples were granted the right to legally marry in Massachusetts and you can ask anyone in this state..nothing has changed.

The great thing about the Internet is that you can easily reach people far away and close to home. If you read through some of the comments, you will see comments from a man in Saskatchewan, Canada (on the About page) and from a guy who lives in the same county where I live (Bandittalks). There are also comments from both my mom and Dac’s mom.

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One of the best and most surprising outcomes of these posts has been recognition from a blog in Texas called Texas Liberal. This blogger wrote about my blog so that other Liberals (and non-Liberals) in Texas could see how normal and respectful gay marriage can actually be. You can see his post HERE.

It’s great to connect with the world.

Jos76

Posted in Faith, Family, Friends, Politics, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

If you really want to know..

Posted by jos76 on March 1, 2008

I stopped at Dac’s parent’s house last night on my way home from work.  Rock (Dac’s dad) has taken to calling me “blog guy” and always comments on my posts.  He had this to say about my previous post, Blue and Red Make Green:

“If you really want to know how your Republican friends feel about hot political topics, try this.  Get in a car with him/her and drive down the highway at 55 mph. ” 

(There is some planning involved and it requires the willing participation of a fox and at least 2 people-one Republican and one homosexual.  They can’t be the same person, so don’t try to save time and money by using a gay Republican, if you could even find one.  Stay with me..it will make sense.)

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“Once on a three-lane highway, drive down the middle.  Place the standing Republican in the right lane and the gay person in the left lane.  Just as the car approaches them, release a fox into the middle lane and see which way the Republican-friend-driver turns to avoid hitting the fox.”

“Then, once and for all, you will know if your friend is an animal-rights-activist.” (And find out where his/her loyalty stands.)

I don’t actually recommend doing this unless you really need to know if your friend is an animal-rights activist.  You gotta love Rock!

Jos76

Posted in Family, Friends, Fun, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Blue and Red Make Green

Posted by jos76 on February 27, 2008

I have had a good friend for about three years who is a Republican. We worked together for two years and she is really the only person from my old job with whom I have stayed in regular contact since I began my new job about six months ago. We get along really well and we both have very similar senses of humor. This has been great. I love having a friend that totally gets my sense of humor.

It’s an election year and Massachusetts held it’s primaries on Super Tuesday along many other states. Dac and I both voted Democrat. We actually believe in many of the Republican fundamentals (like limited government, low taxes, and individual responsibility), but our relationship and certainly our marriage is not supported or respected by the Republican party. We vote Democrat because on a social level, we want to eventually have access to the over 1,000 rights that are granted only to straight married couples. The Republicans would never go for this.

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Back to my friend and former co-worker. We had dinner the other night and, as usual, we had a great time. We laughed, we joked, we talked about everything from financial advisers to job interviews. At the very end of the evening, as I was driving her home, I asked, “So who did you vote for?” She told me Romney. I’m never quite sure what to do with this sort of information. She is clearly supportive of me personally, but she votes for candidates that are completely opposed to allowing me and Dac access to the tax dollars that we pay to the government (in the form of marriage credits and Social Security). When I think about it, I guess that there are people who vote for Republicans for their own personal reasons, but may differ on social issues. I can only hope that she would in fact vote to legalize gay marriage if given the opportunity, even is she votes Republican in Presidential elections.

When I tell my gay friends and colleagues that I have Republican friends, they are shocked. I wonder if Republicans get the same reaction when they tell their fellow-Republicans that they have gay friends.

Jos76

Posted in Friends, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »