Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Scanned Copy of My Letter to the Editor

Recently Emilio bought a new printer with scanner, so we made a copy of my most recent letter in the county newspaper. It is in response to an insane right wing Christian who said gay parents beat and molest their children.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Drag Queen Opposed to Same Sex Marriage



Check out Miss Bennie, ain't she fierce!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Song

Last Thurday when we received the bad news this song came to mind and almost every day since Emilio and I play it to each other. Music has such healing powers.



Lyrics for: Lovely Day by Bill Withers

When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind
Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day
... lovely day, lovely day, lovely day ...
When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way
Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day.....
When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way
Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day......


P.S. - We've also been playing "Suddenly Seymour" from the Little Shop of Horrors, but it doesn't quite have the same effect on us as Lovely Day.

Celebrating Secular Christmas

Late last year I shed from my life organized religion. My later in life experiences at church taught me it was a business fueled by the mighty dollar. Don't get me wrong, I really like Jesus, I just don't like many of his followers and they certainly don't like me for the way I was born. I still call myself a Christian, I just cannot fully erase that part of my identity.

So this year all the Church part of Christmas was left out and and I had just as good if not a better celebration. I also learned you can enjoy the holiday with people who practice the religious part of it and still have a great time. The idea of giving and enjoying the people you love is terrific.

Coming out against organized religion to my family was sort of like coming out as gay. It takes some tender discussion and explanation. It also takes time. They get it, they see what churches say about Emilio and I and understand the irrational place it all comes from. We have discussions about how vile I think the Pope is, and they don't even whince when I explain why. I am pretty lucky to come from opened minded stock that taught me to think for myself and to fight for what I know is right.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Best Christmas Eve Ever

Today I had the best Christmas Eve of my life. We enjoyed good food and hysterical laughter. Emilio gave me a Karoake machine gift right after dinner and my neice Jen who is in her 2nd year as a theater major at college started the night out singing "Cabaret". The rest of us normal people bad singers joined in and we laughed our butts off singing Christmas songs and 70's and 80's hits.

After everyone left Emilio and I kept the really bad singing up and all of sudden it is now Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Happy Hannukah, Merry Kwanzah. I wish everyone as much joy as I am enjoying tonight.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Perspective

Thursday was a meltdown of a day for us. For some reason I woke up on Friday and felt great and have been feeling great ever since.

I realized we are healthy, we are together and we have options. Had I met Emilio at 24 instead of 34 our circumstances would have been much different. We would never have been able to make it these last 5 years.

Two years ago 220,000 people died from a giant wave, millions were left homeless, just over a year ago an entire American city was wiped out. In comparison our troubles are minor and I am happy with the perspective I have found.

We have a nice home, a loving cat and dog and a better relationship than I ever imagined for myself. Tomorrow we will have family over and enjoy just being with them. Life is good.

Heck, today we drove 35 miles to get banana leaves today for Hallacas and I enjoyed every minute of it.


Peace, Love and Joy to you all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Letter to the Editor

This week in the Warren Reporter there was a letter bashing gay parents, so I just sent in this response.

______________________________

John Damato of Netcong lied in his letter to the editor last week (December 22nd). Damato, just like James Dobson of Focus on the Family make up lies about gay parents to promote a hate filled agenda disguised in the form of their version of Christianity.

Damato made vile and false statements against gay parents but never provided his source. I believe his source might be James Dobson. Just this week James Dobson lied in a Time magazine article on Mary Cheney’s pregnancy. Dr. Carol Gilligan was cited in Dobson’s article and she said to Dobson, "Not only did you take my research out of context, you did so without my knowledge to support discriminatory goals that I do not agree with," continued Gilligan in her letter and reiterated in a video airing on You Tube. "What you wrote was not truthful and I ask that you refrain from ever quoting me again and that you apologize for twisting my work."

Dr. Kyle Pruett of Yale had this to say about Dobson,” You cherry-picked a phrase to shore up highly, in my view, discriminatory purposes," wrote Pruett in a letter to Dobson. "This practice is condemned in real science, common though it may be in pseudo-science circles. There is nothing in my longitudinal research or any of my writings to support such conclusions (about same-gender families)."

Angela Phillips, author of "The Trouble With Boys," and professor at Goldsmiths College in London has this to say to Dobson.
"It has come to my attention that my book 'The Trouble with Boys' has been seriously misrepresented in writings by James Dobson," she wrote to Focus on the Family. "I would be grateful if you could publish this letter prominently on your website."

Dr. Robert Spitzer a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University made this statement, "Unfortunately Focus on the Family has once again reported findings of my study out of context to support their fight against gay rights,"

Dobson (FOTF), Concerned Women for America, Jerry Falwell, Narth and John Damato think people are stupid, they think you will not bother to look the facts up for yourself. They lie and distort on purpose. Peer reviewed science tell us gay parenting is no different than straight parenting. All one needs to do is look up the subject “Gay Parenting” at the websites of the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics and the fact is gay families are no different than straight ones.

I end with a quote from APA online, “In summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth.”

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bad News

Emilio and I spent another day at Homeland Security in Newark filing for things associated with the asylum. We just got home, opened the mail and we learned the government is appealing the judges decision for asylum. They state persecution in Venezuela was not proven.

So the nightmare continues. I am actually pissed at myself for briefly thinking this country was worth a damn. That 6 days ago I allowed hope to leak into my psyche thinking there just might be justice for gay couples here.

Emilio just called the lawyer and they said this appeal will take 1 or 2 years, by then we will have already said "FUCK YOU" from Canada.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Today, I am Jewish

I was buying Emilio some holiday gifts today at one of our favorite department stores. There was a young man and young woman at the cash registers. The young guy was nervous as it was his first day and the patient woman was helping him.

As she was taking care of me a man came up and asked the guy for a couple gift certificates. The kid asked if he had a preference to which certificate type he wanted. The man did not answer so the kid chose the "Happy Holidays" one. The customer sees the card and tells the kid he is offended that "Merry Christmas" is not on the card and "it's the only reason to shop at this time of year". The young woman politely told him that Hannukah is also celebrated now and they only offer Happy Holiday cards.

The a-hole then says loudly, "The Jews don't mind". I quickly answered, "Yes we do!". He then asks me directly, "Do you really mind?" , I told him, "Of course I do, there are other celebrations this time of year".

So the woman is visibly upset at this time and then she takes my credit card and sees my italian last name and gave me a knowing look and a big smile and wished me "Happy Holidays".

My question to these people is why are you not happy unless you are shoving your religion down the throat of people who don't give a damn?

To me it cheapens religion, is their faith that weak that it has to be plastered on every billboard and gift certificate in order to be valid.

America the Pretender

Why does the U.S. pretend to be a bad 1950's sitcom?

We have mayhem over an exposed breast at the Super Bowl, which ocurred after numerous Viagra commercials that no one seemed to care about. A majority of this country pretends they are June and Ward Cleaver while 95% of them are having sex before marriage as indicated in a new study.

The Bush administration is wasting hundreds of millions of our tax dollars on abstinanace only education. Reality check: 95 percent of Americans had premarital sex.

We have churches still teaching masturbation is wrong and evangelicals running their mouths off about a how great and pure they are, when in reality they just show great hypocrisy. When you push people away from their natural and normal urges, you create monsters.

It's really no wonder we are the laughing stock of the world. We have idiots running our country. The public will not vote for an athiest or agnostic. We just elected our first Muslim in Congress and the Evangenitals want to force him to be sworn in on the bible and not the Koran as he wishes. A majority of people here say "I am a Christian", then moments later the most vile and horrible prejudice comes rolling off their tongues.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Guess Who Got Asylum?

Yesterday Emilio and I learned that Emilio was granted asylum by the immigration judge. It has been a long, emotional, stressful, expensive and tiresome road to receive this judgement.

I think we need to process it a bit more. Emilio cried yesterday when he recieved the news and it hit me early this morning when I was doing some chores. I was crying but I couldn't figure out what exactly was causing the tears.

Today we went out and got passport photos done and Emilio submitted his application plus fee to obtain his. We aren't wasting any time!

This news will come as a relief to so many people. The legal discrimination faced by gay families has a ripple effect to everyone in our lives.

Now we are off to Mom and Dads for a tree trimming party.

We were interviewed for Hoy Newspaper regarding NJ Civil Unions

http://www.hoyinternet.com/noticias/localidades/nuevayork/hoy-gaydec15,0,3176047.story

It's in Spanish so Emilio translated it.

Approved Civil Union between gays
By Edwin Andrés Martínez Tutek Diario HOY 917 339 0821 emartinez@hoyllc.com
December 15th 2006
New York – New Jersey legislation approved yesterday for Civil Unions between same sex couples, it cannot be called marriage, which leaves a sour taste in the garden state gay community, who insist that this right has to be conceded.

The Assembly and Senate decision was received by the organizations that defend equality for LGBTI couples as a partial victory, yet it magnified state rights that since 2004 these kinds of relationships have under the domestic partnership law, it is still inferior to marriage.

“Beside that the same sex couples are better today than yesterday, they have no equality yet and probably their relationships will continue to be disrespected” said David Buckel, gay marriage project manager from Lambda Legal whom has been fighting for LGBT’s community rights. “The law marks same sex people as an inferior category and with that the government has been preparing in order to discriminate”, said the attorney.

The Venezuelan native born Emilio , 44 years and his partner Tom , 39 y/o, who have 5 years together, agrees that Civil Union can be understand by some as a little step in the fight for equality, but for them has no little implications as a step forward. Sittin in their Washington, NJ house, where they has been living in love and they learned with sadness that “It is unjust that anyone else decides our future”, they didn’t hide their frustration.
”Civil Union for gay people doesn’t work in the real world as does marriage, marriage is a universal understanding, concept and institution” said Tom Smeraldo, who assured that in spite of finding the love of his life, the lack of equality of rights for people LGBT people means he does not even know if they will be able to continue living in this country. His partner over the last 3 years has been petitioning for political asylum and is waiting for the answer that could force them to leave the United States.

“If we were heterosexuals this wouldn’t be happening, because with marriage a spouse can obtain the residency from his or her citizen partner within in a few months and live with absolute tranquility.” Said the Venezuelan , who added, “ while there exists conservative people, especially religious conservatives”, who would never allow as a reality the marriage he has been yearned for.
Steven Goldstein, Garden State Equality’s manager, saw with more positive eyes the legislation decision although agree that the fight it is still for the marriage right, and he is optimistic and said he is expecting in two years to have a bigger step forward with the marriage approval. Puerto Rican Assemblyman, Wilfredo Caraballo, a Civil Unions promoter assures that he would continue working with others legislators till conceding all marriage rights to same sex couples. “Any couple whom has the commitment to spend their lives together , deserve the same rights, privileges and benefits that the other marriages had been enjoined by generations” Carballo said.
In the mean time Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, who voted against says that he could not compromise his faith and beliefs because for his religión the concept of marriage is defined clearly in the bible not as a union between two men or two women.
The proposal approved by the assembly with 56 voted for and 19 against and the Senate 23 for and 12 against, now is going to Jon S. Corzine’s hands who says publically he will sign it. Actually Massachussets is the only state that allows gay marriage and California has Domestic Partnership. New Jersey will have the same as Vermont and Connecticut who have Civil Unions for same sex couples.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bad week for the religious wrong.

I love the below post from John Aravosis of AmericaBlog. Americablog and Pam's House Blend are my favorite current events blogs dealing with politics and gay issues. These events are encouraging. The sooner we stop the religious wrong the better off not only America will be, but the world.


"I'm still laughing at how bad a week the religious right hate groups had by John in DC - 12/08/2006 11:28:00 PM
First, the vice president endorses his openly-lesbian gay-activist daughter having an out-of-wedlock artificially-inseminated (we assume) fatherless birth, and then the House Ethics Committee tries to exonerate the folks who enabled a sexual predator by claiming that the enablers may simply have been trying to protect a known homosexual, so that makes it okay. In other words, the conservative House Republicans put gays ahead of kids. Add that to the fact that Rick Santorum, George Allen, Katherine Harris, and the rest of the religious right wacko brigade went down in flames either during or after (e.g., Bill Frist) the election. It's a sorry time in America to be a far-right theocratic bigoted hate group.I'm sure they pine for the good old days when Strom Thurmond was running for president. Mary Cheney will spend the next 50 years of her life being a walking poster child for conservative Republicans accepting every aspect of the "gay lifestyle," including gay marriage, gay adoption, and gay employment equality. Mary, Dick, and the House Ethics Committee just axed the hate groups in the back. And it's funny as hell."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Nova Scotia is Awesome.

All 11 MPs from Nova Scotia voted against reopening the same-sex marriage debate, including three tories whose votes changed. The province should be proud of the unanimous votes for equality. We look forward to calling NS home.


N.S. MPs vote against reopening same-sex marriage debate

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Kinderen voor Kinderen song - Two Fathers

Beautiful and touching...

The Catholic Church- The Wrong kind of church.

Gay couple losing their religion. Catholic Church denies communion to two men after same-sex wedding. This is taking place in Nova Scotia.

"A Roman Catholic couple say they’re being driven from the church over the archbishop’s opposition to their same-sex union.
After Daniel Poirier and Jack Murphy of Meteghan Centre got married in May, the two 69-year-olds placed an announcement and photograph in The Chronicle Herald.
When the notice appeared, the couple’s priest at Stella Maris in Meteghan told them that Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, head of the Halifax archdiocese and administrator of the Yarmouth diocese, which includes Meteghan, had directed that they could no longer receive communion or assume any leadership position in the church.
That meant Mr. Poirier could no longer serve as a director of the choir at Stella Maris.
"It really was a blow," Mr. Poirier said Wednesday. "When we went to church there, it was like going into a warehouse; it was cold, because when everybody got up to receive communion, we had to sit down.
"One day we went and the priest talked about love and sharing and charity and all that, and I said to Jack, ‘No, I can’t take this anymore.’ So we walked out. I was almost in tears and my heart was broken."
Mr. Poirier and Mr. Murphy subsequently joined Beacon United Church in Yarmouth, where they felt more welcome.
Rev. Leslie Robinson said his church has benefited from having two new members with a different Christian background.
"That is enriching for us," he said. "We can kind of challenge each other and bounce ideas off each other that come across initially as being different.
"It just helps to sharpen the discussion, which is great."
But the men maintain they’re Roman Catholic and still attend a service at Stella Maris once in a while.
"By being there once in a while, it’s reminding the people of how we’ve been treated," Mr. Murphy said. "This is an injustice."
The men said they were told there would have been no problem with their living situation if they had kept it quiet but that Archbishop Prendergast took exception to the publicity.
"Your state of life — after having celebrated a same-sex civil marriage and spoken about it publicly on radio and television — has established your relationship as a public scandal," the archbishop wrote to them in a letter dated Aug. 18.
"This disciplinary measure is to remind you of the objective seriousness of your present state and to invite you to renounce it and to return to living according to Christ’s injunction to ‘sin no more.’ "
Archbishop Prendergast couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday; his secretary said he was out of the country.
But the Halifax archdiocese issued a statement Wednesday reiterating his call for Roman Catholics to encourage their members of Parliament to support the definition of marriage as being the committed relationship between one man and one woman.
Archbishop Prendergast expressed concern in his Aug. 18 letter about other Roman Catholics seeing Mr. Poirier and Mr. Murphy marry and receive communion and thinking the situation was harmless.
"Fellow believers, seeing this and the nonchalance of Catholics, would be led astray and weakened in their faith," he said.
Mr. Murphy said that’s not the case.
"For seven years, we’ve been accepted by the people of the community and the people that go to church," he said. "There hasn’t been a problem."
The archbishop is denying them something that’s integral to their faith because renouncing their way of life is out of the question, Mr. Murphy said.
"We were born this way," he said. "God has created us this way and the way that we live is blessed by God."


Both Emilio and I were raised in the Catholic Church. I was very active as an altar boy, working at the rectory and bingo. My parents were Eucharistic Ministers and Lecturers. My family are still very active Catholics despite the church's idiotic stand on GLBTI people. I certainly hope they are trying to change the church from within. The church needs some enlightenment and if they choose to stay in the dark ages, they deserve empty pews.

I actually had a Catholic rage against me online because I told him I had accepted communion in the Church after coming out. As if it was any of his business.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New Jersey is Buzzing Over SSM

Last night at our local High School there was a debate of sorts over SSM. Our idiotic, bigoted, loser of an Assemblyman Michael J. Doherty decided to call for a discussion on the issue. I hate to tell him, but that train left the station. The Supreme Court decided already.

I was alerted of this forum just last Thursday when one of our town council members called me at home to discuss my letter to the editor in our county weekly paper. Doherty, the slimy jerk that he is, was sending invitations via fax only to Republican supporters. Only yesterday was the forum announced in the press. It seems Doherty and the rest of the Christian Wrong did not want to hear opposing points of view. In addition Doherty purposely chose the same night to hold his forum as the Garden State Equality house parties in every district of the state to start up their activism campaign.

Emilio and I decided we didn't want to be among the few witches at their witch hunt and the nearest district party wasn't near our home. We jokingly wondered when the villagers were coming with their flaming torches. So we stayed home. Boy am I glad I did. We caught Kathy Griffin on Larry King Live and she gave me an hour of much needed laughter.

Today Garden State Equality and Blue Jersey rolled out a great commercial detailing the need for marriage equality, there will be three more of these spots to follow.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Another Article With Us In It

After the premier of the documentary we were interviewed but I couldn't remember the name of the publication. Emilio found the article at Gay City News.

Love Blocked At The Border