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Posts tagged ‘marriage equality’

Catholics and Marriage Equality — A Personal Perspective

I was born and raised a Catholic. I went to Catholic school for 13 years. The last few years have been challenging as far as being a gay Catholic.shutterstock_135491960

All over the media you kept hearing story after story of negative things: priests, bishops and cardinals saying they wouldn’t serve communion to those that support marriage equality, teachers being fired from Catholic schools for being gay or getting married to their same-sex partners, churches asking volunteers to step down from their duties because of their same-sex marriage. Gay Catholics were made to feel as it they didn’t belong here, that we weren’t wanted in the church.

I definitely felt that way. That is why I exiled myself away from the church for almost a year. I love the friends I have made at the church. I know that there is a difference between what is said in Rome (or by the higher ups in the church) and what is said at my home parish. I have never heard a negative word coming from the parish itself and the message that is preached is one of love and acceptance.

Polls show that Catholics themselves as a group are more in favor of marriage equality than not. I read an article recently on the web, the headline was “The Catholic Church is not Homophobic, but are it’s Bishops?”. I have to wonder if this is true.

When I was coming out and struggling with my sexuality, the therapist I was seeing encouraged me to talk to a priest. He set up a meeting with one priest in the valley. I met with him, and he told me the church’s teachings on gays. The basic message was one of love and acceptance for the gay person. The main issue of contention is the sex issue. Hence the phrase, love the sinner — hate the sin.

Some of my Catholic friends have gotten all excited about what Pope Francis has said regarding gay people. His comments are refreshing. But I am not jumping up and down yet, like some of my friends. Bottom line is nothing really has changed. He just said that we should focus much less on divisive issues like same-sex marriage and abortion and more about being of service and helping the poor.

My relationship of 25 years is a beautiful thing. Yes, we are intimate. Sexuality is a gift from God, and I am grateful that I get to share it with a loving partner. No priest, politician or family member can tell me that my relationship is not valid. Sex is a part of our relationship. Get over it people! We plan on getting married later this year.

So where do things stand for me and the church? Well, let’s say I am open to hearing more. I will always be connected to the church in some way, whether through friends or family. My personal relationship with God transcends what any church can define. He is in my corner and watching out for me.

A few more things… I can’t see how the Advocate named Pope Francis the person of the year. That was going way too far. Just this past week, the UN condemned the Vatican and their handling of the sex abuse scandals. And yet another story of a lesbian being denied communion at her own mother’s funeral too hit the internet. The Catholic Church needs to listen to their people. And make some changes. But I am not going to sit by and wait for them to happen.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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Why We Deserve To Be Married

It seems fitting that I publish this post this week, given what is happening with the Supreme Court. It was originally written for the Courage Campaign, in response to why we deserve marriage equality.

My partner and I am have been together for 24 years. It hasn’t always been easy, but we love each other and are committed to our relationship.  We still make each other laugh, and we enjoy each other’s company. We are each other’s best friend.Dan & Rasheed

We came together in the age of AIDS and watched as friends died off. We have seen societal changes in gay acceptance… from people being afraid of gays and wishing they could change — to today, when it is seen as just something that is and not something that needs to be fixed or cured. Not everyone is straight and that is OK.

We shop together, go to the movies, go on hikes, do all the normal stuff that all couples do. We recently had a scary episode where my partner passed out at a friend’s place… we ended up in the emergency room that night. I was able to sit by his bedside as they tried to find out what was wrong. I was glad that I could be there for him and not out waiting in the lobby.

This incident just confirmed what I already know. I love this man, he is my life partner. I don’t want to live my life without him.

Our relationship is special and I would love to marry my partner. We missed our chance to get married when it was legal in 2008… I never thought it would be taken away so easily. I long for the day when we can make it legal in the state of California. And to celebrate that special day with family and friends.

Sincerely,

Daniel LaVenture

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

My Wish List for the World

As we start a new year, I want to voice my hopes for the world. If we stay in expectancy with them, hopefully we will see them come to fruition in our lifetimes.Global Hands

  1. An End to All Wars
    As the old song say, “War! What is it Good for — Absolutely Nothing.” We are all part of the human race, sure we come from different races, cultures and regions, but we are all one, and every life is sacred.
  2. An End to Gun Violence
    Have we had enough of crazy people shooting up innocent people? Something needs to be done. And mental health is part of the issue too.
  3. People over Profits
    I want to see a world where companies value their employees, and treat them fairly at a fair wage. I want the companies to be mindful of the environment and even their product lines. Do we really need more violent video games? Or ways to get drunk?
  4. Men and Women Equal
    I never got the idea that a woman would get paid less for doing the same job as a man. It is time for that thinking to end. Why can’t a woman be attractive and smart?
  5. Marriage Equality for All
    Who cares if you love a man or a woman? We all want to get married, whether we are gay or straight. Love is love.
  6. Affordable Healthcare
    People should be able to see a doctor when they need to, and not worry if they are going to be able to afford it or not. Again, it call comes down to taking care of one another, and caring for your fellow man.
  7. Affordable Education
    If you desire to learn, you should be able to go to school. Everyone should be able to get a quality education at a decent price. The world is quickly changing, and we need to constantly challenge ourselves to learn more.
  8. Respect for our Differences
    We are never going to all be the same, in our thinking, in our beliefs, our appearance, our cultures, our faith and more. Who said we have to be.  Let’s let everyone be themselves and not persecute them because they are different from us.
  9. A Decent Standard of Living
    I am not asking that we all be millionaires… but it would be nice if everyone could have a decent standard of living. To not worry and struggle just to make ends meet.
  10. Affordable Housing for All
    Again, I want a world where there are no people sleeping on the street. That we could find and keep affordable housing for everyone.
  11. Creativity Nurtured
    A personal one for me. We are all creative individuals, yet somehow creativity is often squashed and discouraged when we are young. Who knows where that creative thinking could lead to?

Let’s all pray that these come to pass in our lifetimes. We are all one in this human race, we need to be here for each other.

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Hiking in the Spirit and Real Kilt Men Wear Speedos. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Marriage Equality Vote 2012

Four years ago, I had my rights taken away by some people who didn’t feel I had the right to marry my long-term partner. They felt that I was not worthy of getting married since I was gay. I live in California, and with Proposition 8 my rights to marry my partner were taken away, just like that. Gay marriage has still not returned to the Golden State, as the whole mess is being held up in the courts, despite a few rulings that have declared it unconstitutional. This fall on Election Day, there are a few measures/initiatives that we need to pay attention to. Let’s make sure the religious right knows that they are on the losing end of this battle.

Dan and Rasheed 2012 at Bowl

Dan and Rasheed 2012 at Bowl

Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. The D.C.-based National Organization for Marriage, which was involved in ballot measures that overturned same-sex marriage in California and Maine, will be doing their best to make sure that “traditional” marriage is preserved. In 32 previous elections nationally, same-sex advocates have lost. But with President Obama weighing in with his support of same-sex marriage, and the latest polls showing increased support for it as well — the time is now to make sure everyone can get married.

  • Washington — Approve Referendum 74
    Referendum 74 was certified for the November ballot in May after gay marriage opponents in the group Preserve Marriage Washington turned in more than 240,000 signatures. The referendum seeks to overturn the gay-marriage law signed in February by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The same-sex marriage law was supposed to take effect June 7 but has been put on hold pending the November vote. An “approve” vote on the referendum upholds the law, and a “reject” vote overturns it. Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, have donated $2.5 million to the campaign to defend Washington’s same-sex marriage law after being asked by a former employee if he could help out.  To help out, please contact: http://washingtonunitedformarriage.org/
  • Maryland — Marriage Equality
    Maryland passed a bill that would allow for marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples. Additionally, these measures will preserve the religious freedom and liberty of churches and places of worship. Governor Martin O’Malley signed the bill into law on March 1, 2012. But same-sex marriage opponents have successfully submitted enough signatures to put the measure up for a public vote this November. President Obama’s stance has helped us in the latest polls, and shifted opinion among blacks. To help out, please contact: http://www.equalitymaryland.org/issues/marriage
  • Maine — Yes on Marriage Referendum
    Voters will decide this November whether to reinstate the marriage equality law that was overturned in a public referendum in 2009. If the referendum receives a majority “yes” vote, Maine will become the first state to pass an initiative introduced by marriage equality supporters. The final wording for the ballot question reads, “Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?” The citizen’s initiative would allow same-sex couples to receive a marriage license in Maine. In addition, it also provides that no clery person or religious institution is required to perform or to host a marriage against his or her religious beliefs. To help out, please contact: http://www.mainersunited.org/. Why Maine is getting a chance, and California is afraid to bring this back to the ballot is beyond me. I bet it is being used as test case of sorts.
  • Minnesota — Vote No on Marriage Amendment
    The question before voters is: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?” We need to shift the conversation away from being about approval for gay marriage. This Vote asks Minnesotans to write inequality into the constitution, and to carve to stone, discrimination into our state’s most sacred document.  The constitution should not be limiting Minnesotans basic human rights.  Additionally, to prevent voters from accidentally voting ‘YES’ we must start a trend of getting people to refer to the amendment as the “Marriage Discrimination Amendment,” so they know they are saying ‘NO’ to discrimination. To help out, please contact: https://www.minnesotansforequality.com/

Please do your part for the upcoming election. Our future depends on it.

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Hiking in the Spirit and Real Kilt Men Wear Kilts. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Thank You President Obama

Something revolutionary occurred during the first week of May in 2012. President Barack Obama declared his support for gay marriage. This was the first time a sitting US President has said those words. Sure we have had gay-friendly Presidents before like Bill Clinton, but never in our country’s history has the Commander in Chief took a stand like this. And it came about because of the gay and lesbian people he knows and comes into contact with. He realized that separate is not the same as equal. It is time for Marriage Equality for all.President Obama

When I was growing up I heard all kinds of negative stuff about gay people. They were sick, disgusting, unhappy and lived lives of desperation and loneliness. Then when AIDS started, you heard from churches and the religious right, that they were getting what they deserved.

Now I know the truth. I am someone, and I matter. I have been in a loving committed same-sex relationship for over 23 years. We have a strong connection. We care deeply for each other, and have been able to sustain this relationship with opposition from society, family and the church too. Unlike most straight relationships, we never had a big wedding in front of our family and friends. We made a private commitment to each other and have weathered the storm of ups and downs like all relationships. At the end of the day, this relationship has been life-changing for us. I thank God for my partner, Rasheed. He is my rock, my best friend, and my soul mate. He makes me a better man.

In 2008, we were shocked to have gay marriage available to us. It happened very fast, and it was taken away just a few months later. We did not get married during the brief time it was legal in California. We both feel that we missed our chance. Currently the case for Proposition 8 is tied up in courts awaiting a final verdict. Who knows when it will ever return to our state.

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Celebrities Standing Up for Gay Rights

This edition will focus on what some prominent celebrities are saying on the issue:

George Clooney (on marriage equality)

A long time supporter of marriage equality, George Clooney believes its conservative opposition is facing an inevitable decline.Marriage Equality

“I think the world is changing and it’s becoming less and less of an issue and I think it shouldn’t be long now,” Clooney told E! Online at the Critics’ Choice Awards. “I think younger people are looking at this like, ‘Who cares?'”

“I do believe it’s generational, much like the civil rights movement,” the star, who picked up Best Actor at the CCAs, said. “Young people started taking to the streets and things changed. This really is the final leg of the civil rights movement.”

“It is astonishing that gay and lesbian Americans are still treated as second-class citizens,” Clooney said in a statement announcing his casting in the play “Prop 8.” “I am confident that, very soon, the laws of this nation will reflect the basic truth that gay and lesbian people — like all human beings — are born equal in dignity and rights.”

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