November 10, 2008

Why does it take a straight man to say it most succinctly?


Keith Olbermann delivered an amazing "special comment" this evening devoted to the passage of Proposition 8.

And my personal note on this... I still can't understand why so many people refuse to make the connection between (first) slaves not being allowed to marry and then (secondly) mixed racial marriages being illegal. You can talk all you want about the color of your skin has nothing to do with gay this or gay that. Fuck that and listen up. It's about a group of people writing discrimination into our Constitution. This is horrible and this is anti-American. It's happened before to blacks and Asians and it's happening again to gays. Whether you like gays or not, you cannot deny this is the same discrimination, now allowed by you.


Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics.

This is about the... human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not... understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want -- a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them -- no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights -- even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage.

If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal... in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are... gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing -- centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children... All because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage. How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness -- this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness -- share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."


You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know...It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow **person...

Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

"I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge.

"It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all:

"So I be written in the Book of Love;

"I do not care about that Book above.

"Erase my name, or write it as you will,

"So I be written in the Book of Love."


Good night, and good luck.

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November 07, 2008

The Unprotected Americans

I am utterly baffled and disgusted to think that religion, which is purely a choice, is a protected class in these United States of America. Yet sexuality in all it's wide-spectrum, from homosexuality all the way to heterosexuality, which is a natural born trait of all humans is not a protected class.

How can this be? How can religion be protected and not the human trait of sexuality? This has to CHANGE and should be written into our Constitution.

Just as all peoples have the right to freely practice any religion, all peoples should be free from religion as well. I know there is the alleged separation of Church & State, but that seems to have disappeared. There should never be a referendum, law, amendment, etc that imposes religious beliefs on any group or class of people.

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November 06, 2008

Campaign to revoke the tax-exempt status of hateful meddling churches

There is a campaign to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Church of Later Day Saint (aka the Mormon Church or LDS). They funded the campaign for California's Prop 8 passage and have thus violated the separation of church and state. They should be fined and should have their tax-exempt status revoked!

The original email follows and includes an attached PDF (or click link of this title blog entry to download) that merely needs your signature and to be mailed to the address provided.

Thanks for getting involved!


If it upsets you that a church can meddle with another state's political statutes, here's something simple you can do:

To report the LDS Church to the IRS, simply take 5 minutes to print these articles out and any others you can find:

Then print, sign and send the attached form (already completed) or download a blank and fill it out yourself at:

Info and pre-filled form in PDF at this link

Blank form if you wish to fill out yourself

List the taxpayer as:
Thomas S. Monson, et al
50 East North Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

List his occupation as: President and the business as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Check the boxes for: False Exemption and Public/Political Corruption.

Then in the Comments section demand that the LDS Church be fined and their tax-exempt status revoked for repeated and blatant violations of the IRS's separate of church and state rules, and for conspiring to interfere with a state's political process.

Check Yes under "Are books/records available?" and write in "campaign finance records."

You don't have to provide any of your own personal info. Mail the form and the printed articles to:

Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888

Please pass this on to as many people as you can.

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November 05, 2008

Tax the Church and not the Gays

As US Citizens, we should all have equal rights, the right to marry the person we love and want to spend our lives with should be one of them. If a group of US Citizens want to take away a fundamental right from those who are part of the LGBT community, then why should the LGBT community be required to pay taxes in a nation where we don't have the same rights as everyone else? The argument that its about religion and what is 'traditional' does not hold true, as a US Citizen, we have the right to freedom of religion, by denying the LGBT community the right to marry the person of their choice, that is violating our freedom of religion and forcing the religion of others upon us. Prop 8 passing is just another sign of how much prejudice still exists in our great nation. Thank you to those who voted NO on 8 [in California].

And I am here to say... No, I am here to DEMAND that the US Government revoke tax exemption to all Churches because of their political involvements. There is something fundamentally wrong when Churches are tax exempt, yet American citizens are denied equal rights under the Constitution.

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October 28, 2008

Vote NO on Prop 8 in California

October 26, 2008

Equal Rights for Homosexual Americans

I recently came across this group on Facebook and I found the 3 points the group creator made were so to the point in this whole argument. I am posting them below. Please ignore the parts about disqualifying and deleting as they don't apply here since this isn't a group forum, although this is a public debate as much as I hate to think of my equal rights being up for public debate.

1.) Religion IS NOT allowed in this debate. PERIOD. Religion, by nature of what it is, has absolutely no place in this debate. Christians say that the bible speaks against homosexuality, and therefore it should not be legal for gays to get married. However, another religion could say that homosexuality is completely ok and promotes gay marriage. Since we enjoy a freedom of religion in this country, one religion cannot trump another. It’s like -1 + 1= 0. So, if you even elude to “Gay marriage is wrong because the bible says so” then don’t even bother joining because your argument will be immediately disqualified and deleted.

2.) Marriage, as far as the govn’t is concerned, is a legal institution and determines things such as property and inheritance rights. Anything else is religious in nature, so see point #1. Being as such, there is no reason legally, why gay people should not be allowed to get married.

3.) Homosexuality CANNOT and WILL NOT be equated with pedophiles or incest. Pedophilia is the forcing, through physical or emotional means, of a child/minor to participate in sexual acts with someone much older than the child. Homosexuality is two people who are old enough and mature enough to understand the consequences of being physically intimate with each other. If it isn’t mutually consensual, then it is rape, and that is wrong regardless of the sexual orientation of those involved. Incest is not accepted because history has shown that children produced from an incestual relationship have a much higher chance of birth defects (look at almost any royal family for a good example of that). Children produced from a homosexual relationship (through artificial insemination or serrogate mothers) are not genetically related. However, do not misconstrue that to say that children and procreation are a primary argument for either case. Because if you say that gay people can't get married because they can't have children naturally, then the same rule has to logically apply to straight infertile couples as well.

And lastly I'll reiterate one of the most important facts; Separation of Church and State! The Church pays no taxes and therefore should not have any say or influence in public policy or legislature.

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October 24, 2008

Apple does it again!

From Apple's own homepage on their Hot News section...

No on Prop 8
October 24, 2008
Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.

Thank you Apple

And to all you out there who will now never use Apple products... who cares! Go buy yourself a friggin' Windows PC and enjoy all the lovely virus and spyware. Btw, Micorsoft is also a very big supporter of equality and gay equal rights.

To all those religioners who ignore the Separation of Church and State will now whine and complain that corporations get politically involved. Well fuckin' big HELLO. The church is one huge corporation, probably the biggest on Earth. And that's all they do is get politically involed.


October 08, 2008

Mac OS X Dictionary ROCKS!

I right-clicked on the word Marriage on my Mac to look it up in the built-in Dictionary. As I was reading the various definitions for the word marriage, I was pleasantly surprised to find the second definition to include same-sex partners. Apple, you rock!

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June 10, 2008

Hosting on Blogspot now

I've switched to hosting my blog on Blogspot. Gotta save monies by sleeping my home server. I've tabulated that all my running computers at home consume ~450 watts of electricity. That's 450 watts 24/7... that adds up a lot on the electric bill.

My new web address is:


May 16, 2008

Access Denied - Imagine a day: Straight Marriage Banned

I would love to know how straight people would feel if someone came along and Constitutionally banned their right to marry. A privilege they have had since the day they were born. A privilege they completely take for granted.

Imagine a day: You (heterosexuals) cannot get married anymore. Tough luck, go fuck yourselves, and you can't do anything about it. Fuck off!


May 07, 2008

Some Fucking Free Country This Is [NOT!]

I am so disgusted beyond belief at what a fucking farce this so called free country we call America is. A country where States actively vote and legislate to take away equal rights and protections from citizens, tax payers, just regular human beings.

It makes me even sicker to think that many behind such evil wickedness are people who call themselves Christians. I feel so sick I could vomit and I feel dirty, ashamed, and reviled that I am an American.

Read on:
Court: Gay marriage ban affects partner benefits
Mich. Supreme Court says public employees can't share health care with same-sex partners

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April 19, 2008

My sentiments about CGI too

I have never been a fan of CGI since they started using it, replacing actual models. However, the technology has come a long way. Now I think its ok to use with things like space scenes and spacecraft. However I am dead set against using it for life models. Meaning living things or things that are of a humanoid or animal nature. I also hate the fact that things like robots are all CGI now. It has such a fake look, especially when in a scene with actual human actors, and the movements are totally unnatural looking. Bring back real actors and costumes.

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April 09, 2008

smoking is bad for you

Two funny things overheard and seen during my lunch break.

1- While right outside my office waiting to cross the street, I overhear this construction worker guy say to his buddies, "I'm so glad I quit smoking". Way cool. Even sexy I might say.

2- Seconds later, while still waiting to cross the street, this short woman next to me is struggling to light her cigarette while holding her lighter and her aluminum walking cane in the same hand with all finger nails clacking which were all about 4 inches long and all painted in the tackiest pink and purple motif with little flowers.  Hysterical and sick. What some people will do for a smoke.


Jawbone, I think I love you

I actually can't stand those Bluetooth headsets. I've tried 'em and I find them annoying. Besides I'm not a big phone talker. But this Jawbone brand of Bluetooth headset has the best advertising...

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April 08, 2008

Even heros hit bottom

I'm not sure why I'm writing about this very sad story. But I guess I had one fleeting interaction with this man many years ago. And now reading about his story in New York magazine (Another AIDS Casualty, 4/7/08) has made me feel so sad. I hadn't even known about his heroic deep involvement in AIDS care and research until I read the article.

My brief interaction with Dr. Gabriel Torres was during a visit to CHP (Community Health Project) at the Gay & Lesbian Services Center in NYC. This was sometime between 1993-95, I think. I didn't have health insurance at the time and I was suffering from a serious cold/flu or some skin rash thing... whatever. It was a long time ago and I don't even remember what it was. Well CHP had a rotation of volunteer doctors who would see walk-in patients. It was just by chance that I needed care and Dr. Torres was on rotation. I felt so sick but as soon as he walked in the little exam room, I felt an overwhelming warmness. It may just have been his very handsome looks (see pic to right) or something else. I dunno. I just remember looking into his striking deep brown eyes and just wanting to melt. I was mesmerized. The visit lasted less than 10 minutes and out I walked with an antibiotic prescription. I've never seen Dr. Torres again until probably 10 or so years later.

Fast forward, circa 2004-2007. Robopapi and I still like to indulge and go out to big parties like Alegria every now and then. This is where I've seen Gabriel Torres quite a few times over the past 5 years. The first time I saw him, I didn't recognize him. It was only because Robopapi knew of him through GMHC medical circles and pointed him out to me once. He's still quite a looker of a man. Of course I recognized the name, but not that face. This man I see now looked ravaged. It took me a few minutes to make the connection that this was indeed the Gabriel Torres, the handsome Dr. Torres who I saw all those years ago. I was shocked that 10 years could change a man so much. But I guess putting 1 and 1 together, drug use seemed to be the obvious answer. I didn't really judge him about that since we were there to have a good time and so was he of course. I also didn't know him personally, so what could I presume. I knew nothing about him except that he was a doctor and he liked to party hard apparently.

After reading the New York magazine article I could never pretend to know what that man has gone through emotionally, psychologically, and humanly. He must've seen hundreds if not thousands of patients and friends, both live and die during those early years of AIDS and I'm sure well into the epidemic.

But his story still leaves me with such sadness. And makes me realize once again, that those who seem to have it all are just as fallible, fragile, and mortal as the rest of us, with one exception. They have much further to fall. I'm left with such sympathy for this man as I read he is now being held in the Tombs down at the court houses. This is nowhere anyone one would want to be, it's Hell. And I'm left with the senseless loss of how a man's life spirals out of control, losing his dogs, his home, his practice, everything.

I can only wish him the ability to save himself and the strength to crawl out of this gaping black hole he has fallen into.

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Kentucky Fried Grandma

I gleamed this little blurb out of INSTINCT magazine from a volunteer at the Lexington, Kentucky GLSO/Pride Center. I found it so heartening, thought I'd share.

What's your favorite Pride Center experience?
"One of our Insight members shared a story with us. He's fifty-something now, but when he was eight, his grandmother told him, "You're not like other little boys, but there are other little boys like you. When you get older, you'll meet boys like you, and one of them will make you very happy." This story of family acceptance from so long ago encourages me to help other gay men learn to accept their uniqueness and to seek out friends who fee likewise.

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March 28, 2008

Male Enhancement found on Ebay!

Robopapi sent me this Ebay auction this morning, Men's Enhancer Sling.  The auction picture at the bottom is hysterical. Now that certainly is some BIG enhancement!

I'm actually curious to try one, although the slim elastic band doesn't seem like it would hold up well (pun intended). There is however a thicker band version which I might try out. 

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March 26, 2008

Jersey City needs gay bars!

That's all I have to say. 
And a good evening to all.

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"The Brute" for my man

Our 6th anniversary just came and went. I'm not always one to be big on gifts unless I see something and think, OMG he would LOVE that. Well this was one of those times.

While passing Mantiques Mondern with my buddy EvilBuddha recently I decided to browse their arsenal of insanely cool stuff. They always seem to have a few Robert Loughlin paintings, which of course are usually way out of my price range.

I spotted one which had a metal plated robot-esque motif to it. OMG this would be the perfect gift for my Robopapi for our anniversary. Of course it was insanely expensive, but I pondered it over for a few days and decided I needed a second opinion. So I called my best friend and we looked at it together. He didn't like it too much and oddly the second time around I wasn't loving it either. I was a little disappointed but then I spotted another Loughlin painting. This one was really cool. It was painted on what seemed to be a round table top piece of wood. The colors were also really nice. I was falling in love with it. So after some thinking and finagling of my money between savings and such, I went for it.

I actually had to carry it home along with Robopapi, but it was hidden inside a large garbage bag. The painting measures about 3.5 feet in diameter. Robopapi was insanely curious as to what it was but he couldn't guess if his life depended on it. I was loving it. I said he had to wait till our day and then all will be revealed.

Needless to say, our day on March 20th came and I unveiled it and he was in love with it. Mr. Loughlin paints a lot of these cigarette smoking man paintings, but this one is super special. I've seen around the guy may be called "The Brute", but I'm not certain. But who cares, The Brute sounds good to me and he now hangs above our bed. This sexy man Brute watches us as we sleep every night amongst other activities. How hot is that!

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March 14, 2008

NYC is a boring deadzone, now dominated by uppity straights

This is why I'm so over NYC, my home town where I was born and bred. NYC has gone to hell in a hand basket. Places like the West Village and Chelsea, traditional gayborhoods for decades, have been taken over by uptight scummy breeders and lousy straight-laced families. They are now trying to take away our freedoms and annual gathering festivities. I'm so sick of what these people are doing. If they don't like the open and outrageous, traditional festivities that on the West Village then get the fuck out and move back to your fucking boring suburbs.

Dear Friends,

This past Tuesday night, I attended a preliminary meeting scheduled by Community Board 2 (CB2), which serves the West Village, in order to prepare for the upcoming CB2 Street Permit Committee Meeting this coming Monday, March 17 at 6:30 PM. While many members of CB2 are in support of the The West Village Leather Street Fest, Assistant Secretary of CB2 and President of the Christopher Street Business Merchants Association Elaine Goldman is spearheading a campaign to stop The West Village Leather Street Fest scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 12, as part of New York Leather Weekend 2008.

Below is a list of Ms. Goldman's grievances:
• According to Ms. Goldman and the West Village residents she has united, a Leather street fair is unwelcome on Weehawken/Christopher Streets and the immediate area.
• Ms. Goldman claims that there are no longer bars that cater to the leather community in that area.
• That the area is no place for Leather people.
• That Weehawken & Christopher Streets are not indigenous to the Leather community.
• And finally, that we, as Leather People, belong indoors, and out of the sight of children, and not on the street.

Weehawken Street is historically the first NYC street to house Leather/fetish bars and clubs before popularizing Christopher Street. The street is itself indigenous to our people, which is why we would like to continue having the street fair there, paying homage to the West Village/Christopher Street area and the businesses that have long supported our community.

The West Village Leather Street Fest is geared to promote the community's visibility, education, disseminate information and raise money for organizations of interest to our community. Last year's beneficiaries were the LGBT Community Center and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF). Much like Folsom Street East, held annually on W. 28th street each June as part of Leather Pride Weekend, the West Village Leather Fest celebrates an important part of our culture, enabling us to gather with peers in a safe & comfortable environment, leading people to educational resources about our community, while teaching them how to have safer, consensual sex. More than 20 of these kinds of events happen in other cities around the country annually. New York City deserves their recognition and share as well.

According to the NCSF, the latest Kinsey Institute Report notes 5-10% of the population engages, at least occasionally, in BDSM sexual expression and experimentation. Of the millions of people living in NYC, more notably the West Village, that represents a very significant part of our community and CB2's jurisdiction. These are CB2's constituents and the community board has a responsibility to embrace diversity while including all of their constituents, serving the needs of everyone within the community.

The West Village, and, most especially Christopher Street, is known as a place to buy leather gear. There are stores on both sides of the street that sell BDSM clothing, gear, adult sexual aids, risque T-shirts, and the like, all prominently displaying their wares in their windows. Local newsstands have long displayed adult magazines on their stands as well.The West Village and Christopher Street are home to the annual Pride Parade and other events done all year long.

Discrimination is discrimination whether due to race, gender, sexual preference or our chosen lifestyle.

Whether you are a resident of the West Village or not, we ask that you come out in support of our community, our rights, and the West Village Leather Street Fest on Monday, March 17th at 6:30 PM (see location below). We are also looking for any historical information or documentation about Weehawken Street to support this cause. Please bring them with you to Monday's meeting or feel free to contact me with any information you may have.

Community Board 2 Meeting
Monday, March 17, (St Patrick's Day), 6:30PM
Union 32 Building, 101 Sixth Ave (bet. Watts & Grand Streets), 22nd Floor

(A,C,E,1,2,3 to Canal Street Station)

Thank you,

Robert Valin, President
New York Leather Weekend

This message was sent by: Leather Invasion, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10011

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