Thursday, June 26, 2008

Get out of my bedroom, Mr Monson!

Mormons enter Calif. marriage fight

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is asking California members to join the effort to amend that state's constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

A letter sent to Mormon bishops and signed by church president Thomas S. Monson and his two top counselors calls on Mormons to donate "means and time" to the ballot measure. A note on the letter dated June 20 says it should be read during church services June 29, but the letter was published Saturday on several Web sites. (thanks to

So, apparently the new LDS prez does not yet realize he's in the 21st Century with the rest of us.... You'd think he'd bring an open mind, a loving heart and some basic human decency and understanding to his new post. BUT NO! Not a chance -- he's going after my friends and trying to influence legislation outside of his own state -- here in California.

Wait a minute.... Aren't there certain legal responsibilities churches must take on in order to remain tax exempt? Why, yes Todd, there are. So, what does the tax code say about this? Why, it says:

Exemption Requirements
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates. (thanks to <<< [never thought I'd have an occasion to put THAT in print...!]

So, mind your manners, mind your decency and MIND THE LAW, Monson! Do NOT think you are somehow immune (or protected by your holy underwear) from the laws of this country. And, please: stay tucked away in Utah where you may influence as many sheep as you like. Stay out of MY state's legislation and out of MY bedroom (unless I invite you there)!

- T

White House, Black House -- I Don't Care, Just Boot Out The Republicans!

This is one of the most distasteful things I've seen in a long time. These buttons were sold at the Republican Party's State Convention in . . . [drum roll please!] . . . Texas. (Big surprise.)

Throughout the primary campaign, I had to continually re-adjust my choice of candidates. Just as I would find one who suited my wishes for what I wanted the future Democratic candidate (and hopefully, President) to stand for, he would drop out. Kucinich, Edwards, Clinton....

There was a point, long before the primaries had even begun, when I began to hear Obama's name bantered about. He had spoken so eloquently at the 2004 Democratic Convention and I began to listen to podcasts of other speeches he had made. He showed himself to be a great speaker and a man with some reasonable, forward-thinking ideas.

BUT, very early on in the primary cycle, he made a huge error in judgment. At a rally, he chose to have a homophobic gospel singer perform and help him raise money for the campaign. And when he was called out for such a massive mis-step, his only reaction was to offer to counter the homophobe by having a pro-gay speaker appear at another time during the event.

So, his way of trying to rid his campaign of homophobia was NOT to remove the homophobe from the line-up, but rather to try a half-baked attempt at appeasement. Disgusting.

How would it look if I ran for public office and had a card-carryin' KKK member speak at my rally and raise money for me? Then, when called on it, I grudgingly found a representative from the NAACP to also speak...?? Funny, some things don't just require you to present two points of view. Some things should not be said in the first place. Every time there is a news story about an achievement by someone who is black, we don't counter that story with some Klanmember's press conference, do we?

So, I lost interest and faith in Obama. As a gay man, I've seen this double standard reaction before: a member of a minority who somehow, even though he or she has faced all kinds of adversity in life, does not recognize bigotry for what it is when the target is someone else. Or worse, condones and encourages said bigotry.

(I feel the same way when I hear about Asian-owned stores in black neighborhoods being vandalized, ransacked or worse because the residents don't like the Asians making money off of them in their areas.... What the...? Look in the mirror, bub -- you're a minority just like they are -- have some compassion, work together, build some alliances, put yourself in someone else's shoes, etc. Your histories may not be the same, nor your looks, nor your difficulties -- but surely you'd gain more from working together and increasing your influence than battling with each other, one small group against another small group?)

Anyway, Obama went from that debacle to the crazy priest problem at his favorite church.... Not to mention the other religious guy Pfleger and his rants.

So, I kinda ended up with Obama as my candidate as his last opponent (Hillary) fell out of the race.... He was not my first (nor second, nor third) choice. Nonetheless, he is going to be the Democratic candidate in November. And when presented with the two choices, Obama and McCain, there really is only one choice for me and for what future I would like this country to pursue.

Let's just hope that, between now and November, the campaign doesn't get much uglier than this button -- and that we can get a Democrat back into the White House without too many racial epithets. There may have been a time when such sentiments were considered funny, but those days are long, long gone and today such jokes are seen as sad and childish. Get into the 21st Century, GOP, or continue to lose your place in politics as the old, racist, right-wing assholes die off and can't (legally) vote for your backwards candidates anymore. At some point, there won't be anyone left who would buy and wear such crap as that button, much less vote for your candidates....

- T

p.s. I have been very neglectful of my blog -- in part because of long hours and more responsibilities at work and in part because of time spent on other things. I vow to try and devote a short writing session at least once a week to let ya know what's on my mind or new in the world of Todd.