Category Archives: Human Rights

The Phlip-side of the Phelps Phamily – Gay-friendly Nate! – Son of Dying Phred…

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Nate Phelps, Son of infamous hate-mongerer Fred.

Nate Phelps, Son of infamous hate-mongerer Fred.

Our hearts go out to the estranged children of infamous hate-mongerer Fred Phelps of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, a pseudo-congregation made up primarily of members of his own family. Seems the old man, the patriarch of The Most Hated Family in America is dying. The father of thirteen children, four of those have severed ties. The man who terrorized funerals of AIDS victims and war victims with equal glee did not hold back with his own family. Son Nate Phelps has become an outspoken speaker on the topic of child abuse in religious organizations as well as an ally to and advocate for the Gay and Queer communities his father rallied against for so many years. Go, Nate! BTW, not all evil-ass cults are right wing. Religious abuse, like totalitarianism, can approach from the right OR the left. For a groovy take on THAT Cozmic Debris, just ask old Frank. Zappa, that is, baby snakes and yellow snow…

Mormons for Marriage Equality…

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Marching down Market Street in San Francisco – right NOW! Photo via Aidan Abroad. Thanks, Kid!

Cool Cali Rabbi Schulman says You Go Gays!

avi_for_weeklyfcb735From pal of this site, Big Gay Al. Word from his groovy Rabbi, who loves on the queer Tribe and the goy gays both. The cool Franciscans dig us, too. Righteous faith communities have been at the forefront of our struggle for a long time. As whip-smart homo-hopper and site-pal Tim’m T. West has said: “If it ain’t Love, it ain’t God.” Word! Thanks for this, Al! Rabbi Avi Schulman is at Temple Beth Torah  in Fremont, California. Such a mitzvah!

A WORD FROM RABBI SCHULMAN:

On Wednesday I rejoiced when I learned that the Supreme Court’s had decided to nullify the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.   As a result of this ruling, gay and lesbian married couples will receive equal protection and benefits under the law as do heterosexual married couples.   I was further gladdened when the Supreme Court declined to overturn the decision by a federal district court invalidating Proposition 8.  In doing so, it is expected that within a month same-sex couples can marry in California.

It has been a long, hard struggle to reach this point in our society.  As a heterosexual male, I have not been subject to the intense discrimination if not outright hatred that gays and lesbians, bi-sexual and transgendered people have experienced.  But I have encountered intense resistance to granting any legitimacy to those who are LGBT.  Some years ago, I gave a sermon advocating for gay rights.  In response, I received the following letter:

“Dear Rabbi,

I hope your Temple isn’t caught up in supporting homosexual rights!!  God in the Old Testament has never approved of the homosexual life style.  In fact they were to be taken outside the gates of the city and stoned.  Also, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

Remember, homosexuals are filthy people and have filthy practices.  No wonder they have AIDS and thanks to them, heterosexuals have it, too.  Don’t give them any rights!

A lot of Jews and Christians are homosexuals because they didn’t bond with a Dad.  The Dad’s too busy for them and they are just around women and get too feminine.

A lot of Jewish boys too are homosexual because they got pampered in the city.
Do not grant homosexuals any rights.  Follow God’s way and not Sodom’s way!”
The repulsive attitude, the appalling ignorance, and the sheer bigotry of the writer of this letter are reprehensible.  But make no mistake, even today there are still people in our society who would agree with these sentiments.

Yesterday’s rulings by the Supreme Court represent landmarks in the fight for equal rights for gays and lesbians in America.  However, there is still much more work to be done.   More than thirty states do not allow same-sex marriage.   However, through education and advocacy, we can help ensure that LGBT couples can marry in every state in the US.

Our Torah proclaims that each human being is unique and precious, endowed with the spirit of the Divine.  Our prophetic tradition urges us to strive toward creating a society that is just and righteous.   Amos the prophet proclaimed:  “Let justice roll down like waters, righteousness like a mighty stream.”  Wednesday’s landmark decisions by the Supreme Court felt like a waterfall of refreshing water that washed over our land.

Shame on 8!!! We won.

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A bird? A plane? A nerd? A clone? No! It’s Shame on 8 Man! Sight seen in the very festive Castro district.

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Marry Me!

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Cool Franciscans at the demise of DOMA celebration…

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God loves all His children. And if it ain’t Love, it ain’t God. Thanks to Tim’m T. West for that one. Sight seen at the ongoing celebration in San Francisco’s Castro District. DOMA is overturned and so is Prop 8!

Crowd in the Castro…

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History. Right here. Right now. Wow!

Love beats H8: “Marry Me, Man!” – Phelps family horrified, natch…

MarryMeGuys

Groovy! I think he is going to say yes. The Phelps don’t like it, though. Poor things. Photo via cool vintage gay singer/songwriter Blackberri and the Son of Baldwin blog – the literary, socio-political, sexual, pop culture blog live from Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Other Blogs: The Gay Manifesto. “Survival is a Choice”

An interesting counterpoint to the stereotype of the urban, liberal, out and proud gay, the author of The Gay Manifesto is rural, more libertarian than liberal and off the grid and proud. He describes himself: “I am a pissed off Gay American living off-grid in the mountains of Southern Colorado. I built my own cabin, grow most of my own food, generate my own power and brew my own beer…”

Gay Activism and Iran: Do Western Activists Do More Harm Than Good? (Link to article by Scott Long)

Scott Long, LGBTQ human rights activist and visiting fellow in the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, just posted an article on Western LGBTQ activists and the purported “gay executions” in recent years in Iran, which I would recommend. While the LGBTQ and even mainstream Western press has reported several high-profile cases in recent years, Long believes that the situations may have been misrepresented, in some cases making things worse, and in some cases obfuscating matters. Long writes that

No one who launched the story has bothered to follow up the facts.

Among the observations that Mr. Long makes:

It’s certainly possible that the four men in Charam are “gay” or hamjensgara, and have been framed. It’s certainly also possible that they raped an “effeminate” victim, and that he is the one who suffered for sexual dissidence. Quite possibly, in fact, that’s the pattern underlying these stories of rape. In other words, conceivably [Western activists] have spent all these years speechifying and pontificating in support not of “gays,” but of their persecutors. The point is: We don’t know.

Agree or disagree, it’s worth reading and considering. What happens when we step in to “help” without having the full story? Does queer activism sometimes do more harm than good?

-AidanAbroad