Showing posts with label Straights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Straights. Show all posts

July 30, 2015

A Gay Rights Defender; Ex Defense Secretary


                                                                              

The former defense secretary has gone further than many politicians in promoting gay rights in the military and private sphere. (Robert Gates)

Eagle Scout. Young Republican. CIA recruit. Air Force officer. CIA director. Secretary of defense.
It’s not the resume of a radical civil-rights campaigner, but Robert Gates has now integrated two of the great bastions of macho American traditional morality—first the U.S. armed forces, and now the Boy Scouts of America. In both cases, Gates pursued a careful, gradual strategy, one that wasn’t fast enough for activists. In both cases, he was careful to take the temperature of constituents. And in both cases, once he was ready to act, he did so decisively. In the end what seemed to matter most was not Gates’s personal feelings but his determination to safeguard institutions he cared about and his deft skills as a bureaucratic operator.

Before the Obama administration began moving to eliminate the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy there was barely any indication of Gates’s views on LBGT issues—though not none. In 1991, while director of central intelligence, Gates ordered an inquiry into whether CIA personnel had ever been blackmailed into espionage because they were gay. When he found no cases, he ended the practice of asking employees about their sexual orientation as part of polygraph tests. From 2002 until he took over the Pentagon in 2006, Gates was president of Texas A&M University, a famously culturally conservative school. (In 1984, students sued, successfully, to force the school to recognize a gay-student organization; the ruling effectively removed all legal prohibitions on LGBT student groups nationwide.) At A&M, Gates worked to improve student diversity overall—including racial minorities and LGBT students—and appointed the school’s first administrator specifically in charge of diversity.

Given the rapid advance of gay rights over the last decade, it’s tough to remember just how different the stage was in 2006, when Gates replaced Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” had had plenty of critics since it was enacted in 1994—President Bill Clinton himself would have preferred simply opening the military to gay servicemembers—but it was still firmly in place. The Bush administration was not interested in lifting the ban, and Gates took a cautious approach. He repeatedly told reporters that he was not reviewing or reconsidering the policy.

When, several months into his tenure, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, said that “homosexual acts between individuals are immoral,” Gates tried to avoid discussing the comments, and said of DADT, “As long as the law is what it is, that’s what we’ll do.” (Pace, who retired in September 2007, reiterated his personal opposition to homosexuality during an exit hearing with Congress, but also endorsed gay service in the military.) When, two months later, the military ejected 58 desperately needed Arabic linguists because they were gay, Gates still said the policy wasn’t under review.

Even after President Obama was elected and Gates accepted an offer to stay on as secretary, he remained cautious. Though the president pledged to repeal DADT during his first State of the Union, Gates expressed a preference in March 2009 to “push that one down the road a little bit,” infuriating gay activists. Yet in June, he was clearly expecting the policy to end and was exploring whether “there’s a more humane way to apply the law until it gets changed.” A similar pattern held in 2010, as Gates warned Congress not to repeal DADT before he had a policy in place for the aftermath and insisted courts not make the decision. He also issued a survey on gays to servicemembers, a step that LGBT activists, who saw it as putting civil rights to a vote, disagreed with. Yet there Gates was in the fall, saying DADT’s demise was “inevitable” and testifying to Congress in favor of repeal—before the courts did it. (And that survey? It turned out the troops were totally fine with LGBT comrades.)

Once DADT was repealed, Gates moved quickly to enforce discipline and get the change implemented in the military, and shot down any hopes that soldiers, sailors, and marines who disagreed with the policy could leave their commitments early.

Gates’s push for the end of DADT never relied on the soaring rhetoric of rights and justice that people like Obama used. Gates spoke with the dry, careful language of a bureaucrat, speaking in terms of unit cohesion, military readiness, and obstacle recognition. When he indulged emotion, it was to praise soldiers risking their lives—the same language a defense secretary would use for straight soldiers. The decision was more than anything a triumph of pragmatism. Gates carefully studied the effects repeal would have on the military and decided the downsides were minimal; and he looked at the way the country was changing and realized that the policy would have to end soon, and that he wanted it to end on the Pentagon’s terms to ensure the military’s stability and long-term health.

The DADT fight offers a template for the opening to gay scoutmasters. Gates had expressed tempered sympathy for gays in scouting as far back as 1993, when he told Wichita Rotarians, “Values central to Scouting are under challenge today as never before: challenges to our belief in God, challenges from Americans who are gay. Scouting must teach tolerance and respect for the dignity and worth of every individual person, certainly including gays.”

The Boy Scouts had already begun to dismantle some of their anti-gay policies when Gates was elected president in late 2013. A lopsided vote in May 2013ended a ban on gay scouts but kept prohibitions on gay scout leaders and volunteers in place. Just as he had at Defense, Gates initially took a carefully diplomatic position. “I was prepared to go further than the decision that was made,” Gates said in May 2014. “I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters, but at the same time, I fully accept the decision that was democratically arrived at by 1,500 volunteers from across the entire country.” He said he wouldn’t reopen the decision during his term as president.

At some point in the last year, he had a change of heart.

The shift seems to reflect much the same calculus that guided Gates through the DADT decision. At the Pentagon, he had first avoided discussing repeal because it seemed too likely to create institutional instability; but once he decided that the writing was on the wall and that refusing to change was the greater risk to the organization, he moved swiftly and effectively to impose his new will. The point was to guarantee institutional survival.

In May 2015, one year after saying he wouldn’t reopen the issue of gay scoutmasters, Gates did just that. In short, he decided once again that if the institution he led didn’t change its policies now, a judge was likely to force it to do so later.

“The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained,” he said. “Between internal challenges and potential legal conflicts, the BSA finds itself in an unsustainable position, a position that makes us vulnerable to the possibility the courts simply will order us at some point to change our membership policy.”

Gates warned that a court order would disarm the Boy Scouts’ ability to act of their own volition, and suggested that doing anything besides opening would be an existential threat.

“I truly fear that any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement,” he said.

Monday evening, Gates got his wish, as the BSA’s 80-member board voted to approve the change. (A smaller executive committee had already approved it.) The new policy may not satisfy everyone. Traditionalists are upset about the move, while progressives feel it doesn’t go far enough—troops that are chartered by churches and other religious organizations would still be permitted to set their own standards. Regardless, the policy marks a serious shift for BSA, and it cements Robert Gates’s place in history: as one of the least likely but most successful proponents for gay equality in institutional America.


October 15, 2014

The Secret is Out about Straight men and their butts


 
                                                                          



I was talking with a newly single girlfriend of mine the other day, about the dates she’s been going on these last few weeks. She told me about one guy who shook nervously the entire time they had lunch. She told me about another guy who wined and dined her with an expensive dinner neither one of us could afford and dancing afterward. And then my friend told me about this one guy she met at a bar, then slept with – and how he wouldn’t stop texting her the next morning, or the next night, or the next few days after that.
I asked, rather obviously, why Texting Guy wouldn’t give up the chase. This guy must really like her, I thought, to be messaging at all hours after a one-night stand. My friend laughed and just handed over the iPhone:
Would you be into playing with my ass later ;)?
And I looked at her, and asked, rather shocked: “Wait – do straight men ask women to do this?”
In 2012, one-year before what is called a “watershed moment” for LGBTQ folks in America by many due a burst in progress, Esquire magazine asked 500 men another question: “During foreplay, what’s the one thing that you want more of from your current partner?” Blowjobs, apparently on the wane, were mentioned by 46% of the men surveyed; “a little rough play” sat at 6%. And rim jobs – or, to the unfamiliar, the act of having your anus stimulated orally – came in at 14%, which is quite surprising because straight men and their own behinds are rarely talked about in the same breath ... unless they’re used in the same breath as a homophobic slur.
As Charlie Glickman, a sex educator and the author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration of Men and their Partners, explained in an interview last year with Playboy: “We carry a lot of shame around our anuses. ... It’s a shame that starts when we’re in diapers.” According to Glickman,who identifies as bisexual, even as adults, “We look for a reason to justify the taboo. We say it’s disgusting. We say it’s dirty. We say it’s gross.”
“Butt stuff is such a thing,” we say, as New York magazine’s Maureen O’Connor did earlier this year, before immediately getting grossed out at a phrase more lurid than that.
Most commonly, we say that anal play is gay. A lot of people feel uncomfortable with anal sex. But how gay is it, really?
Well, a 2011 study with a sample size of 25,000 gay men living in America found that gay men do like their analingus – just not as much as you might expect. About 26.1% of those men had received and 25.4% had given in their most recent sexual encounter. For straight men, while we do not have data to show if they had performed or received analingus during their last sexual encounter, we do know that according to a study published in 2010 by the Journal of Sex Research, over 51% of men have engaged in “in oral-anal sex, manual-anal sex, or anal sex toy use”.
So it turns out that exploring the most private of private parts with your tongue, or getting pleasure from it, isn’t necessarily a gay thing. It’s a human thing – if we let it be.
Around the world, gay men, bisexual men, and men who have sex with one another but don’t identify with either category, face down so many stigma for so many reasons. But the one that has stood the test of time the longest is the discriminatory focus on the act of sodomy. And in many places, that focus has become the justification for violence perpetrated upon gay men even till this day, with 12 states in America still banning sodomy 10 years after it was ruled unconstitutional.
As many groups across the globe have worked to stop the violence, both systemically and socially, we have seen the urge to desexualise gay menin the mainstream representations of them and make them into fathers, your neighbor, your best friend or your mailman.
This push to make gay people “just like you!” is commonly referred to as heteronormativity – or the act of making subjects fit into the gendered nuclear family and ideals associated with it. And through this process, sex becomes a distant memory. It’s put on the back-burner, and for a group whose identity is founded in sexual differences, maybe it shouldn’t be.
Maybe we should be talking about the sex gay people are having because, when we do, we figure out that they are actually not all that different – without having all of us move to the suburbs. 
From the data we know that men, straight and gay and everything in between, can derive pleasure from butts – their own and other people’s. We know that women can, too, with over 43% of women having participated in analingus according to that same 2010 academic study. And according to the most recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, straight people don’t just like analingus – they like going all the way: 44% of men, and 36% of women, reported having had penetrative anal sex.
This week was another milestone for same-sex couples across the US, especially those living in some conservative states where it looks like they, too, will gain access to same sex marriage. But as the LGBTQ rights movement continues to progress around the world, hitting many more milestones, maybe ass should start to become a bigger part of the gay rights conversation. Not just marriageNot just children. Just butts – precisely because we’ve been avoiding it as the thing that supposedly sets gay men apart when, in truth, it’s apparently one thing upon which we can all agree. 
And by destigmatising the pleasure that all of us can gain from it – especially men, who seem to face the most difficulty accepting their own – maybe then we can begin to dream of a world that is truly equal.

February 25, 2014

OCD: Straight Men Who Think They Are Gay







I was waiting for a real Therapist to come up and say  “I got Straights who think they are gay” I wanted to laugh when I first heard it but like I said I have been expecting it. In this society what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If we have gays who think they are straight then we have better have the opposite. Now Im not saying that there isn’t such a thing because I know better even though  I have never met one nor I have ever known someone who ever knew one (straight thinking he is straight); It stands to reason that there would have to be some.

Well you can thank me latter but I found some for you who are no talking. It’s a Therapist who is talking.  He’s name is Steven Brodsky.  Mr. Brodsky is not talking about orientation re assignment like the religious quacks have been not talking but trying to do it, which experts say can be very damaging to a person. He is talking about straight men that start thinking about how many things they have in common with gay men that they start thinking that they are gay and of coarse they freak out. These guys do not understand that gay men are men and would be like any other men except in their sexual orientation. 

Last night I read in Facebook a friend of mine saying, ‘When ever I go out with straight guys they start talking to me like if I was a chick.” That is precisely what the problem is, they don’t understand how gay men can be just like them except in the girl dept. So if they start comparing themselves living out thz
"He had a classic case," said Brodsky. "He had some sort of feeling that he was attracted to other guys."
This patient was straight, according to Brodsky, but he had intrusive thoughts that were not based on any hard reality in his behavior.
Adam Gonzalez
Brodsky said a previous therapist had misdiagnosed his patient as gay, and at the patient's request, sent him off to reparative therapy, a controversial method that has not been proven to be effective and can be harmful.
"I have many gay clients and phobia is my business," he said. "I treat them like any client looking for help, and derive great enjoyment in working with them and all my clients."
But, he says health professionals need a better understanding of OCD so patients receive proper treatment for a mental obsession, rather than counseling for a sexual orientation crisis that he says has nothing to do with mental illness.
This type of OCD falls under the category of sexual obsessions, according to Jeff Szymanski, a clinical psychologist and executive director of the International OCD Foundation.
"I have treated this many times," he said. "These individuals suffer from pathological doubt. Even though they know that they are 100 percent straight, not gay, they second guess it. For example, they might think, 'Wait a minute I spent too much time looking at that guy in the locker room. What does that mean?' They get lost in the need to know – the need to be sure."
Szymanski said that in 90 percent of the cases he has treated, the patient is clearly straight. Occasionally, a person learns they are gay. "I say, oh, that's interesting, how do you feel about being gay and what can we do about that?'
He said the obsession is "absolutely common in the OCD world."
"If you contact a general therapist and tell them about something like this – or a person who is afraid they are swearing at God, they would say, 'That sounds weird.' But we specialists see it all the time."
Brodsky argues that today's open acceptance of homosexuality and gay lifestyles can blind therapists to this kind of anxiety disorder in straight men. Therapists can jump to a quick, but erroneous, conclusion that a patient is seeking a way out of the closet and help him "get out there and try it out."
Dr. Jack Drescher, a noted New York City psychiatrist who is considered an expert in gay and lesbian mental health and treats patients for OCD, agreed that "being worried that one might be gay is not the same thing as being gay."
"A person with OCD who has is having intrusive thoughts about whether or not he is gay, is not gay, in the sense that he has not incorporated a homosexual orientation in any minimally affirming way into his identity," said Drescher. "Also, if he is not actually attracted to people of the same sex, does not masturbate to fantasies of people of the same sex, is not really aroused by same sex pornography, then it is hard to make the case that he has a homosexual orientation."
Drescher has treated patients with other obsessive sexual thoughts. "One patient was obsessed about being a pedophile, even though he had never been aroused by children. Another was heterosexual and feared he had HIV.
He agreed with Brodsky that some therapists may miss an OCD diagnosis, but "the most likely cause of that is not that they are too gay-affirming but that they lack training in recognizing the symptoms of OCD."
OCD is an anxiety disorder in which people have recurring and unwanted thoughts and ideas (obsessions) that make them feel guilty or driven to do something repetitively (compulsions), affecting 2.2 million people nationally, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Typical obsessions include concerns about germs, harm or forbidden sexual or religious thoughts.
Brodsky said that a gay person has "pleasant association" with same-sex attraction and a person with OCD does not.
"A person with OCD "can't stop thinking about it and performs compulsions to lay the thought at rest," he said. "Repeatedly, anxiously, reviewing past situations, testing themselves, asking for reassurance, compulsively researching the Internet for gay tests, testing themselves with gay porn or gay people.
"They know they're not attracted to the same sex and are to the opposite sex, but are consumed all day long with this battle," said Brodsky. "They can think of nothing else. A gay person doesn't go through this battle."
Ross Murray, a spokesman for the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD, said he had never heard of this type of OCD, but that Brodsky made sense.
"It sounds exactly like a phobia or fear of snakes," he said. "I can't think of anyone who has that sort of obsessional focus on their own sexual orientation."
"Someone who is gay, but in the closet, is not spending time researching and testing themselves," he said. "They know deep down that is a part of them. Gay people are not looking for any kind of external validation."
Having an obsession about being gay is no different from any other mental obsession, said Brodsky.
"Something they have read or heard initially triggers it," said Brodsky. "A friend might say something and they think, 'Gee, I could be gay or I am doing something a gay person would do."
They might even get subtle body sensations, being aroused by another man. "Certainly that does not make them gay," he said. "It takes almost nothing to arouse a man."
These obsessive thoughts are not rooted in homophobia, according to Brodsky. "That – and even sex – has nothing to do with it," he said. "Maybe they were abused as a kid or heard 'gay' as a taunt. There are other issues in their lives preventing them from having loving, committed relationships."
As for treatment, Brodsky said he would help a patient who was truly gay validate their feelings and attain self-acceptance, "achieving calm and peace of mind."
"This is the opposite of the method of OCD treatment which uses exposure therapy, which tries to actually trigger anxiety and face fears," he said. "Exposure has nothing to with the truth, attaining clarity or self-knowledge … It is very simple, you face your fears and doubts enough times, not reassure yourself, and you physiologically become less bothered by it."
These patients can be successfully treated in the same way other forms of OCD are treated, according to Brodsky. "It's easy and it's effective."
Drescher said that medications are also highly effective, especially in tandem with behavioral therapy.
Determining the cause of the obsession is "never black and white," according to Brodsky. "And you have to look at the entire track record of their behavior... There is a clear difference between OCD and a person who is really attracted to the same sex.
SUSAN DONALDSON JAMESMore From Susan »
Digital Reporter
SUSAN DONALDSON JAMESMore From Susan »
Susan Donaldson James
Digital Reporter

August 12, 2013

Many Couples Who Postpone Because of No Gay Marriage [Not the Famous Ones] Now 'R' Getting Hitched


   
No, it wasn’t just an excuse to avoid getting hitched: Some heterosexual couples who postponed their weddings until gay couples had the right to marry are now making plans to say “I do.”
And we’re not talking celebrities like Brangelina, Lena Dunham and Kristen Bell, all of whom vowed not to marry until gay marriage was legal. None of them have rushed to announce wedding dates. Instead, it’s ordinary folks who wasted no time following through on their pledges. Here are a few of their stories.
Staci Dennett, 25, is white. Her fiancé, Nadir Karim, 25, is black. “Forty-six years ago, we couldn’t have gotten married in the South, just because of our skin color,” said Dennett, who compares the ban on interracial marriage to laws against gay marriage. “It blows my mind!”
Dennett says she agreed with Angelina Jolie’s stand, and told Karim the same thing: “I’m not going to get married until everyone can.”
She also kept thinking about a gay cousin who’s in a relationship and just had twins. “Any time I thought about inviting them to my wedding, and asking them to be part of something where they have no ability to have any of these rights, it just didn’t sit well with me,” Dennett said.
Then in June, the U.S. Supreme Court wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law, and Dennett and Karim, who’ve been together five years, started planning their big day. They live in Philadelphia, where they run an online travel business called BeyondTheDiploma.com, but the celebration will be in Dennett’s hometown, Winfield, Kan., on Nov. 12 (11-12-13) which happens to be her birthday.
The 35 invited guests include Dennett’s gay cousin and her partner.
‘A MORAL OBJECTION’
Debbie Ma, 32, is a social psychology professor at California State University-Northridge who studies stereotyping and prejudice. She didn’t set a wedding date with her partner of 10 years, Peter Tassinario, 41, a consultant, until after the court ruling.
“I had moral objections to being part of something that makes part of our population feel like they’re not full citizens,” explained Ma, who lives in the San Fernando Valley. “For me, it feels very inconsistent to study things like discrimination and prejudice and then participate in a system that is actively discriminatory.
There is a lot of research out there on institutional racism and how bigger structures like government structures or policies or cultural ideology seeps down into individual lives.”
How did her fiancé feel about putting off marriage? “He’s a man! He was fine not to have a wedding,” Ma said with a laugh, adding in a serious tone that he was “very supportive” about her reasons, but is happy they finally set a date for November.
Ma had told her students about her concerns, and was pleased when one of them said the first thing he thought about after the court ruling was, “I wonder if Debbie is going to get married.”
Ma and Tassinario expect their officiant to “say a couple of things about our views on equality and stay away from traditional wedding vows.” But the ceremony should also express why any couple marries, gay or straight: “Two people who come together because they love each other — and that’s it.”
As a feminist, lawyer Nora Carroll, 31, says she has philosophical objections to “the institution of marriage and what it means for women.” She’s also “more anti-marriage” than her partner of five years, Colin Asher, 32, though he grew up with a nonconformist mom who never married his dad.
But gradually the Brooklyn, N.Y., couple realized they were missing out on some of the legal benefits of being married. When Asher, a writer who teaches community college, was unemployed, he couldn’t get health insurance through Carroll’s employer, which offers domestic partner benefits for gay couples but not straight ones. Still, they decided to postpone marriage until gay marriage was legal.
After the court ruling, Carroll said the idea of marriage seemed “more palatable. ... It was very exciting to be planning a wedding and not have to think about it taking advantage of my heterosexual privilege.”
Their ceremony at City Hall will be followed by a party, where their 18-month-old son Dante likely will get as much attention as the bride and groom.

August 9, 2013

The Non Gays That Postpone Marrying Until It Was Legal For Most



NEW YORK — No, it wasn't just an excuse to avoid getting hitched: Some heterosexual couples who postponed their weddings until gay couples had the right to marry are now making plans to say "I do.”
And we're not talking celebrities like Brangelina, Lena Dunham and Kristen Bell, all of whom vowed not to marry until gay marriage was legal. None of them have rushed to announce wedding dates. Instead, it's ordinary folks who wasted no time following through on their pledges. Here are a few of their stories.
'I'M NOT GETTING MARRIED UNTIL EVERYONE CAN'
Staci Dennett, 25, is white. Her fiance, Nadir Karim, 25, is black. "Forty-six years ago, we couldn't have gotten married in the South, just because of our skin color," said Dennett, who compares the ban on interracial marriage to laws against gay marriage. "It blows my mind!"
Dennett says she agreed with Angelina Jolie's stand, and told Karim the same thing: "I'm not going to get married until everyone can."
She also kept thinking about a gay cousin who's in a relationship and just had twins. "Any time I thought about inviting them to my wedding, and asking them to be part of something where they have no ability to have any of these rights, it just didn't sit well with me," Dennett said.
Then in June, the U.S. Supreme Court wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law, and Dennett and Karim, who've been together five years, started planning their big day. They live in Philadelphia, where they run an online travel business called BeyondTheDiploma.com, but the celebration will be in Dennett's hometown, Winfield, Kan., on Nov. 12 (11-12-13) which happens to be her birthday.
The 35 invited guests include Dennett's gay cousin and her partner.
'A MORAL OBJECTION'
Debbie Ma, 32, is a social psychology professor at California State University-Northridge who studies stereotyping and prejudice. She didn't set a wedding date with her partner of 10 years, Peter Tassinario, 41, a consultant, until after the court ruling.
"I had moral objections to being part of something that makes part of our population feel like they're not full citizens," explained Ma, who lives in the San Fernando Valley. "For me, it feels very inconsistent to study things like discrimination and prejudice and then participate in a system that is actively discriminatory. There is a lot of research out there on institutional racism and how bigger structures like government structures or policies or cultural ideology seeps down into individual lives."
How did her fiance feel about putting off marriage? "He's a man! He was fine not to have a wedding," Ma said with a laugh, adding in a serious tone that he was "very supportive" about her reasons, but is happy they finally set a date for November.
Ma had told her students about her concerns, and was pleased when one of them said the first thing he thought about after the court ruling was, "I wonder if Debbie is going to get married."
Ma and Tassinario expect their officiant to "say a couple of things about our views on equality and stay away from traditional wedding vows." But the ceremony should also express why any couple marries, gay or straight: "Two people who come together because they love each other — and that's it."
'I HAD SEEN THEIR FIGHT'
Dan McCrory and Terri Haley have been together for 11 years. McCrory, who lives in California's San Fernando Valley, is a board member of the Stonewall Democratic Club, a progressive political group with a focus on issues of importance to the gay community.
"Because of my longtime involvement in the club, a lot of these people are my friends," said McCrory, 58, a writer who works for an insurance company. "I didn't feel right getting married if my friends couldn't. I had seen their fight, had seen how much this issue meant to them."
He says Haley, 50, who works for a phone company, "teased me about it," jokingly wondering if it was an excuse to avoid commitment. "But I think she knew it was because I wanted to do the right thing."
Haley was thrilled when an old friend and her partner were the first couple to tie the knot in West Hollywood after the court ruling. A few days later, McCrory proposed.
There's just one more hurdle before they marry. McCrory is running for state Assembly in a Sept. 17 primary, "so we're waiting for the election to be over."
'HETEROSEXUAL PRIVILEGE'
As a feminist, lawyer Nora Carroll, 31, says she has philosophical objections to "the institution of marriage and what it means for women." She's also "more anti-marriage" than her partner of five years, Colin Asher, 32, though he grew up with a nonconformist mom who never married his dad.
But gradually the Brooklyn, N.Y., couple realized they were missing out on some of the legal benefits of being married. When Asher, a writer who now teaches community college, was unemployed, he couldn't get health insurance through Carroll's employer, which offers domestic partner benefits for gay couples, but not straight ones. Still, they decided to postpone marriage until gay marriage was legal.
After the court ruling, Carroll said the idea of marriage seemed "more palatable. ... It was very exciting to be planning a wedding and not have to think about it taking advantage of my heterosexual privilege."
Their ceremony at City Hall will be followed by a party, where their adorable 18-month-old son Dante will likely get as much attention as the bride and groom.
FOR CELEBS, TIME TO PUT UP?
The court ruling prompted actress Kristen Bell to tweet to her fiance Dax Shepard: "@daxshepard1 will you marry me? Xo #marriageequality #loveislove." Bell's spokeswoman Sarah Fuller said they have not set a date.
Lena Dunham, star and creator of HBO's "Girls," whose boyfriend is fun. band member Jack Antonoff, also tweeted after the court decision: "No one be shocked if I get married and pregnant with a daughter today in a slightly premature fit of joy #americathebeautiful." Dunham's representative did not respond to a query on a wedding date.
No word on nuptials from Angelina Jolie, either, despite her fiance Brad Pitt telling The Hollywood Reporter last year they were in a hurry: "We made this declaration some time ago that we weren't going to do it till everyone can. But I don't think we'll be able to hold out."
Jolie to direct film in SydneySo far, apparently, they have held out, prompting The Daily Beast to say, "If Angelina's been playing us all along, it's time to come clean." Or, as journalist Joel Stein tweeted, "Angelina Jolie is hard at work coming up with new excuses not to marry Brad Pitt.”

April 18, 2013

Montana Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Gay Sex


I wonder if Straight people would wonder why was there a law telling what type of sex you could have in private with a consenting adult. I hope that as we decriminalize these archaic laws we learn the lesson that laws should never be based on religion in  this country as long as we want country to remain a bastion of human freedoms and dignity. A Democracy based on all of the citizens not ssme with a particular believe. Human rights and needs are very easy to determine therefore easy to aim and destroy.                                    
Today the woman who led the court battle to strike down a Montana law that made gay sex illegal knows that having the unconstitutional law struck from the books is a symbolic act.
All the same, Linda Gryczan began to cry when the state House finally brought the issue to the floor on Monday.                adamfoxie*          
Senate Bill 107, the measure that strikes from the state code the obsolete language criminalizing gay sex as deviate sexual conduct, passed its final legislative hurdle Wednesday with a 65-34 vote in the House.
"I was actually surprised. Knowing it's a symbolic victory, I didn't realize how important it was going to be until it was there," Gryczan told the Great Falls Tribune (http://gftrib.com/17qIski ) in a story published Wednesday.
The Senate approved the bill earlier in the session, but it took the vote of more than 60 representatives to remove the measure from the House committee where it was stuck to hold floor votes on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock. The governor's office declined to say Wednesday whether Bullock plans to sign the bill.
Gryczan was the lead plaintiff in a 1995 lawsuit that led to the unanimous 1997 Montana Supreme Court decision that ruled the law unconstitutional.
But legislators resisted removing the obsolete language until now, as gay and lesbian advocates protested its continued presence was a reminder they were once considered felons.
"It's been a burr under my saddle for all these years that I've just learned to ignore," Gryczan said on Tuesday.
She and other advocates hailed the passage of the bill as a landmark victory for gay and lesbian rights in Montana.
Jamee Greer, a human rights activist and a lobbyist for the Montana Human Rights Network, said Republican legislators are coming around to recognizing that gays and lesbians deserve to be treated as equals.
"The fact is language matters, and those words matter. It's a relief to know this is moving forward," Greer said.
As more people make their sexual orientation known their friends, families and neighbors, it makes it easier for politicians from both parties to stand in favor of gay-rights issues, Greer said.
Helena City Commissioner Katherine Haque-Hausrath, who won her 2010 election campaigning on the passage of a nondiscrimination ordinance in Helena, said the Montana Legislature is now "on the right side of history" when it comes to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
"I think this is just part of the growing momentum toward equality for LGBT people," Haque-Hausrath said.
In Genesis 29: 21-28, Jacob had taken a job where he was to be paid entirely in woman. His boss, Laban, promised his daughter Rachel in exchange for seven years of work. After the seven years, Laban pulled a fast one and swapped in his ugly daughter, Leah, instead:

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