Showing posts with label Maine Question 1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maine Question 1. Show all posts

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Catholic Church Cuts Funding to Maine Homeless Shelter that Supported Marriage Equality

     Do you remember Maine Question 1, the legislation that stripped same sex couples in Maine of their equal marriage rights?  Remember how the bulk of the money funding this anti-gay legislation was from the Roman Catholic Church?

     Do you remember California Proposition 8, which stripped California's same sex couples of their marriage equality and civil rights?  Do you remember how after Prop 8 passed, the LGBT community and their allies fought back by boycotting businesses that supported Prop 8?  Do you remember how the Catholic, Mormon, and fundamentalist Christian owners that financed Prop 8 whined about how unjust it was that their businesses were being targeted by boycotts?

     Well, let me introduce you to Preble Street Homeless Voices for Justice Program, which stood up for marriage equality in Maine last fall.

     The Portland Press Herald reports:
A social service agency's support for same-sex marriage has cost it local and national funding from the Catholic Church's anti-poverty program.  Preble Street's Homeless Voices for Justice program has lost $17,400 this year and will lose $33,000 that it expected for its next fiscal year.
     Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Washington-based Catholic Campaign for Human Development say that Preble Street violated its grant agreement by supporting Maine's "No on 1" campaign last fall.
     Homeless Voices for Justice, a statewide advocacy group, is led by people who have been homeless. It works on issues that affect the homeless, such as supporting affordable housing and preventing violence against the homeless.  Portland-based Preble Street, which runs a dozen programs to provide housing and other services for the poor and the homeless, provides staff support for Homeless Voices for Justice.
     Catholics for Marriage Equality has begun an effort to replace the lost funding by raising $17,400 for Homeless Voices for Justice. Anne Underwood, a co-founder of the group that advocates for same-sex marriage, said Bishop Richard Malone is punishing the homeless because of politics.  "This is petty vindictiveness," she said. "After the election is over, suddenly the money is revoked from poor people because of a political opinion held by the bishop."  Underwood said that many Catholics in Maine will now think twice before donating money to the church to help fight poverty. "People who are homeless should not be used in political games," she said.
     In the application, filled out on Jan. 7, 2009, Swann wrote "no" when asked if his organization promotes or advocates same-sex marriage.  During the campaign leading up to the referendum in November, Preble Street was listed as a coalition partner on the "No on 1/Protect Maine Equality" Web site. 
     In December, Catholic Charities Maine, which is led by Malone, sent a letter to Preble Street asking it to return $2,400 that the diocese had granted for the Homeless Voices for Justice program.  "We regret the collaboration must end at this time," wrote Sandra Thompson of Catholic Charities Maine, who coordinated the distribution of the church's local anti-poverty funds. "Accountability to the Catholic community requires this."
     The local money for the grants is raised every year through special collections in churches around the state. Bernard said the $2,400 will be given to a different group that helps the poor. The award has not yet been announced.  In his letter returning the money, Swann urged Malone to reconsider the decision. He said that Homeless Voices for Justice operates under an independent board, which did not take a position on Question 1.
     Punishing the program by "demanding the return of much-needed funds because of Preble Street's advocacy around issues of social justice is deeply troubling," Swann wrote.  He said Preble Street decided to join the coalition that opposed Question 1 because issues of sexual orientation are the single greatest cause of homelessness among youths.
     Well, we all know that the church definitely has concern for the welfare of the world's vulnerable youth.

     Would a social service organization have to check a box saying they support the ecclesial cover-up of youth being raped by priests in order to receive grant money

     The Roman Catholic Church: constantly redefining new levels of hypocrisy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

No Freedom of Information for Gays

     One right we apparently don't have is the right to view the public trial and to know what the right-wing Christian, Catholic, and Mormon-backed supporters of "traditional" marriage are saying about homosexuals, and what lies they will continue to spin, in order to keep us second class citizens.  The Supreme Court will give it's final word hopefully on Wednesday, as to whether the federal trial public video coverage will be shown.

     On Friday, opponents of Prop. 8 sent petitions signed by more than 140,000 people urging TV coverage of the trial.
     "It's vital that this trial be open to the public," said Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign Institute in Los Angeles. "The outcome will affect millions of people, and it's the American way to open the judicial process to the public."
     Foes of Prop. 8 criticized the appeal to the Supreme Court as a desperate attempt "to shut cameras out."
     "Those who want to ban gay marriage spent millions of dollars to reach the public with misleading ads, rallies and news conferences during the campaign to pass Prop. 8. We are curious why they now fear the publicity they once craved," said Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
     "Apparently transparency is their enemy, but the people deserve to know exactly what it is they have to hide."
     Yes, transparency is their enemy, as throughout the campaigns in California for Prop 8 and in Maine for Question 1, the holy religious people who've supposedly got god on their side have been trying to keep their spending and their actions under wraps all along.  So much for the truth setting them free.

Friday, December 4, 2009

N.O.M. Claims a God-Given Right to Vote Away Marriage Equality

     According to Towleroad, Executive Director of the National Organization of Marriage (NOM) Brian Brown, who brought you CA Proposition 8 and Maine Question 1 and the "Gathering Storm," stated the following in response to the Washington D.C. Council's 11-2 preliminary vote to approve equality for gays and lesbians:
      NOM will be proud to fight alongside Bishop Harry Jackson to make sure politicians hear the people's voice loud and clear: don't mess with marriage. We will fight in Congress. We will fight through the courts to get this to the people of D.C. who have a God-given right to vote for marriage.
     "God-given right"?  Isn't that what slave owners argued from as well?  And terrorists?  And crusaders? etc.

The Vatican Blames Homophobic Statement on the Media - Big Surprise!

     The Catholic Church once again blames the media for its latest homophobic outburst that gays "will never go to heaven."

     The Catholic News Agency reports:
     Italian Vatican analyst Andrea Tornielli said this week that the statement, “Homosexuals and transsexuals will never enter the Kingdom of God,” attributed to Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, is “very likely” an “improper synthesis on the part of the interviewer,” Italian journalist Bruno Volpe.
     Tornielli explained that “the Church is right to condemn a certain homosexual ideology, but she cannot close the gates of paradise to homosexuals and transsexuals because judgment, thanks be to God, waits for God, and Catholic theology has always taught that the possibility of repentance of one’s sins imploring divine mercy exists until the end.”
     For this reason, and considering the fact that Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan “is a theologian,” Tornielli continued, “I cannot believe that he made these statements, which in all likelihood are an improper synthesis on the part of the  interviewer,” Italian journalist Bruno Volpe.
     Of course!  It was the media's fault and not holy (dysfunctional) mother church's fault.

     It has nothing to do with the church's catechism, paragraph 2358 which conveniently states: Every sign of unjust discrimination in their [homosexuals'] regard should be avoided." Which leaves wide open the embrace and practice of what the church sees as just discrimination.  For examples see California Proposition 8 and Maine Question 1.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mormons and Respect

     A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Church of Latter Day Saints supporting the Salt Lake City's LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance, which prohibits housing and workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians.

     The following FAX was the conservative Mormon group America Forever's "respectful" response, sent to over 80,000 people.

Here's Mrs. Betty Bowers' response to the Mormon church:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Scorpions and Snakes: the Daily Bread of a Catholic god

     Rod Dreher of Crunchy Con sparked an online discussion over why gay Catholics remain in the church.  At this point there have been 137 comments posted in response to his question.  Andrew Sullivan entered the argument and posted his apology for still attending his progressive Washington, D.C. catholic parish.  Their reasons are nothing that I haven't heard before, nothing that I didn't tell myself for years when I was still under the influence of the Catholic church and its fear-filled gospel.

     The following is the commented response that I posted on Dreher's blog post and what I would have posted on Sullivan's were comments enabled on his post:

     Jesus asks in Luke 11:11-12:

What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
     Answer: the Catholic god.

     Being gay and Catholic, I lived for three decades with the idea of a god that was loving and who created me in "his" image. When I was in seminary getting my Masters of Divinity, I learned that spirituality and sexuality were two sides of the same coin, of the same energy source planted deep within our beings, and the energy that drove each of us towards union with not only god but with others. I was taught that even in homosexuals this energy was a gift and in the image and likeness of god.

     Of course, to act upon that gift genitally was sinful and depraved.

     The closeted gay clerics that are condemning homosexuality are doing it in a way that makes the same compartmentalization of their sexualities that they use to remain "celibate" the norm for all: "I'm not a gay person, or a gay Catholic, or a gay priest. I'm a priest, catholic, or person, who happens to be gay." This is compartmentalization at its psychological worst, and an affront to true integration of one's self that the church claims to preach.

     The distinction between acts and thoughts is a dualism in which even Jesus didn't believe, for in Jesus' words just to think about a sexual act was to commit the act. (Mt 5:27-28)

     So, the Catholic church will go on telling homosexuals that they have a place in the church, that their god loves them, and accepts them, but at the same time the bishops will continue to decry homosexuals and will use their bully pulpit to raise money to take away LGBT persons' rights (in Maine they even took a special collection at all Masses to raise money to strip people's civil marriage rights) and threaten to boycott serving the poor if civil marriage equality is granted to all couples (as the Archbishop of Washington, D.C. did last week).

     Many of the 137 comments on Dreher's blog defend the church saying it's a family, with room for all people, even gays and lesbians.   They are correct.  The Catholic church is a big family.  It's an extremely large dysfunctional family.

     Why stay with a spouse, who tells you that he loves you as he continues to beat you?  Why believe in the Catholic god, one that hands out scorpions and snakes, when his children ask for eggs and fish?

     Andrew Sullivan wrote in response to Rod's posting saying:
But it [is] also true that absence from the sacrament of communion is for me an unbearable thing after too long.
     The sad truth is that Sullivan and so many like him believe the only place they can experience the ultimate communion with their god is in the Catholic church and it sacraments. This is mind game that the Catholic church has won: form your flock to believe that you have the monopoly on truth, god, communion, etc. and you can get them to stay, even at the cost of their own integration and health.

     Slap your followers with theological edicts that condemn them, but then tell them that you love them and don't discriminate against them. That is the sick dynamic that gay Catholics live in everyday.

     Catholic LGBT persons find themselves in a monetary connundrum as well.

     The US Catholic Conference of Bishops gave large chunks of money to take away marriage equality rights of gays and lesbians in both California and Maine, and many individual dioceses from across the country also gave money. Where did that money come from?  It came from the people in the pews who put money into the collection plates, part of which the parishes tithed to their dioceses, and part of which was sent to the USCCB.

     So, to all you gay Catholics, Andrew Sullivan included, who give money to your "progressive" parishes, part of your money is still being used to take away the rights of LGBT persons, who are not even Catholic, in far away places around the nation. Thank you for supporting your own kind!

     I for one speak from the bottom of my ontologically changed priestly soul when I say that am thankful everyday that I left the dysfunctional nightmare of the Catholic church and its priesthood behind.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Confession #5

     Forgive me, Father Hate, for I have sinned.  It's been three weeks since my last...  Screw this!  I'm done with this confession bullshit.


     In fact, I'm done with this confessional and this church.  Just being here is wrong.  I mean, you all gave money to take away my rights in Maine and California.


     But Fr. Hate, you tithe, right?


     Okay.  So, your money goes to the parish and then the parish tithes to the diocese, which gives money to the U.S. Catholic Conference, which gave money to the campaign that took away my rights.  Why didn't you preach against this?  You could have done something.


     Well, obedience sucks, Father.  And, that's why I'm done.  Just putting my butt in this confessional plays into the church's system of control, fear, and hate that I no longer want to be a part of.


     No!  I'm not mad at you.  Well, yes, I am.  I'm mad at all of you Catholics right now.  Even those of you who support my rights, but still sit in the pews every Sunday.  You need to speak up.  You need to stand up to these cowardly bishops that preach hate and fear, not love.  I just want to explode.  I can't believe that I gave so much of my life to this institution, that I tried to fit into your idea of what holiness was.  But you know what?  The church going after gays' rights is not holy.  It's malicious. 


     I'm glad you agree.  But, I'm still angry.  I haven't been sleeping.  I nearly threw up from the stress.  When will the next shoe fall?  Which rights will they strip from us next?  I fucking hate this!  I may have to extend my forty day hate retreat.


     Thursday is day forty.  Then I'm done.


     Yeah, it was working pretty well.  I was finding myself really letting things go after naming it and getting it out of my system each day, but after the elections this week, what the church in Maine, all the cleansing is gone...wait a minute.  You're getting me to talk about this.  No.  I'm done. Goodbye.


     Well, there are consequences to the church's actions and this is one of them.  And I'm so angry right now that I could break that crucifix over your head.  It's best that I leave.


     Sure.  I'm still open to giving you spiritual direction during your gay discernment.  Meet me at the Abbey next Sunday in West Hollywood.  We can talk about your "formation" issues then.   


     Goodbye, Fr. Hate.  Oh, and don't wear your collar to the Abbey next week, that is, unless you're looking to get laid.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Hate the Catholic Church (and Its Deep Pockets)

     Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison you did not care for me." (Mt 25:41-43)

     The Roman Catholic Church topped $550,000 in donations to strip Maine's LGBT citizens of their equal marriage rights.

     In California last year, U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops gave $200,000 to strip California's LGBT citizens of their equal rights.  The Catholic men's club: the Knights of Columbus gave over $1.3 million to pass Proposition 8.

    Let's see what good the Catholic Church could have done with that money rather than using it for hateful purposes.


 $2,050,000 would buy:
     That's just for starters!

     This number is the bare bones, lowest estimate of Catholic donations.  It does not include private donations by Catholic individuals, households, and private businesses.  Nor does it include donations by dioceses in the Proposition 8 Campaign. Nor does it include cost of donations to ballot measures in Washington, Arkansas, Florida, Arizona, Kalamazoo, etc. etc. etc. etc.  Nor does it include the cost of producing videos, pamphlets, bulletin inserts, commercials, etc. etc. etc. etc.

     Hundreds of millions of tax exempt dollars have been spent by churches and churchgoers in the past decade to take away and/or deny rights to LGBT Americans.  Think of all the good that could have been done with that money, all of the "gospel values" that could have been realized.

     It's time for the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, Focus on the Family, and so many other religious lobbying machines to lose their tax-exempt status. Deny me equal rights I'm going to fight to deny you as well.

I'm with Sarah Silverman
It's time to sell the Vatican and feed the world!

Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'  He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me."  (Mt 25:44-45)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Hate Apartheid

     How much is your freedom worth?  Your equality?

     Over the past two years the LGBT community has spent over $100,000,000 fighting off, and in most cases losing, the attacks upon our civil rights by religious institutions at the polls.  This is not just about  marriage rights, but also about our rights to raise our children, find housing, have jobs, to be with our loved ones as they die, not to be murdered simply because we're gay, and so on.  We've had to spend $100,000,000 to fight for the separation of church and state and to earn our equal rights by popular vote, in a nation where all are supposedly created equal.  And remember, that chunk of money came from our pocketbooks after we'd paid taxes, something from which the churches that are funding the traditional marriage crusades are exempt.

     We're at a double disadvantage: we're a tiny minority and we pay our taxes!  How are we ever supposed to garner enough money to pay lobbyists and our politicians enough money to finally make it worth their while to stand up for our rights?  How are we supposed to garner enough votes from frightened church goers, who believe the millennia old stereotypes that their beloved church leaders feed them from the pulpit and multimillion dollar media blitzes?  And, where does it stop?

     By not standing up for LGBT equality, by letting simple majority rule and strip the rights of one minority at the polls, are we not emboldening the Religious Right?  Are we not rewarding them for pushing the Pavlovian button at the polls?   A judge in Louisiana thinks so, refusing to perform an interracial marriage because he doesn't believe in "mixing the races that way."  But he's quick to point out: "I'm not a racist."

     This is the same rallying cry that I have heard from family and friends: "I'm not a bigot."  But, then they vote against my rights.  They send me DVDs of preachers condemning me to hell.  They tell me that their god loves me and made me in His image, but that I'm intrinsically depraved, even evil or Satan.  And then, they shun me and cut me off because I no longer believe in their loving, compassionate, inclusive, and beautiful god.

      I can't sleep.  Since reading the results of Maine's election late on Tuesday night, I'm sick.  The same foot that kicked me in the gut, knocked me to the ground, and then stood on my chest and neck crushing my ribs and trachea last year when California Propostion 8 passed by a simple majority and stripped my civil rights has returned with a vengeance following the passage of Maine's Question 1.  My body is a wreck.  My sleep is restless.  My dreams are fucked.  Hell, last night I even had a dream that SHE was cheating on me with two women, at the same time!  The Religious Right is even trying to make my dreams straight.  (By the way, that is only the third time in my entire life, that I've had a dream that involved heterosexual sex.  The other, 99.99999999999% have all been gay.  And they say that I was conditioned to be gay.)

     A year ago, I marched in the streets in protest.  I, literally, sat it front of traffic and risked my life to protest injustice.  I was inches away from police in riot gear, some of whom I'm sure were itching to bash in a few queer skulls.  I screamed "Shame on you!" at Mormon (male) elders who stood from the safety of their enclosed temple gate, smirking, mocking my loss, my pain.  I screamed "Separate church and state" on the steps of a monstrosity of a Catholic cathedral, while people, with whom I once shared pews, drove past me crying "faggot" and "go to hell" before entering their holy place and eating their Jesus with those same tongues.  I hoped that California was a fluke, and that the stripping of citizens' equal rights in this state would rally together the rest of the intelligent nation to fight for equality.  Events in Maine have proved me wrong, and events currently under way in New Hampshire and New Jersey bode poorly for the future.

    David Mixner best sums up the situation we face in our nation today.  In 2009, the United States of America supports Gay Apartheid:
     Refuse to allow any of our fellow Americans, President Obama or our allies to view this as a political issue who time hasn't quite come. America is in the process of creating a system of Gay Apartheid. We will not quietly sit and accept it. All over the place, this nation is creating one set of laws for LGBT Americans and another set for all other Americans. That is the classic definition of Apartheid. Either our political allies are for Gay Apartheid or against it. If they are against it, they must fight with us and no longer duck like President Obama did in Maine and Washington. There is no half way in fighting Apartheid.
     I will not quit fighting, even though my wounds continue to bleed.  I will write my story.  I will preach my word.  This great nation has forsaken its own.  Our great president who promised change and equality has abandoned us once again.  Our churches have sacrificed us to their holy gods.  But we will not go away.  This Gay Apartheid will end.  I only hope that SHE and I live to see it end, and that my nieces and nephews, should they inherit the great gift of being born gay, will live in a nation that truly values liberty and justice for all.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Hate the Morning After Elections: Welcome to California, Maine

     FUX News reports:

     Last night, thirty-one states passed voter-initiated ballot referenda to protect and/or reestablish the values of traditional marriage across the United States of Jesus (USJ).   As expected the margin of victory for traditional marriage was largest in the Confederate States of Limbaugh and the Great Mormon Basin, where the margin of victory was an average of 3:1.  In New Colonial England, across the Unleavened Breadbasket, and up and down the Western Marijuana Coast, the margin of victory was razor thin, less than one half of one percent in some incessantly progressive states. 

     What does this mean for our “one nation under God” and all of God’s sacredly married couples?

     Furthermore, amendments to the referenda, introduced by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, included a further provision to deport all children of such marriages to the land of origin of the non-white parent.  President Barack Hussein Obama's resignation will be telecast today at noon on FUX News.  Shortly thereafter, Sen. Richard Shelby (R) of Alabama will escort Citizen Hussein Obama to Ronald Reagan International Airport where Hussein Obama will fly coach to Kenya, where he has been offered the Presidency of that nation.  Good-bye and good riddance to all children of racially mixed marriages.  The American people have spoken at the ballot box!

     Secondly, provisions in the successful referenda introduced by the Roman Catholic Church further preserve traditional marriage.  Effective immediately, all USJ civil marriage law is repealed.  Here forth, Roman Catholic Canon Law is our national law.  Divorce is illegal, but Church sanctioned annulments are not.  Artificial Contraception is illegal.  Per the provisions of Canon 1084.1, any person suffering impotence is no longer allowed to be married.  Only Christian marriage is to be taught in the schools (Canon 1063.1).  The Pope is now the decider for all law concerning marriage (Canon 1075).

     Finally, in the Confederate States of Limbaugh, laws forbidding marriage between first cousins were banned, in order to allow for the tradition of southern inbreeding to be practiced openly and in accordance with Biblical tradition.  Six thousand years ago, when God created only one man and one woman who walked among the dinosaurs, and when Father Adam started shooting blanks after having only two sons, Mother Eve made the ultimate sacrifice for the future of the human race and seduced her fratricidal son Cain to bear some girls.  Cain’s children bore children with Cain and one another, until finally our holy family was six billion strong.  If you don’t believe this, then move to Canada, because this is all true.  The Bible and, now, our constitution tell us so.

     Opponents of the Sacred Covenant of Marriage Laws are looking to blame somebody for their monumental loss: Catholics, people of color, atheists, themselves.  Many are blaming their fallen savior President Hussein Obama, who remained quiet throughout the referenda campaigns, citing George Bush’s “recession” and the holy oil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the real challenges facing America.

     Leaders of Equality for All Sinners (losers!) are looking on the bright side.  Tommy R of Little Gay Boys Deserve Marriage Too released a statement this morning:
     While we suffered monumental losses last night across the nation, we see it as a reason to hope.  Times are changing.  We only lost by a margin of 3:1in the South. One hundred and fifty years ago, we would have lost by a margin of 4:1.  And six thousand years ago, we would have lost two votes to zero. Also, we can take heart that in the South, the "everything but slavery" bills barely passed.
     Tommy R is looking down the road to 2020, when he hopes to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to lose by a 2:1 margin.  Good luck with that, gayboy!

     So, as this election year is now over, we look ahead to next year’s referenda.  Early polling shows support for three bills: the Church of Christ supported Biblically Compassionate Slavery bill; the Roman Catholic Church bill to rename the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Crusades 2.0; and, finally, the Christian Scientist backed Return to Biblical Healthcare bill.  Let’s all start praying to Jesus now that they pass.

     Until then, Andy Coulter of FUX News reporting.  God bless us, every one.