June 26, 2015

SCOTUS Says 'I Do' To Gay Marriage!

The Supreme Court says 'I Do' to Gay Marriage. June 26, 2015

by Roy Steele

Washington, DC:  Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that state gay marriage bans violate the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees due process and equal protection under the law, for all Americans. The Supreme Court invalidated state gay marriage bans, and extended same-sex marriage, to all fifty states and territories, of the United States.

In a 5-4 decision, Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, ruled in favor of marriage equality, and Chief Justice John Roberts, and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, dissented from the majority.  

June 11, 2015

TV Talk: 'Orange Is The New Black' Returns to Netflix Tomorrow

Netflix original series "Orange is the New Black" season 3


Orange Is The New Black, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and The 2015 Television Critics Awards


by Roy Steele

I know that a big portion of my weekend will be spent binge watching Season 3 of the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black (OITNB), a funny, thought-provoking and powerful series about a diverse group of inmates serving time in a women's prison.

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t had a chance to watch OITNB, Orange is the New Black, is the terrific and outrageous, critically-acclaimed and award-winning series from Emmy® Award-winner Jenji Kohan (Weeds).

June 9, 2015

Does Gay Pride + Gay Marriage = Summer of Love

Will this summer be the summer of love? A picture of the crowd gathered in Dublin, Ireland on May 22 , 2015 waiting to hear news about the gay marriage referendum.

Gay Marriage, Gay Pride, Caitlyn Jenner, and Kate Moss


by Roy Steele

Here we are a week into June of 2015, and like you, I’m wondering whether this will be known as the “gay summer of love.” It’s just a matter of weeks before we find out if the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right for all Americans. All we can do right now is wait.

On May 22, 2015 the citizens of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to amend their Constitution, and allow gay marriage. Ireland was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. Does the Irish vote portend good things to come here in the states? I certainly hope so.

May 25, 2015

Remember The Brave LGBT Members Of The Armed Forces

It's Memorial Day, and the graphic has a patriotic red and blue theme, with an American flag and a rainbow flag flying, and the inscription says "Let's remember the brave LGBT members of the Armed Forces who lost their lives fighting to defend our liberty and freedom.

by Roy Steele

We resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for equality, liberty, and justice for all.


Memorial Day is our remembrance day, when we honor and remember the brave members of the Armed Services who lost their lives while serving their country.

May 23, 2015

TV Talk: Morally Bankrupt Huckabee Rushes To Duggar's Defense

Mike 'Holy Horny' Huckabee and reality television star Josh Duggar of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" with the text "two faced" above Huckabee's head, and "Hello my name is Morally Bankrupt" below the image. size= 650px by 650px

Huckabee and the Duggar’s are counting on “praying away” the child predator problems, just like they counsel people to “pray away the gay,” which has been found to be soul destroying and totally ineffective.


by Roy Steele

Right-wing extremists and so-called social conservatives never fail to disappoint.

That psuedo-Christian pack of wolves falsely claim that gay and transgender people should be stripped of our civil rights, because we’re all child predators. Is it a surprise that one of their own, a star of an alleged Christian family reality television show, got away with being an actual child predator?

I think not.

In Touch magazine reports that reality television star Josh Duggar, of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” molested several young girls when he was a teenager.

May 22, 2015

Gay Marriage: What Does The Bible Really Say

What is marriage? What does the Bible really say about marriage?  Image size=650px by 650px A photograph of a white wedding cake, and text that asks "what is marriage?"

Is religious freedom and bigotry synonymous?

I wrote an article for “Medium” entitled “What does the Bible really say about marriage.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) excitedly told a crowd of evangelical Christians that “There is a liberal fascism that is going after believing Christians who follow the biblical tenets on marriage.” 
The “liberal fascists” in this case is the gay community, and Senator Cruz and his supporters are the “believing Christians” who are under attack. 
Excuse me while I look for my sympathy, and fetch my violin. 
Poor Senator Cruz was feeling victimized.

May 20, 2015

Election 2016: Anti-Gay Carly Fiorina Will Go Nowhere Fast

A photograph of anti-gay bigot and candidate for the Republican nomination for President, Carly Fiorina.

Candidate Profile: Where does Carly Fiorina stand on gay rights?


By Roy Steele

Republican Carly Fiorina, is 60 years old and a breast cancer survivor, was an executive at AT&T for nearly 20 years, before she was hired as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 1999. Her tenure at HP from 1999 to 2005 was controversial, and the Board of Directors forced her to resign.

Fiorina was the 2010 Republican nominee for US Senate in California.  During a campaign that was characterized as “disastrous,”  Fiorina disagreed  with Federal Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.  Proposition 8 was the ballot proposition banning gay marriage, and on the campaign trail she said that the California voters had spoken, and that the courts should respect what the voters want.

May 16, 2015

TV Talk: Louis, Lily, Ru & Jane Are At The Top Of Their Game

Jane Fonda as Grace Hanson and Lily Tomlin as Frankie Bergstein in the Netflix original series "Grace and Frankie." The graphic contains the quote "If anybody is going to sit on Ryan Gosling's face, it's gonna be me," which is taken from the series.

Louie, RuPaul’s Drag Race, & Grace and Frankie, Personify The New ‘Golden Age’ Of Television


by Roy Steele

A complete stranger sent me an email, and asked if I was the "gayest" person I knew. I know that the email was meant to insult me, and I disappointed the sender because I thought it was funny. I think I’m a complex person with varied interests that stretch far beyond my sexuality. Being gay is a large part of who I am, though I don’t think my sexuality defines me.

Regular readers of this blog might think that I’m a gay man, who is gay gay gay, because I live in a very gay city, and heartily endorse frequenting gay businesses, and have a geopolitical view of the world that some might view as militant and inflexible and in your face. While some of that is true, largely the opposite is true.

May 15, 2015

The Big Gay Hate Machine Is Searching For Our Next Victim

This graphic asks "Why is Reagan silent about Aids? What is really going on at the Center for Disease Control, the Federal Drug Administration, and the Vatican?" Which are questions that gay activists posed in the 1980's during the height of the AIDS pandemic.

We have laws in this country that are meant to protect gay people from anti-gay discrimination, and when those laws are broken there are consequences.


by Roy Steele

When the butcher, or the baker, or the candlestick maker, consciously decide to deny their goods or services to gay people, under the guise of “religious freedom,” they are breaking the law, regardless of how they choose to justify their discriminatory action.


I think it’ funny how “conservatives” don’t want undocumented immigrants to be given legal status, because they allegedly “broke the law,” but it’s ok to break the law when discriminating against the gay community.

This double standard from the right, and in the right-wing media, goes on and on, and they don’t seem to be accountable to anyone.

I’m going to take the unusual step of answering and refuting an opinion piece that was written by Dr. Susan Berry, and published on the website Breitbart.com. The headline is provocative and inflammatory, and it’s entitled “Who will be the next victim of the big gay hate machine?”

May 13, 2015

The Anti-Gay Wig Wearing Plagiarizer And Wannabe President


by Roy Steele

The Kentucky Senator believes that persistent anti-gay discrimination should be protected, because homosexual behavior can be changed.


First he confessed that gay marriage “offends myself and a lot of other people.”

Then he attributed the expansion of marriage equality to a “moral crisis.”
“Don’t always look to Washington to solve anything. In fact, the moral crisis we have in our country, there is a role for us trying to figure out things like marriage, there’s also a moral crisis that allows people to think that there would be some sort of other marriage.”
He has no respect for the LGBT community if he can’t say same-sex marriage or gay marriage out loud. He has to use offensive language that demeans our relationships, which is why he said “some sort of other marriage,” instead of same-sex or gay marriage.

May 9, 2015

Jesus’ 2 Dads, Hemsworth Is A Hunk & Huckabee’s Sunk

Chris Hemsworth in a still photograph from the movie "Vacation."

Chris Hemsworth has a baby’s leg in his briefs.


When I was a kid, I had a subscription to National Lampoon magazine. It was a humor magazine of questionable taste, and outrageously funny content. The magazine spawned several movies, including National Lampoon’s Animal House. I loved the Chevy Chase films National Lampoon’s Vacation, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

I just saw the trailer for a new Vacation film that is going to be released on July 29, 2015. It’s written by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (in their directorial debuts). Starring in the Warner Bros. release is Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, and Chris Hemsworth.

May 8, 2015

Two Gay Men and A Right-Wing Extremist Walk Into A Bar

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said  "There is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical tenets on marriage."

Village Idiot Ted Cruz Created A New Anti-gay Slur That Makes No Sense: “Liberal Fascists”


by Roy Steele

Anyone can tell you that it’s never easy and breezy being gay. Whether it’s a bully picking on kids at school because he or she thinks they’re different, or a United States Senator making a public speech that denigrates the gay community because he or she does not believe in equal rights, we see and hear the defamatory remarks on a daily basis.

I know lots of people in the LGBT community that steer clear of reading newspapers, or don’t watch the evening news, because of the anti-gay hate and vitriol, that dominates much of the reporting in the news today.

Shining a light on the lies and bigotry is a moral imperative, to counter their blasphemous claims  and irrational arguments, and to also report the truth and verify or disprove "facts."

May 1, 2015

Gay Marriage Round Two: 150+ Years Of Fights For Equal Rights

An anonymous man waves the rainbow flag in front of the US Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC on April 28, 2015.
This work "Rainbow Beacon" is a derivative of SCOTUS April 2015 LGBTQ 54663  by Ted Eytan used under CC BY. "Rainbow Beacon" is licensed under CC BY by jiveinthe415.com

by Roy Steele

If there are at least five Justices that vote to extend marriage equality to everyone across the land, we will win. When I say “we,” I include the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, as well as our country at-large. We all win if the court affirms marriage equality for all.


Washington, DC: Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that there was a historic gay marriage hearing this week,  at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The cases being litigated before the penultimate panel of legal arbiters, as provided for in our plutocracy Constitution, will determine whether same-sex marriage will be legal in all fifty states, and the territories, that comprise these United States.

I have to admit that this writer is tired and weary from listening to the cacophonous noise disguised as opinion, related to marriage and LGBT people, polluting our airwaves. The clueless pundits offered a variety of regurgitated opinions leading up to the oral arguments, and the smorgasbord of both intelligent and ignorant summaries in the days immediately following, have fried my analytical brain and dulled my senses.

What Happens Now Batman?


The nine Justices will be in conference today, and a vote will be taken to decide the collection of cases known as Obergfell vs. Hodges et al. If there are at least five Justices that vote to extend marriage equality to everyone across the land, we will win. When I say “we,” I include the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, as well as our country at-large. We all win if the court affirms marriage equality for all. If we lose, which is always a distinct possibility, we will be angry and hurt and pissed and heartbroken, and the fight will intensify.

Whenever I write or speak about gay marriage, and the gains we’ve made over the last decade, I always say that this is just a first step. It might take decades and decades, or more than a century (egads!), to prohibit discrimination, and build the legal framework to extend and guarantee equality, in equal measure to us all.

A Thomas Jefferson Quote from the Declaration of Independence "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Patience Is NOT A Virtue


Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776, notifying King George III, that the United States are thirteen newly independent sovereign states that were no longer a part of the British Empire.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Since the Declaration was written two hundred and thirty nine years ago, our nation of immigrants have gone to war with each other over those “truths” that are “self-evident.” Neighbors and family members fought together in the Civil War, and some opposed each other, on battlefields and towns up and down the east coast. That war was over one hundred and fifty years ago, and we still have to hold our public and private institutions accountable for racism, discrimination, and the pervasive inequality, that is prevalent today.  

The New Civil Rights Movement?


People say that the fight for “gay rights” are the new frontier in the “civil rights” movement, and I disagree. We are waging a war to extinguish racism, eliminate sexism, and eradicate homophobia. We want to empower people of color, women, and gays, to stand together and demand the equality that Thomas Jefferson brilliantly articulated long ago.

While the weapons in the war have changed, we’re still debating what our ancestors took up arms for. The fights have moved from the battlefields of yore, to our living rooms and kitchen tables, to courtrooms and legislative chambers, on talk radio and the evening TV news, in every city and town across the country. Whether it was the Civil War of yesterday, or this so called “culture war” today, it’s really hard to believe that the issue is the same.

Equality. The struggle for civil rights throughout our nation’s short history, is synonymous with the fight for equal rights.

Equal Rights = Great Big Fights


Are we an egalitarian society that embraces equality, or will we maintain discrimination, and keep the status quo?

Europeans emigrated here in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to escape religious persecution and government oppression. It’s quite an accomplishment that a diverse group of people, with different languages and religious beliefs, came together and successfully fought off the British, to give birth to a new nation.  

Our founding fathers believed in liberty, equality, free speech, free association, religious freedom, freedom of expression, and free uncensored thought, which is why they established a secular government. They wanted to guarantee that Americans would be free from both religious and government tyranny, in order to enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The base principal of equality, wherein we’re all created equal, enjoy the same status, have the same civil rights, with a level playing field that personifies equal opportunity, is what America is all about.

Mike 'Holy Horny' Huckabee Is At It Again


The former governor of Arkansas, Mike 'Holy Horny' Huckabee, reflects the worst of what our country has to offer, and is NOT what America is all about. He makes inflammatory statements about the LGBT community that have no basis in fact, in order to fuel people’s fear, and scare people away from us evil and wicked gays.

The snake oil salesman says he’s a capable leader that’s qualified to be president, as he falsely claims that the criticism he gets for inciting anti-gay hate, is religious persecution that infringes upon his liberty.

Brian Tashman, a fantastic Research Associate at Right Wing Watch , wrote about a conference call that Huckabee had last week. He spread more lies to the listeners of the call,  and complained that political donors treat anti-gay politicians as “pariahs.”
In a conference call with conservative pastors today organized by the anti-gay Family Research Council, Mike Huckabee let loose with a litany of falsehoods about how marriage equality will lead to the “criminalization of Christianity” and demanded that states simply defy the Supreme Court if it strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.
“Christian convictions are under attack as never before,” Huckabee said in the call, which was meant to rally pastors to participate in the FRC’s upcoming “Stand for Marriage” event. “Not just in our lifetime, but ever before in the history of this great nation. We are moving rapidly towards the criminalization of Christianity.”
The former governor and likely GOP presidential candidate predicted that the government will bring “criminal charges” against those who oppose gay rights and pastors who preach against gay marriage. He even defended ex-gay therapy, claiming that the government is barring chaplains from telling those they counsel to “seek assistance” for a “homosexual lifestyle.”
It’s no wonder that our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state.

Huckabee has no respect for the rule of law. “Christian convictions” are NOT under attack, it’s anti-gay bigotry and hate speech that’s under attack. ‘Horny Holy’ Huckabee can think what he wants, and he can say what he wants, and he can believe what he wants, and he can worship any religion he wants. What more could he want?  Ohhh that’s right, he wants every civil right taken from LGBT people. He doesn’t believe that we are all entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, so fuck him.

Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia Run Rampant
 

We have to eliminate inequality and discrimination wherever we see it. Whether it’s Ferguson or Baltimore, the systemic racial bias in government institutions have got to stop. The  homophobia in the texting scandal that has rocked San Francisco, must be eliminated.  

When the LGBT community, people of color, and women, join forces and work together to build a framework that supports equal rights, discards discriminatory legislation, and promotes life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone, we will see real change and be a formidable political force to be reckoned with.

At the end of the day, you can trace many of our nation’s problems, right back to inequality.

Equality represents a simple idea and a Herculean task, and I know we’ll get it right, one of these days.

The Supreme Court will issue their ruling in June. I hope and pray that THEY get it right.

straight talk in a queer world.            jiveinthe415.com

April 30, 2015

God Is Gay Is A Must See Video

A still photograph of Elliot Darrow, taken during the performance of 'God Is Gay'

by Roy Steele

I was reading a news article about this week’s gay marriage hearing at the Supreme Court, and read a quote from an evangelical Christian that said in part, they will not abide or respect any decision by the court that doesn’t fully revoke marriage rights for sinners (also known as gay or LGBT people).

That immature and defiant quote got me thinking, and I remembered watching a Youtube video of Elliot Darrow’s spoken word performance, where he said God is gay. Who knows, maybe God is  gay.

When I first saw God Is Gay  on Youtube I cried. At the time, the video had less than 100,000 views, and I had never heard of poetry slams. In 2013, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill student Elliot Darrow wrote God Is Gay, and performed his masterpiece while competing at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, at Barnard College in New York. Elliot and his classmates finished in 4th place.

In an interview with Time magazine reporter Elizabeth Dias, Elliot explained that he hoped to use scripture to counter anti-gay Christian propaganda.
Elliot Darrow identifies as a straight male and says his identity as an “out Christian” drives his writing. Like many Christian millennials, Darrow does not currently attend church—“more due to the chaos that is college than anything else,” he says—but he grew up Presbyterian in the Carrboro-Chapel Hill area. Social issues comprise the core of his poetry portfolio, and the viral piece was one of his first to directly address his faith.
Darrow says the idea began eighteen months ago when he wondered, what if God were gay? “I personally believe that God is not a sexual being, but at the same time, to make a statement, what if He were, was all in attempt to show people that even God, who we all see as infallible, still has human traits, such as sexuality, or loves people of a specific gender or identity,” Darrow says.
He then examined Biblical passages to explore how the church should view the gay community. “I’ve seen so many people, in my mind, misuse the Bible to preach not necessarily hatred, but just ignorance toward people who are of other preferences,” he says. “I want to show that regardless of how someone identifies, God wants to love them, and God does love them. The best way I’ve found to do that is to use the Bible, to use teachings that I have been taught.”
This performance has nearly half a million views on Youtube today, and if you watch and share the video, you will see why I think that Elliot Darrow is brilliant, while spreading a positive and thought provoking idea that God Is Gay.


GOD IS GAY


by Elliot Darrow

What if I told you God is gay?
Do you think belligerent bible-belters
Would still holler hate speech to the hilltops
In His name?
Or do you think they would reread the scriptures
They say they swear and survive by
See, I’ve been reading the Bible again lately
And I think I’ve taken a leaf from their holy book,
Picking passages for my purpose
Which is in short
To let you know it’s very possible God is gay.
I mean think about the book of Genesis
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
And it wasn’t just good, it was fabulous.
I mean what else is our planet but the pinnacle
Of exterior design, and I don’t mean to generalize
But it certainly seems like that the Garden of Eden
Was designed by queer, I mean divine eye for the straight guy
But some Christians would go as far as to call
God’s creations abominations
Heretics calling themselves faithful
When their faith is full of belief that only God may pass judgment
Matthew 7:1 Judge and you too shall be judged
Luke 6: 37 Condemn not and you shall not be condemned
Fred Phelps 2006: You’re going to hell! God hates fags!
A history lesson: A faggot is a bundle of sticks
Originally used as kindling for fires that engulfed gays
When they were burned at the stake, people were firewood
But Moses came across wood on fire and saw God in it,
What is a burning bush but bundles of branches
On fire, isn’t it funny how faggots and God can look the same sometimes?
Keep in mind Jesus had two dads and turned out just fine
In fact, Jesus had two dads and a surrogate mother
That never had sex with either of them,
Maybe Mary was a lesbian
And I remember the prayer going
“Hail Mary, full of grace”
Not full of sin,
“Pray for us sinners”
For we have become blinded by bigotry.
And forgotten that God gave us the rainbow
As a promise that we will never be flooded again
Either with rain or ignorance
And now all the homosexual Homo sapiens
Stand more united under God’s rainbow
Than all of his denominations do around the cross.
I was brought up believing that my Savior loved us all
And never had to specify “no homo”
But if you have hate in your heart
Say it don’t pray it
Don’t teach it and for the love of God don’t preach it
Because I am tired of these fire and brimstone sermons
Slinging slurs when they’re not firing brimstones
From voices that should be filled with love and praise
Instead of raised with hate and rage
I am a Christian, and I believe in saying the Christian thing.
Which used to sound like “Love thy neighbor as thyself”
But now sounds more like hate at the top of your picket signs
The closest thing to God being “Hell, is waiting for you”
They’re passing out damnation pamphlets
Filled with out-of-context Bible verses
Trying to define God
When his meaning is clear.
He is acceptance, He is pride, He is humility, He is just,
God is perfection, God is protection, God is love,
But most importantly
God is gay

straight talk in a queer world.            jiveinthe415.com

April 24, 2015

Anti-Gay Archbishop Cordileone Is Gravely Evil

A graphic that reflects the definition of hypocrisy, that says "claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform."


by Roy Steele

I’ve never heard the Catholic Church refer to their child abusing pedophile Priest’s as “gravely evil” with a “moral disorder,” though as a gay man, that’s how they characterize me.


I’m a gay man who detests  religious and political hypocrisy. Google defines hypocrisy as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.”

I particularly take issue with religious dogma that’s wholly inconsistent, where they cherry pick the passages in scripture that they like, or thinks might support their particular point of view.

Using the Holy Bible  as a guide, while acknowledging that it was written in the vernacular of the day, is how most scholars and theologians approach scripture. I personally think that it’s an imperfect  oral history of the past, and that it should be viewed as such.

I can respect that there are individuals who believe that the Bible is inerrant. While I don’t subscribe to those beliefs, people are free to believe whatever they want, as long as those beliefs aren’t forced on me or you.

The big problem that I have with religion, is that people hold up that holiest of books, in order to justify their hatred and bigotry, and deny LGBT people of their civil rights. This same book has been held up to justify slavery and the subjugation of women. Go figure.

I freely acknowledge that Leviticus (20:13) does say that gay people be put to death for committing an abomination, and I know only too well that many religious people cite this passage to substantiate their hate. But what about the other passages in scripture? What about the other laws in Leviticus? Why do we ignore the others and obey the one passage that says gay people should be killed?

Religious folks ignore the other passages that govern their immoral behavior, because they’ve been taught to do so.

Leviticus says that anyone who curses their mother or father must be killed (Leviticus 20:9). If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die (Leviticus 20:10). When a man sleeps with his wife and her mother, they are to be burnt to death (Leviticus 20:14). If a man and woman have sex when the woman is menstruating, they are both to be “cut off from their people” (Leviticus 20:18).

The Bible consistently endorses slavery, and yet every religion condemns it today. Why doesn’t every religion condemn bigotry?

There are good moral values in the Bible, and there are crazy ideas and bad laws and values too. Does society determine our moral values today, or do they come from an ancient book? I think that the ancient book informs us, but that we collectively decide as a society, what the moral values are that we embrace.

One’s moral values have come under great scrutiny here in San Francisco, from the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco has inserted a “morality clause” in the 2015-2016 employee handbook, mandating that all employees at their four diocesan high schools, “affirm and believe” that homosexuality is “gravely evil.”

Lee Romney, a reporter for the L.A. Times, wrote about the firestorm created by the “morality clause.”
A newly released handbook asks the nearly 500 school employees to “affirm and believe” that “adultery, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations” are “gravely evil.” Artificial-reproductive technology, contraception and abortion are described similarly.
The “fundamental demands of justice,” it continues, “require that the civil law preserve the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
The handbook has triggered protests by students, parents and progressive Catholics who decry the language as divisive. They say Cordileone is out of step with Pope Francis by focusing so strongly on sexual morality at the expense of other church teachings to embrace the poor. 
Archdiocese officials declined to discuss the controversy Tuesday. Instead, they provided a lengthy audio statement in which Cordileone said the handbook and contract changes merely seek to clarify existing expectations that Catholic teachers uphold Catholic teaching. 
“It is not anti-anyone. It’s not anti-anything,” Cordileone said, stressing that no one would be forced to sign a handbook oath.
It’s not anti-anyone? Give me a break! Last time I checked, lying was a sin.

In spite of real world knowledge, and academic research surrounding human sexuality, Roman Catholic catechism has long held that “homosexuality” is an “objective disorder,” and  gay sex is a “moral disorder.” Either way, the church incorrectly believes and teaches that being gay is a “moral evil.”

Characterizing gay people as “gravely evil” marks a new low for the San Francisco Archdiocese. The use of an adverb like “gravely,” is both deliberate and inflammatory.
Photograph of Anti-Gay Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

San Francisco’s Catholic Archbishop was appointed to his position two years ago, and in the short time that Salvatore Cordileone has been the top administrator of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, he has been embroiled in controversy. Cordileone is the current Chairman of the Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

Just last year there was an uproar over Cordileone attending the “March for Marriage” in Washington, DC. Prominent city leaders, politicians, LGBT activists, and religious leaders, asked him to stay home and not attend. The Archbishop ignored the public and delivered the keynote speech.

A large group of prominent Catholics in San Francisco bought a full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle last week, addressed to Pope Francis, asking for the Archbishop to be removed from his post. The ad reads in part:
Holy Father Please Provide Us With A Leader True To Our Values And Your Namesake. 
We now respectfully ask you to replace  Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. 
The Archdiocese of San Francisco  is threatened by Archbishop Cordileone’s single-issue agenda and cannot survive, let alone thrive and grow under his supervision. The city of Saint Francis deserves an Archbishop true to our values and to your teachings.
San Francisco Chronicle Ad 4-15-2015 calling on Pope Francis to replace Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. It says "The Archdiocese of San Francisco  is threatened by Archbishop Cordileone’s single-issue agenda and cannot survive, let alone thrive and grow under his supervision. The city of Saint Francis deserves an Archbishop true to our values and to your teachings."
San Francisco Chronicle Ad
San Francisco’s Archbishop isn’t attending the 2015 anti-gay march. This Saturday (April 25th, 2015) is the annual “March for Marriage” in Washington, DC. and Cordileone is skipping it.

Last year’s march was in June, and I’m assuming that the date was moved up, because next Tuesday (April 28, 2015) the US Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in the gay marriage cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan, and Kentucky.  If they had their “march” in June, these anti-gay hate groups would run the risk of gathering when the Supreme Court issues their decision. Wouldn’t that be grand!

I’ve never heard the Catholic Church refer to their child abusing pedophile Priest’s as “gravely evil” with a “moral disorder,” though as a gay man, that’s how they characterize me.

I must speak the truth and declare that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is gravely evil.

Gravely evil. Straight talk indeed.

straight talk in a queer world.            jiveinthe415.com 

April 16, 2015

Video: 'A Good Man' Is A Great Gay Man In My Book

StoryCorps animated story "A Good Man" featuring Bryan Wilmoth and a still photo from the animated film of Bryan Wilmoth.

I have no idea whether you’ve heard of StoryCorps before or not. They are a terrific non-profit organization that records and preserves personal oral histories of people like you and me.  Maybe you’ve heard one of their stories on NPR’s Morning Edition, or on the PBS program POV.



This particular story is incredibly touching, and well worth the three minutes it takes to tell. In “A Good Man,” Bryan Wilmoth shares that he and his seven brothers and sisters were raised in a very strict and religious home. At StoryCorps, Bryan spoke with his brother Mike Wilmoth about what it was like to reconnect with each other, many years after their dad kicked Bryan out of the house for being gay.  His story was animated by the Rauch brothers, and it’s really well done.

I think Bryan Wilmoth is a terrific brother, and a great  gay man. In the face of anti-gay bigotry and isolation, because of his homosexuality, he persevered and rose above it. He set an example for others to follow.

Last year, David Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, announced a three year initiative to collect stories from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community. In a New York Times profile, they reported that Isay’s dad was psychiatrist  Dr. Richard Isay, “a closeted gay man for many years, but professionally was credited with helping persuade colleagues to stop viewing homosexuality as a mental illness.”

The Times also said:
Previous StoryCorps initiatives have focused on stories remembering people killed in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Feb. 26, 1993; oral histories of African-Americans and Latinos; and stories of teachers, as well as recent military veterans and their families.
Like all StoryCorps recordings, the OutLoud stories will be archived at the Library of Congress, if participants agree. Some also will be included in the StoryCorps Friday morning feature on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” More will be broadcast elsewhere on NPR, Mr. Isay said, but it was not yet clear where.
I wrote about a StoryCorps story last July, when I said that Clela Rorex is a superhero. You can find that blog post HERE.

About StoryCorps:

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives. We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.

Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews with over 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

jiveinthe415.com            straight talk in a queer world

April 11, 2015

Hillary Clinton To Announce Tomorrow: "I'm Running"

A Blue and Red Background with a photograph of a smiling Hillary Clinton in the center, and the word BELIEVE in block letters superimposed on the graphic by jiveinthe415.com.

I believe in Hillary Clinton. I believe in her experience, and I believe she’s the best person for the job.  She’s smart, she’s funny, and she’s more qualified than any other Republican or Democrat.


By Roy Steele

Every major and minor media outlet in the country is reporting that on Sunday, Hillary Clinton will be announcing her intention to run for President in 2016. The prohibitive front runner is hoping to be the Democratic nominee, and she will be competing for convention delegates against a small number of opponents.

The former first lady has purportedly planned a low key announcement using social media, which includes a YouTube video, a Facebook post, and a Twitter announcement.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, and former US Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), have all expressed an interest in running for the 2016 nomination, though no one has made an official announcement to date. Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t signaled whether he will toss his hat into the ring, and US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has said repeatedly that she will not run in 2016.

Hillary Clinton is eminently qualified to be President of the United States. In my lifetime, I don’t recall any other candidate having the breadth of experience in and out of government, that Secretary Clinton has. She’s a mom, and an accomplished lawyer, who served our country for eight tumultuous years as our First Lady. She was elected twice to represent the people from the great state of New York, as a United States Senator, before being appointed by President Obama to be his Secretary of State.

Hillary Clinton is much more conservative than I am, and her moderate views frighten some progressives. Her support for the Iraq war lost her the nomination in 2008, and Governor Chafee criticized her vote for the war this week. Regardless, she doesn’t frighten me, and I support her wholeheartedly.

I believe in Hillary Clinton. I believe in her experience, and I believe she’s the best person for the job. She’s smart, she’s funny, and she’s more qualified than any other Republican or Democrat.

I think it’s time for a woman, we’re ready for a woman, and most importantly Hillary Clinton is the right woman.

I believe in Hilary Clinton, and I support her run for President.

jiveinthe415.com          straight talk in a queer world.

TV Talk: Gay Celebrity Rumors And The Cult Of Scientology

A photograph of the Scientology owned property on Fountain Avenue in Los Angeles, Califonia, and the text "The Cult Of Scientology - A Suppressive Person Speaks"

We review HBO’s documentary film Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.  Every time you watch a movie with Tom Cruise or John Travolta in the cast, you are indirectly supporting the cult of Scientology.


By Roy Steele*

There have been rumors swirling around Hollywood for over two decades that Tom Cruise is a gay man. Who knows if the rumors are true or not, though it’s indisputable that the controversial cult of Scientology is an anti-gay organization that believes in reparative therapy, and donated heavily to the anti-gay marriage campaign to support Proposition 8.

Isn’t it interesting that the two most visible members of Scientology, Tom Cruise and John Travolta, are two Hollywood actors who have been dodging and running from “gay” rumors surrounding their sexuality, throughout their careers.

I have intentionally avoided watching ANY film or television show with Tom Cruise in the cast, for the last ten years. You couldn’t pay me to watch his work and I’d rather watch paint dry, than see one of his movies. I’ve been boycotting Tom Cruise for his arrogance, stupidity, lack of empathy, and affiliation with a cult that does irreparable harm to many of their members.

In 2005 Cruise publicly derided and criticized Brooke Shields, in more than one television interview, after she was treated for postpartum depression. Cruise and his Scientology “cult” doesn’t believe in psychiatry or mental illness, and he said “When someone says (medication) has helped them, it is to cope, it didn’t cure anything. There is no science. There is nothing that can cure them whatsoever.”

He apologized to Brooke Shields for his insane comments, though anyone with half a brain could see right through the apology. Cruise’s views didn’t change, he apologized for being an asshole. Whoop di do.

If it talks like a duck, and walks like a duck....

I know there isn’t a “cure” for major depressive disorders, and I also know that depression can be successfully treated with the appropriate medication and talk therapy. It doesn’t matter what I know, Tom Cruise doesn’t know a thing about psychiatry or mental health, and it’s patently obvious that this poor excuse for a Scientology mouthpiece, only knows what his cult taught him.

HBO Documentary Films Poster for "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief"
I just saw the very effective and disturbing HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which is an in-depth look at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology. Tom Cruise is the most visible member of this cult, and he features prominently in the film.

I’ve thought for a long time that “Church” of Scientology is a misnomer, and “cult” of Scientology is a more apt name. A cult is considered a “devotion directed toward a particular figure,” and “excessive admiration for a particular person,” and a “group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange.”

In Going Clear we see Cruise publicly saluting or genuflecting before a photograph of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. It’s alleged in the film that the actor has given millions of dollars to the cult. He also pays Scientology regularly to have unwelcome “aliens” living in his body removed. The film documents the pressure that the cult exerted on Cruise to end his marriage to Nicole Kidman because she’s Catholic, and has a father who is a noted Australian psychologist, which the cult found to be threatening.

I found the interview subjects in Alex Gibney’s documentary to be credible and trustworthy, and in most cases, extremely sympathetic. These individuals spoke freely, knowing that the full force and wrath of the cult’s army of devotees, would be deployed to defame and intimidate them.

Any organization that forces members to “disconnect” and shun family members, friends, and neighbors, who don’t share their beliefs, is problematic on multiple levels. What is Scientology afraid of? The cult warns members to stay away from the internet, and any source of information, that might call into question the cult’s authority.

Any group that consigns members to hard labor in a prison, isolated in the California desert, to intimidate and demoralize possible defectors or detractors, is most definitely a criminal enterprise as well as a cult. These defenseless people are imprisoned by cult leaders without an impartial hearing or due process. They’re forced to perform menial tasks, and in my book that’s slavery.

A business with assets in excess of a billion dollars should be paying taxes, and fair wages to their employees. Scientology pays workers 40 cents an hour - to keep them from defecting - which is further evidence that they enslave people.

The government and law enforcement needs to fully investigate the allegations that this film raises, and monitor the cult of Scientology closely.

I’m adding John Travolta to my personal boycott, and hope that you will join me. Every time you watch a movie with Tom Cruise or John Travolta in the cast, you are indirectly supporting the cult of Scientology. I’m weighing whether to expand my personal boycott to other Scientology members. In the meantime, check out HBO’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. The members of this cult are being held prisoner by their alleged religion, while being held hostage by their beliefs.    

This great documentary film is based on the award-winning book of the same name by Lawrence Wright. Kudos to Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright for crafting a film with a compelling narrative, that will stay with you for a very long time.

jiveinthe415.com          straight talk in a queer world.

(*Note: Scientology will label me a “Suppressive Person” when this is published. Yawn.)

April 10, 2015

My Gay Opinion: Anti-Gay Bullshit & Lies Will Never Defeat Us

The text "gay rights are human rights" is super-imposed on a photograph of the LGBT rainbow flag that flies above the Castro district in San Francisco, California.

Anti-gay bigots will cross their fingers after they reload and take aim at our community, hoping to destroy our civil rights because they drank the kool aid, and haven’t bothered to investigate or read and comprehend that scripture does not support their point-of-view.


Republican state legislators have worked my last gay nerve, and I’m still pissed off about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana and Arkansas. I’m pissed because the legislation was unnecessary, and only introduced to provide legal cover to bigots who planned  on discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in their local communities.

I applaud the media for sticking with the story day after day. The media was right, and Governor Mike “I’m in a pickle” Pence (R-IN), was wrong. Watching “I’m in a pickle” Pence squirm during the George Stephanopoulos interview was very painful to watch. His press conference a couple days later was painful too, as I watched him do everything in his power to avoid uttering the word “GAY.”

I have to commend business leaders in both states for speaking out and taking a stand. Without the vocal support of highly visible corporations like Angie’s List, Apple, Salesforce.com, the NCAA, and that powerful retailer based in Benton, these intransigent GOP state legislatures would have maintained the status quo, while they looked for ways to further legitimize discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

What frustrates me the most is the fact that no one’s  religious freedom is diminished in any way, when a gay couple patronizes a local business. If a business exists to provide a service, our traditions and laws dictate that the service be provided to everyone.

In the media frenzy surrounding the RFRA legislation, people forgot that bigotry creates immeasurable damage, harm, anxiety and stress within our community. These negative consequences are the direct result of a conscious political effort to injure and diminish LGBT people.

Granted, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have endured criticism, verbal taunts, violence and threats of violence, hate, misunderstanding, and much more since time immemorial. That’s not going to change any time soon, but we have to try to elevate the discussion, and even scream at these idiots that their laws and language are particularly harmful to LGBTQI kids.

Hate groups in the United States raise millions of dollars every year to vilify and impair the psyche and soul of every gay, bi-sexual, or transgender individual they can. These misguided and self-serving organizations spread anti-gay propaganda to perpetuate an endless culture war, while not caring about the lives they destroy in the process. I wish we could somehow raise their awareness, though we all know they don't care and that it would be futile.

Teenagers are thrown out of their homes and onto the streets after “coming out” to their family. Ignorant parents force LGBT children to endure “reparative therapy,” in order to cure a kid’s “gayness,” despite the fact that the academic community (including scientists, doctors  and psychologists) identifies sexual orientation as inborn.

They refuse to acknowledge and embrace our sexual orientations as an immutable trait, which brings great harm, psychological abuse, and psychosocial damage, to thousands and thousands of victims, who are often haunted by this trauma for their entire life.

People like myself, and countless others,  speak out about these issues because we’ve been there. We experienced the name calling, endured the threats of bodily harm, survived the violence, heard the slanderous lies, and we’re still here fighting back.

By the way, after changes were made to the RFRA in Indiana and Arkansas, they didn’t address the fact that it’s still legal to fire any LGBT employee in both states, because of who we are and who we love.

Over the past few years we’ve largely been celebrating marriage equality victories in state legislatures, at the ballot box, and in courtrooms, all over the country. Sadly, these marriage equality victories have nothing to do with protecting our community from discrimination in employment or housing and public accommodation. You can get married in many states, but if you put a picture of your spouse on your desk, you could be fired. Go figure.

The text of the Sodomite Suppression Act that says “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”
Just last month a California lawyer paid $200 to the state in order to start collecting signatures for a ballot measure called the “Sodomite Suppression Act.”  His proposal states that “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” In other words, this licensed attorney wants to sanction the execution of LGBT Californians. That’s unbelievable to me.

It’s easy to dismiss and laugh at the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” because it’s crazy and unconstitutional. But it’s proposals like this that illustrate the need for anti-discrimination legislation on the local, state, and federal levels in every jurisdiction in the United States.

These hateful florists and bakers and pizza parlors who claim they are denying wedding services to gay couples because of religious beliefs, are ignorant and disingenuous. I’d love to ask these people what passage in scripture they’re basing their discrimination on, because the Bible doesn’t say one word about gay marriage! That’s why we have to continue to tell the truth and speak out, and stand up for injustice and inequality.

Over time we’ve  learned to understand and overcome the vitriolic bullshit and trauma we experienced as kids and young adults. Our armor got tougher, and we developed a thick skin, because our environment required that.

We know that more RFRA’s are coming our way, with more bullshit and lies. The anti-gay bigots will cross their fingers after they reload and take aim at our community, hoping to destroy our civil rights because they drank the kool aid, and haven’t bothered to investigate or read and comprehend that scripture does not support their point-of-view. Whether the grenades come from politics or religion, we’ve heard this off-key song and dance before, and the public-at-large has rejected their views. Let’s face it, these crazy people can’t and won’t accept facts or reality. We are human beings who want the equal rights that our Constitution articulates. And that's it.

Life experience has trained us to always be ready for another battle, and we know that their bullshit and lies won’t defeat us. With public opinion on our side, if you account for our partners, friends, neighbors, and family, we make up the majority with over 50% of the population supporting LGBT civil rights.

If we could get our allies to fight and stand with us in a more public way, we’d be going places that we dream about today. NO ONE can take away our dreams, and thank GOD for that.

Roy Steele
jiveinthe415.com
San Francisco, California

jiveinthe415.com          straight talk in a queer world.

March 20, 2015

Gay Self Loathing: Dolce and Gabbana Erupt In Flames

A photo of fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana with the text "shame on you" super imposed on the photograph.


By Roy Steele

Today in gay self loathing…….

I know I’m not the only person who was stunned by what gay fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the powerhouse duo responsible for Dolce & Gabbana, said during an interview with Panorama magazine.
Domenico Dolce: “You are born to a mother and a father. Or at least that’s how it should be. The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow; there are things that should not be changed.”
Stefano Gabbana: “The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”
Are you fucking kidding me?

Many people beside myself are outraged by these statements, within the gay community, and outside as well. Sir Elton John, the singing superstar and gay elder statesman, has called for a boycott of Dolce &  Gabbana products, via Instagram.
Sir Elton John: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic.’ And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF—a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again.” #BoycottDolceGabbana
Bravo Sir Elton! After the Panorama interview was published, the designing duo released a statement that was reported in The Guardian newspaper.
Domenico Dolce said: “I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people’s choices and decisions.” 
Stefano Gabbana said: “We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people’s choices. We do believe in freedom and love.”
They say they didn’t mean to “judge” others. They expressed their personal opinion, and while the public might be offended, they say it’s their personal opinion. “Don’t be offended” they say, “we aren’t judging you.” And the sky is purple?
Stefano Gabbana via Instagram writes: “Respect comes from accepting different views!”
Respect comes from accepting different views? I think not.

People are entitled to have different opinions, and I support free thinking, free speech and freedom of expression. Concomitantly, respect is earned, and it’s a two way street.

I do not, and will not, extend respect to any individual or organization that holds an opinion that unjustly criticizes or diminishes gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, people, LGBT relationships, or family units.

While these errant opinions are usually caused by ignorance or stupidity, no one gets a free pass. Especially when they’re two gay men who should know better.

To boycott or not boycott --- that is the question --- and I know one or two things about a boycott. While there are calls to boycott Dolce & Gabbana, what’s the goal or desired outcome? No one has articulated a goal yet, and until they do, any boycott will be ineffective.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how these assholes get out of this mess.

I hereby declare that the Dolce & Gabbana accessories in my own closet are officially out of season and now retired.

Touché!


Jive in the [415]     straight talk in a queer world.

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