Category Archives: Gay

Congratulations to the Happy Couples

I’m still playing catch-up on news and blogging from being on vacation for almost two weeks, but I just had to say something about gay marriage, and that something is “Congratulations!”

I was born too late to see the great civil rights movement of the 1960s, but it’s been a privilege to watch the growth of the gay rights movement. To misuse an old saying, progress seems to have come very slowly and then all at once. There’s still plenty of work to be done when it comes to sexual freedom, but this is huge.

in Gay

Welcome to the New Century, Mr. President

Welcome to the new century, Mr. President, thank you for joining us.

“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.

I don’t see why Obama couldn’t have said that three years ago, but I’m glad he finally said it. By way of explanation, he said his thoughts went through an “evolution” to reach this decision.

The president stressed that this is a personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states’ deciding the issue on their own.

So…still a little more evolving to do…

Boys Beware

I generally find anti-gay bigotry disturbing, but sometimes it’s also kind of amusing. I know that’s wrong — that gay people face real threats of discrimination and violence — but some anti-gay nonsense just makes me want to point and yell, “I didn’t know they still made people like you!”

Which brings me to Rick Perry’s culture-war campaign ad:

Aside from the fact that he’s a bit mixed up about school prayer, this is just plain embarassing. It’s like that older relative who keeps calling black people “colored” because he doesn’t realize times have changed. I immediately flashed back to an infamous Sid Davis classroom film called Boys Beware about the dangers of homosexuality. The whole thing is about 10 minutes long, but here’s a taste:

At its most basic, Boys Beware is vile crap that conflates homosexuality with predatory pedophilia. Yet it’s so disconnected from our current day and age that I can’t really get angry about it. I mean, it features a homosexual man who prowls the streets trying to seduce young boys by — I’m not making this up — taking them fishing at the duck pond. I guess there weren’t a lot of gay dance clubs.

(Boys Beware‘s odd style is pretty typical of Sid Davis’s social guidance films: The subject is alarming, but it’s shot with what Ken Smith in Mental Hygiene: Better Living Through Classroom Films 1945-1970 described as “a trancelike style, stripped of anything even remotely approaching drama or human emotion.” You never even hear the actors speaking; the narrator just describes what they’re saying. I suspect’s that’s because Davis couldn’t afford synchronized sound.)

And how can you not love the line “You never know when the homosexual is about”? If I were gay, I’d wear that on a T-shirt.

I don’t really have a point here, except that to me, Perry’s anti-gay attitude seems like something from another era. I hope it seems that way to most other people too.

“Do you, Party A, take Party B…”

Moby Kip points us to this story by Jennifer Garza of the Sacramento Bee:

Last month, Rachel Bird exchanged vows with Gideon Codding in a church wedding in front of family and friends. As far as Bird is concerned, she is a bride.

To the state of California, however, she is either “Party A” or “Party B.”

Those are the terms that have replaced “bride” and “groom” on the state’s new gender-neutral marriage licenses. And to Bird and Codding, that is unacceptable.

My first reaction was that this was just more of the usual anti-gay griping—the bride’s father is a pastor who’s trying to start a movement for couples to refuse to sign the marriage form—and it may well be just that, but it’s their marriage, isn’t it? Why can’t they be a bride and groom if they want to?

When they saw the terms, Codding wrote “groom” next to “Party A” and “bride” next to Party B and submitted their license. On Aug. 16, they married at her father’s church.

On Sept. 3, the couple received a letter from the Placer County Clerk-Recorder Registrar of Voters informing them that their license did not comply with California law and that the state did not accept licenses that had been altered.

So, they literally would have been happy writing “bride” and “groom” in the signature boxes on the license, but some inflexible clerk wasn’t going let them get away with that kind of anarchy.

You know, those of us who support same-sex marriage have had to respond over and over to the accusation that it would “destroy marriage.” That has never made sense to me. My marriage doesn’t change when other people get married, regardless of whether the other couple is a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. Marriage is not a scarce resource, there’s plenty of it to go around, and gay marriage doesn’t take anything away from straight marriage.

Or so I thought, until the State of California made a liar out of me.

“Those who support (same-sex marriage) say it has no impact on heterosexuals,” said Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute. “This debunks that argument.”

I know it’s a trivial issue, but thanks to the perversity of the government of California, the bigots are technically correct. Gay marriage does hurt straight marriage. Just a little, to be sure, but now we’re going to have to listen to all the I-told-you-so ranting.

The Mild Inconvenience Of Gay Marriage

Moby Kip mentions the one thing I really don’t like about gay marriage: Software changes.

H&R Block has agreed to give $100 coupons or free TaxCut software to all gay couples who incurred additional costs because they were barred from using the company’s online tax service, TaxCut Online.

I understand how H&R Block’s programmers must feel.

One of my jobs is to maintain software that pulls data from a database of employees and their families and generates update files that are sent to the insurance companies providing their benefits.

Now that we have all this gay marriage, there are all these questions we’re going to have to answer: Do we send same-sex married people as married? Or as civil unions? Or do we need a separate category for same-sex marriages? If they used to be civil-unioned and are now married, does that count as a change in status?

The answers have nothing to do with the meaning of marriage in any cultural sense. It’s mostly a matter of figuring out how the insurance companies want us to send the data. Which means we can’t solve the problem until their programmers solve their side of the problem.

Their programmers can’t solve the problem until the lawyers and actuaries and managers make policy decisions, and those policy decisions depend on rule-making by federal and state regulatory bodies, which depend on decisions by legislatures and courts.

We’re talking months of lead-time for all those decisions to filter down to us folks who write the code. We’ll probably be making changes right up until the deadlines.

I don’t know, but my guess is that something was changing in Connecticut tax law and H&R Block’s software group couldn’t meet the release deadline to get the change out there, so they left it as an unsupported case.

Social change is hard.

in Gay

Bad For America

George Kocan has another of his crazy anti-gay posts up at Illinois Review in rebuttal to a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Maybe I should be more upset at such a display of bigotry, but I find Kocan so over-the-top ridiculous that he kind of amuses me.

Let’s take a look:

Abuse of the language for political purposes is bad for America, even if done by courts or other governmental bodies.  A dog is not a cat and calling a cat a dog does not make a dog a cat even if the Supreme Court itself makes such a ruling.

This appeal to proper use of language is laughable from a guy who invented his own word for homosexuality, calling it “SAD”, which he says stands for “Sodomy Attraction Disorder.”

Restructuring society to accommodate personality disorders is bad for America.  Pretending that sodomy is normal and natural is bad for America, as is pretending that Jack Jones down the street is Napoleon or Sally Smith is Cleopatra.  Accepting a lie as a norm of behavior is bad for America.

Two things, George: First of all, since you’re so concerned about the meanings of words, as I’ve explained before, “sodomy” is more than just the man-on-man buttsex that you keep talking about. It includes a lot of other sexual activities that many people find enjoyable.

Second, nobody is saying homosexuality is a norm of behavior—nobody is saying everyone should be doing it—it’s just that most of us don’t see anything evil about it, and most of us really don’t mind when other people do it.

The sodomite infiltration and subversion of the Catholic priesthood, and the subsequent sexual abuse of children, is bad for the Catholic Church as is the infiltration of sodomites into American institutions bad for America.

So all those priests were abusing children because the Catholic Church has been infiltrated by The Gays? Now I’ve heard everything.

Sexual promiscuity is bad for America…

Thus begins a long littany of all the things George Kocan thinks are bad for America. Some of them may even actually exist, but I’ll just cut to the one that really amazes me:

Sexual liberation is bad for America.  Sexual liberation means social and political control.  Canadian Human Rights Commissions criminally prosecute persons who criticize sodomites.  So do various European countries.  Allowing a tiny minority to deny legally Americans the right to speak their minds is bad for America.

I agree that criminal prosecution for bad speech is wrong, but, um, wasn’t prosecuting people for their sexual behavior wrong too? And trying to blame this on gay marriage is crazy.

Allowing a tiny minority to suppress the religious beliefs of others, as is happening in Canada and Europe, is bad for America.

Allowing any people to dictate the sexuality and family structure of others is also bad for America.

In short, sodomy and its practitioners are bad for America.

I doubt that, but I’m pretty sure that delusional nutcases who mistake their personal preferences for laws of the universe are bad for America