Monday, June 29, 2009

And More... down Christopher Street

Gene at Stonewall

Bishop Gene and Chap James Day

Bishop Gene and Michael Mallon

Marching with Episcopalians

On the Avenue, Fifth Avnue...

The Integrity Banner

Bishop Gene joined us at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian
after his ministry of water for the weary.

Church of the Ascension

Diocese of New York Banner

Pride 2009 Stonewall 40 Eucharist and Line Up

On the east coast NY Pride was a huge deal this year. The birth of the "gay liberation movement" was at the Stonewall Inn.

Epsicopalians gathered, representing the the diocesan committee on LGBT concerns, Integrity NY, Oasis from Newark, and several prominent parishes in NYC, including Holy Apostles, St. Luke in the Field and St. Bart's.

All in all, the Episcopal Church was represented by three blocks of marchers!

At the staging area a Eucharist was Celebrated.

David Casey (iNYC convener) reads the prayers of the People, with celebrant John Denaro and Chap James Day in the background.

Chap administers the sacrament.

The Church of the Holy Apostles gather behind their banner. The bus was provided by St. Luke's so that those wishing to travel the substantial length of the parade but not quite up to the walk could join. Bravo!

These two cheerful congregants of St. Luke's sport the classiest T-shirt in the bunch! Hard to see, but the lettering is gold foil.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

JMG Pride Encounter

Got my Pride weekend off right meeting Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God fame in Central Park. It was the occasional summer gathering on bear hill, over looking the disco skating set up. The whole group a nice bunch of guys. Before I left Joe said, "Say hi to Kyle."

I am a JJ groupie!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our New Kitchen Appliances

Kyle sold his car, which has been sitting in the backyard for a while. We have had a few people just stop by and ask about, but kept thinking that we would get it fixed up, registered and back on the road... but since I have been retired, one car ha been do-able. Last week two people stopped by and we said, "make us an offer."

So finally a our ailing appliances will be replaced... Not quite the Kenmore PRO line, but pretty darned exciting!

The range has 5 burners, one high powered, one simmer and the griddle size in the middle. It's stainless with a self cleaning convention oven and a warming drawer.

The fridge is very simple, but the only one we found in our price and size range that was really stainless and not a faux stainless gray.
The dishwasher is stainless and very highly rated by Consumer Reports.
We were very happy with the assistance we received at Sears. Finally a grown up kitchen has begun.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Agree...

"Over the course of 29-years, I estimate, the Human Rights Campaign, and all its affiliates and permutations, has raised a minimum of $250,000,000. A cool quarter of a billion dollars. That's a lot of money to raise and spend over almost three decades. Back in March, the Blade reported that HRC's current budget is $41 million, and the group's annual revenue has hovered in that neighborhood for 3-4 years, so I believe a $250M budget over more than a quarter-century is within reasonable fiscal expectations. And what federal successes do LGBT Americans have to show for all that dough? A memo signed yesterday by President Obama. Great photo-op for Spineless Solmonese. Oh, and all that HRC money has gifted us a nice building in Washington, and a great fundraising rubber chicken dinner circuit and bric-a-brac merchandising operation that primarily benefits the Democratic Party." —Gay and AIDS activist Michael Petrelis [Petrelis Files]

Dan Choi is OUT! but guess who gets in?

My Senator. You go girl!


Read it at

Leave Marriage to the Experts

Lemons? Lemonade!

OK boys and girls here's how to do it! A fundraiser Idea for General Convention??

PHRED FELPS is headed for a synagogue AND...

Furniture mogul Mitchell Gold has pledged a donation for every minute that Westboro protests the CBST. Others are encouraged to join in.


Read it at Joe.My.God.

The Times of Harvey Milk: The Whole Documentary is on YouTube

YouTube has the whole thing. A great tonic for the activist.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To My Black Union Friends


If you don't read "Pam's House Blend" you should. Pam is one of the best bloggers on LGBT issues who happens to be African-American. Or is it the other way around? I know she brings a perspective that has helped me to make connections form an experience that is one I will never know. Gee why am I thinking of Judge Sotomajor?

Anyway, here's one on a new coalition. About time!

Jordan/Rustin and Marriage Equality

An LGBT march is being planned for October in Washington for LGBT rights. As I recall a gay African American was instrumental in planning a march on Washington that lead to "I have a dream." Bayard Rustin did that with the support of Unions and the faith community. Unfortunately he ended up not attending that march. Long story.

Is it time to pay it forward?

A Request from the President

Barack Obama wrote me a letter! He want's money to support his agenda. I respond...

Dear President Obama,

How nice of you to write.

While I have your attention let me remind you of the commitments that you made to the LGBT community.

I told one of you callers that I would not be donating to any political cause but LGBT groups until an official apology for the heinous DOJ brief is issued. Had the arguments raised were no less offensive than those used to support the state in Loving vs. Virginia. As you know now this brief was released on the anniversary of that case which ended the prohibition on inter-racial marriage.

I also told him that until there was a real step forward to overturn DADT and DOMA I would not donate to you or your party.

He said "I understand that you have an agenda..."

I am sorry, Mr. President, but the fact that this person would see this as "my" agenda and not the agenda of equality and justice for all, speaks to a lack of understanding that runs from the DOJ to the person who picks up the phone.

Neil Houghton

And the automated reply: Note the bold (my emphasis)
Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting Organizing for America, the grassroots movement that's working to help President Obama bring change to America. This movement was built by people like you, and your input will always drive it.

If you're contacting us because you're interested in getting involved with Organizing for America in your community, please visit:

If you'd like to unsubscribe from the Organizing for America Email list, please visit:

Due to the extremely large number of email messages we're currently receiving, we may be unable to respond to your message individually, but we do appreciate hearing from you and hope you'll work with us as we build America's future together.

People like you across the country built the biggest, most comprehensive campaign in American history, but electing President Obama was just the first step. With your support and involvement, we can sustain and even grow our grassroots movement to help enact the change our country so desperately needs.

Thank you,

Organizing for America

Monday, June 15, 2009

We are Making Thousands of Calls

"Hello, this is Neil."

The machine responded "We are calling from the National Organization For Marriage.... do you believe that marriage is only between one man and one woman?"

Just for the hell of it I said, "YES!"

On it went to tell me that the institution was in peril in NY. But there's still time to save it. "Would you be willing to call your senator?"

"Yes!" (and I did, too)

They gave me Senator Alesi's number. "And would you be willing to donate money to help us...?"

Apparently voice recognition software understands, "Not on your life!"

What a horrible waste of money trying to slow down the passage of time.

Brandon on Joe

A great guy I met in Queens earlier this year was featured on Joe. My. God. today!

Hoping for Audacity

Bill Maher's comic genius is, as all comic genius, built on serious reality. On his commentary he called for the best parts of Obama's policy to be wedded with more of W's damn the torpedoes approach. "I voted for the audacity of hope, right now I am hoping for a bit more audacity.

Move On and the DNC have stopped calling me asking for money. It's probably because I keep telling them it's not happening until promises to the LGBT community start being fulfilled. The last DNC fund raiser said, "I understand, you have an agenda."

I responded, "I thought it was OUR agenda."

David Mixner Longtime LGBT Rights advocate and former Clinton Administration advisor says on his blog:

"I will not attend a fundraiser for the National Democratic Party in Washington next week when the current administration is responsible for these kind of actions. How will they ever take us seriously if we keep forking out money while they harm us. For now on, my money is going to battles within the community such as the fight in Maine or the March on Washington! I am so tired of being told by Democratic operatives to 'suck it up' because so many other profound issues are at stake. It is as if our fight for our freedom is single-handedly responsible for the fate of all other issues. Bullshit. Maybe, just maybe, it is time for others to 'suck it up' for us and finally, without conditions, join our fight for our freedom!"

Monday, June 8, 2009

TWO SIDES in the "New York Teacher"

Whoops... I missed this when it was published. In actuality I sent in my part as what I thought would be one of three submissions to be put together in an article that told the story of why Marriage Equality was important. But the ever cautious NYSUT policy apparently pushed it into a response to Ms. McCrank.

Pity I did not have an opportunity to really respond to the first part. Would I know where to begin? You betcha! Stay tuned.

Gay rights issues bring out two strong voices

Not all unionists support homosexual agenda

I am writing as a parent and child advocate for freedom of speech, of tolerance toward those who express an opinion other than yours, and the right to express moral opinions without the penalization of "political correctness."

As a parent, I have been following the educational climate in Massachusetts since the 1990s, where indoctrination of homosexuality in elementary schools is normal. Homosexuality is not considered to be deviant sexual behavior.

It is imperative that educators like yourself realize that not every parent, family or educator believes that homosexual behavior is morally acceptable. Many of your community members do not want same-sex marriage and do not support the normalizing of homosexuality in the learning community. It is ignorant of NYSUT to assume that everyone supports gay marriage or believes that this lifestyle is moral.

NYSUT needs to take into consideration all its members, not just the few. It also needs to take into consideration the religious liberty and freedom to express moral virtues, and respect those liberties in the academic setting.

I provoke you to respect the tolerance of those whose religious views differ from your own — respecting the rights of parents of students who do not want the indoctrination of homosexuality being taught from elementary through high school.

I am sure you agree that it is important to respect the rights of all students. If it is important to teach tolerance and diversity, then please respect the rights of all your students and the parents who are raising them.

Persecution has already started against students who do not support the homosexual lifestyle. These students do not have to be active protesters, but are afraid to speak their opinion because of repercussions in the academia field, and being labeled a bigot, gay basher, homophobe, etc. Some of the very issues gay activists are concerned about are now happening to students who do not believe in the political correctness of same-sex relationships.

Consider the recent Miss USA contest. Carrie Prejean's view on gay marriage cost her the crown. The intolerance of Prejean's support for traditional marriage showed true lack of diversity tolerance permeating not only the media, but sadly enough supported by our educational system.

I ask all NYSUT members to consider the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who may be your co-worker, Little League volunteer, PTA member or neighbor, and who do not want indoctrination of homosexuality in schools today. We have a voice and it needs to be heard.

Eve McCrank is a member of the Penfield Paraprofessionals Association.

Marriage equality must be enacted in New York

On the day that Neil Houghton and Kyle Crawford were married in Toronto, the Monroe County Legislature filed an appeal of the decision that gave them equal protection under the contract that grants benefits to spouses. The appeal was denied but, as Houghton said: "It was just one final punch in the stomach along the route to equality for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) employees."

The decision in Martinez v. Monroe County gives all married couples the same access to contractual benefits regardless of the jurisdiction in which they were married. That means lesbian and gay couples who have been married in Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Canada or any other country must be given the same benefits that other married couples already enjoy.

"After 35 years as a member of the Penfield Education Association, holding many offices and working on many contracts, I finally have the same peace of mind that I worked to make sure other families had. No longer do I live in fear that a financial disaster would follow a major medical problem for my uninsured husband," Houghton says. "Repeatedly the district refused to include domestic partner benefits, and this forced their hand."

It's not an end, however; it's a beginning. Benefits are still taxable by New York state, despite the governor's executive order. They are federally taxable thanks to DOMA — the ironically named Defense of Marriage Act.

"It should be called 'discrimination in marriage,'" says Houghton. "How my marriage threatens or affects in any way anyone else's marriage is a mystery to me."

Until DOMA is repealed and marriage equality is enacted in New York and all states, Houghton says, some couples that have made a commitment to each other will continue "being denied more than 1,100 rights and responsibilities granted other couples."

The opposition to marriage that claims morality is on its side, immorally used lies to pass Proposition 8 in California. It said schools would be forced to "teach gay marriage." Despite the California superintendent of schools' public denial, this untruth took hold. Opponents said religious institutions would be forced to marry same-sex couples. No rabbi, minister, priest or any religious leader can be forced to marry anyone, gay or straight.

Neil Houghton, a Penfield Education Association retiree, is co-chair of the LGBT subcommittee of the NYSUT Civil & Human Rights Committee.

US Magazine Vote...

Go to this link to vote for the the "Dream Wedding" winning couple. Maybe you can guess who I voted for. Keep trying! It took me many tries to get through...

Ignorance is Ignorance, No Matter How Small

"These people are not in the same category as Jewish people with regards to the Holocaust," Hikind said following a press conference at the memorial. "It is so vastly different. You cannot compare political prisoners with Jewish victims."

This quote from NYS Assemblymam Dov Hikind a Democrat from Brooklyn is from the NY Post and reported on Joe. My. God. He OBJECTS to the Inclusion of LGBT victims in a Holocaust Museum in Brooklyn. And the Romani and others...

This kind of mentality renders this man no different than those who deny the Holocaust. What irony.

As Horton says, "A person's a person, not matter how small." Same with ignorance. Shame on this assemblyman.

NPH sings!

Here it is!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tonay Awards Fiasco Saved by NPH

There were several wonderful things that happened during the Tony Awards:

- Angela's Fifth
- Liza's Fourth
- The producer of Hair's nod to marriage equality, however subtle...

BUT! The production values were dreadful. Let's hope Bret Michael's is not seriously injured after he failed to escaspe a descending set piece. The cameraman covering up the necrology with the choristers was a nice touch. Booms are scurrying cameramen and consistently horrible sound and dead mikes where they should have been live and visa-0versa and...

Then Neil Patrick Harris sang the closing number which upstaged it all. To the tune of "Tonight" he covered historic monents and included the lyrics:
The show could not me gayer
if Lize were named mayor
And Elton John took flight...

Wow. Did they make a mistake not giving him more air time.

Ben and Jerry and Liz and Alice

Rhode Island? Really?

RC Cathedral - Rhode Island

According to a news report form NECN 60% of Rhode Islanders support gay MARRIAGE. Make it civil unions and the number jumps to 75%. No it's no some fly by night organization. It's Brown University that did this poll. Ivy league stuff here.

But here's the real news, RI is probably the most Roman Catholic State in New England. Probably the nation. The largest ethnic groups are Italian, Portugese and French-Canadian RC's Right, Bob? (I am tempted to include a picture of my ex-partner, Kyle.)

So who is out of touch. Pope Former Brown Shirt, be gone, you have no power here.

Meanwhile the Episcopal Bishops continue to study us. Give me a break.

Where +Gerry Wolf Hangs Out

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Emory Study Links Gay Marriage Bans to Rise in HIV Rate

Bans on same-sex marriage can be tied to a rise in the rate of HIV infection, a new study by two Emory economists has found.

In the first study of the impact of social tolerance levels toward gays in the United States on the HIV transmission rate, the researchers estimated that a constitutional ban on gay marriage raises the rate by four cases per 100,000 people.

"We found the effects of tolerance for gays on HIV to be statistically significant and robust – they hold up under a range of empirical models," says Hugo Mialon, an assistant professor of economics.

Read the Rest Here

Ubuntu and Integrity

What does this "Ubuntu" mean to LGBT people in the Episcopal Church? Relationship. Relationship that is the same for ALL.

Please Join Integirty and Donate to the Anaheim Appeal. We can assure that all the sacraments are for all the baptized.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Forced Vacation

My baby, the MacBook on which I type this, is going in for surgery. The CD-DVD drive has not been burning DVDs so I stopped in Mac-Ave to ask if it was still under warranty. It is... UNTIL Saturday!

So in she goes. Pray for her speedy return. In the mean time I will be reduced to using the old PowerPC or stealing time on Kyle's computer.

Most likely I will head to the garden and get down and dirty with my Irises. So here is the garden for you to enjoy as well. See you next week.




Mr. Borglum said, "It's from seed and does not have a name. You can name it." So meet...

If you are in the area, stop by and see them all. Cheers.

Star Added

The stars are:
Massachusetts - #6 - May 17, 2004
Connecticut - #5 - Nov 12, 2008
Iowa - #29 - Apr 24, 2009
Vermont - #14 - Sep 1, 2009
Maine - #23 - Sep 14, 2009
New Hampshire - #9 - Jan 1, 2010

Monday, June 1, 2009