Archive for October 2008

Absentee Ballot Commitment: In Memory of Jerry

October 30, 2008

I sent this to Ben Smith over at Politico. He’s been asking for interesting voter stories. Then I thought I should share it with GrowingSense readers, too.

Hi Ben,

Wanted to share a powerful absentee voter story from Franklin, Indiana. A friend of mine from church, a beloved retired Methodist minister named Jerry Hyde died two weeks ago after a long bout with cancer. Two days before Jerry died he called the woman who would speak at his funeral to leave some final instructions and then added (on her voice mail): “don’t try to call me back because I’ll be on the phone all afternoon for Barack Obama.” Since he was homebound and recognized that he didn’t have long to live, he made sure he voted early.

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Dear Anonymous: It’s Not About You

October 28, 2008

Prop 8 is the proposed change to the California constitution to take away same-sex couples’ right to marry. Jennifer Morse is an official spokesperson for Prop 8. I was reading her blog the other day and ran across this response she had to a 19-year old gay kid. I posted a comment, too because frankly, I feel the same way the kid does. Nobody will probably read my comment over there, but since I spent some time on it I posted it here, you know, just in case there are any 19-year old gay Californians reading my blog. It could happen!

I am responding to an Anonymous comment

When I pass houses that proudly display the very misleading happy-go-lucky blue family and yellow-backdrop Yes on Prop 8 sign, I swell up with tears.

“I am 19 years old. I am gay.

What you, my fellow Californian and American, impose on me with the signs you display in front of your house is a feeling that I am not welcomed in your great society….In my perspective, I feel like I am walking past a bunch of “F*** YOU FAG!” signs… and although that is not what you intend, the unintentional goal was met – and quite forcefully.

Anonymous: We don’t hate you. We do welcome you. We think every legitimate objective of gay and lesbian citizens can be met without redefining marriage. We don’t think this campaign is primarily about you. We think it is about the meaning of marriage. 
I think it is tragic for you to go around thinking that millions of people hate you. They don’t agree with your views, but that’s life in a free society. We don’t hate you. 
Anonymous, you are young, and still forming your sense of yourself as a person. I truly hope your self-esteem does not depend on the voters of California!
I have an article on this, here. 
The facts are that gays and lesbians already had all the material benefits of marriage through the domestic partners laws. The gay lobby has chosen, for reasons best known to themselves, to make same sex marriage a great symbolic issue. But individual gays and lesbians can decide anything they want. You can look at those signs and see the largest single grass-roots campaign in the history of self-government. You can see families trying to protect their rights to raise their children in accordance with their values. 
Or you can look at those signs and take it personally, as if it is all about you. I feel quite confident in saying that it isn’t all about you. 
The supporters of Prop 8 are not trying to hurt you. Honest.

Dear Anonymous,

Don’t you feel better now that Dr. Morse has explained why you should accept this giant grass roots effort’s ceiling on equality? Take it from me, it will be much easier to get comfortable with their honest “not hate” of you if you do the following:

Step 1: Repeat to yourself at least 1,000 times, “it’s not about me, it’s not about me.”

Step 2: Repeat to yourself: Prop 8 supporters lovingly considered all of my “legitimate objectives.” Once is probably enough on that one.

Step 3: If you start to doubt that the statement you are repeating in Step 2 is true or begin to wonder why only Prop 8 supporters get to decide which of your objectives are legitimate, simply repeat Step 1.

Step 4: Forget about Prop 8 supporters ever agreeing with you. In fact, you should stop waiting for Prop 8 supporters to love you unconditionally or to even accept you for who you are. The former is a Christian ideal that Jesus managed to live out, but that the Church hasn’t quite been up to tackling yet. The latter isn’t possible either because biblically you are an abomination – sorry 😦

Step 5. Surround yourself with friends and family who love and accept you. You need lots of love. Lots. Even more than normal when you have to listen to all that you have to listen to during this election cycle. Be with people (gay or straight) who will help you nurture the long-term committed relationship you might choose. Choose to invest time in people (gay or straight) who will be positive role models for you as you learn to be a good spouse and potentially a parent. It is very important that you understand that you are precious, wonderful and amazing just as you are. It might also help to know that there are lots of loving people in your state who know you are not an abomination – yay! 🙂

Anyone and Everyone – Parents Reactions To Kids Coming Out

October 26, 2008

From the Anyone and Everyone website:

This film is especially important since up to 26% of gay teens who come out to their parents or guardians are told they must leave home. Of the approximately 1.6 million homeless American youth, 20-40% identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Nearly 40% of LGBT (GLBT) students report being physically harassed. In a 2001 Department of Health study of youth in Massachusetts, about 40 percent of gay and lesbian students attempted suicide, compared to about 10 percent of their heterosexual peers.

Many people about to come out wonder whether or not their family will reject them. If you ever want to know how important your family is to you, imagine someday telling them something about yourself that resulted in them severing their relationship with you. Or imagine sharing some part of yourself that forever made you unacceptable to them. It was a terrifying thought for me even as a 31 year old. For a 17-year old, it can be paralyzing.

The other night John and I happened to be flipping through TV channels before bed. By accident we landed on a PBS show called Anyone and Everyone. It is a documentary of parents reacting to their children coming out to them.

John and I were blown away. Hearing about the coming out process from the parents’ points of view was pretty heart wrenching in some cases. We were in tears more than once and not always because we were sad. Some of these parents turn out to be amazing.

I’ve posted the trailer below. I almost didn’t because it really doesn’t come close to doing the film justice. Check your local Public Broadcasting Station to see if it showing in your area. You can also order the DVD at the website link above. I’ve ordered three copies myself if anyone wants to borrow one.

Obama Back in Indiana Where His Stock Appears to Be Rising

October 24, 2008

Here is a link to some awesome photos of Obama’s rally in Indianapolis today. 35,000 people showed up. A friend of mine got to shake his hand.

I volunteered at the last rally, and I can tell you, anything that involves tens of thousands of people is kind of crazy. But he picked a good day to drop in. Fall in Indiana is a joy, and this day sparkled. John and I decided to take advantage of the probability that most Obama supporters were rallying. We voted.

It was the easiest time I’ve ever had getting into the city county building. No security lines – none. But you can only enter through the Delaware Street entrance if you are going to vote early. It took no time, but like I said, Obama was speaking up the street. Just bring your state issued photo ID, and that’s all you need.

There are more reasons for Indiana Democrats to rally. New polls came out today showing that Obama is up here. Polls are polls, so they only provide a snapshot of the landscape. Still, just the fact that we might not be the first to report returns favoring the Republican candidate for a change has Obama supporters in Indiana looking forward to election night.

I’m praying for the Obama family as they go to visit his grandmother who is in a bad way right now.

Palin Wardrobe: $150,000, Obama in Ten Year Old Pants: Priceless

October 23, 2008

The fact that Palin can’t accurately say what a vice-president does is slightly (but actually only slightly) more important than the fact that her campaign has spent $150,000.00 of Republican donors’ money on her clothes (McCain/Palin, they’re just like us).

Still, fashion is fun. And Palin’s Niemans and Saks splurges make for a very nice study in contrast with Barack and Michelle Obama. The senator manages to look super fine in 10 year old pants and Michelle is setting a fine example in our tough economy by rocking $30.00 sun dresses from the Gap. I’m sure not all of their clothes are OTR, nor should they be, but at least they are modeling how to get through tough times with style.

Months before any of this price tag whoohaa or even our current economic mess, Access Hollywood interviewed all of the Obamas about their family’s fashion budget. The video is funny. You almost expect Malia to refer to her dad as “that one” when she talks about his scuffed up belt. This family is precious, and these kids are being raised right!

Palin Needs To Stay Off My Street

October 22, 2008

So really, I’ve tried hard to hold my tongue about Sarah Palin. I mean hard, y’all– like sit through eleventy million episodes of the 700 Club hard. Until recently I’ve just considered her a charming (at least) pseudo-intellectual pull string doll clothed in $150,000.00 of clothes should have taken the form of a few more television ads as far as I’m concerned. But if that’s how they want to spend their money…

Anyway, I kept my claws in until she went and opened her yap about how she would just love to change our country’s constitution so that John and I have no hope of protecting our relationship. That’s right, we’re headin’ back to 2004 to the Federal Marriage Amendment if Palin has anything to say about it.

Ellen Degeneres’ response is much kinder than mine is likely to be if I ever happen to run into this slack-jawed moose killer on my street. Word Palin, stay out of the Near East Side.

I told you all I’ve been watching CNN a whole lot lately. I’ve been watching it way too much I think because they’ve invited me to their Christmas party.

I don’t know if you saw this, but Vice Presidential Candidate, Governor Sarah Palin says she’s in favor of a federal ban on gay marriage. Basically she wants to change the constitution.

So if you’re wondering, I’m sure you are, how I feel about this…I don’t like it, I don’t like it. I don’t agree. Maybe it’s because I’m gay that I think we should all be equal. But I feel that we’re all equal.

I don’t know what people are scared of. Maybe they think that their children will be influenced. And I gotta say I was raised by two heterosexuals. I was surrounded by heterosexuals just everywhere I looked heterosexuals. And they did not influence…. I mean I dabbled in high school, who didn’t? Everyone dabbled, ya know?

People are gonna be who they’re gonna be. And we need to learn to love them for who they are and let them love who they want to love.

I pray, pray, pray that none of Palin’s children turn out to be gay. Or better yet, that they do, and that they be destined to stuff her antiquated theological politics into one of her precious off shore oil rigs.

It’s Gettin’ Mo’ Ugly

October 20, 2008

30 cars at an Obama rally in North Carolina had their tires slashed.

McCain supporters heckle early voters in Fayetteville, NC after the Obama rally.

This car in Hays, Texas faired a little worse.

Oh, and voter guides are showing up in Florida churches. Which reminds me, I was in my hometown this past weekend and stopped by the church I grew up in. As I walked through the foyer I noticed a very partisan voter guide taped to the wall beside the front door. I was disappointed.

On the upside, over 100,000 people showed up for Obama’s rally in St. Louis.