Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

Please Remind Me… What Is So Great About Christianity?

09 Feb

Arkansas churches refuse funeral for gay man, give hateful Bible verses to husband

Arkansas churches refuse funeral for gay man, give hateful Bible verses to husband

I know there are “extremists” among every group; even among the Christians. What angers me most is how this kind of ## goes on and on and on and on and on, without any apparent end and yet the “majority” of those who “identify as Christian” fail to show up to call their hateful counterparts out on their very-UNchristian-like behavior. (Read the article by clicking on the image to the right in order to better understand why I am writing today’s blog entry.)

The absence of these so-called “good” Christians is so overwhelmingly apparent that I understand why others feel as they do about this faith and its followers. I myself have begun to think that, all in all, this is a faith I should be more and more inclined to distance myself from.

I DO believe in a higher power (as I am quite convinced, for very personal reasons that there is more to life than simply that “we are born, we die and we become worm food”) — but the God, the Creator, the Spirit that I believe in is a LOVING entity (not just a deity to be whored out when the need to judge others presents itself).

The judgmental morons that condone the kind of behavior afforded the family of James Stone (deceased) and his surviving husband (Jay Hoskins) are “anything BUT” loving. Furthermore, the absence of any real effort (by other followers of this faith) to call these “supposed” Christians out for the kind of behavior they did heap upon a grieving family at their most vulnerable is greatly disappointing. If that is truly what “being a Christian” means to those who identify as such, then you can damn well keep your faith. (I’d like to think this doesn’t represent the majority. It’s simply the lack of response by “Christian friends and loved ones”, to these kinds of situations that has me on my soapbox this evening.)

As for myself, I will choose to worship (in private) a Creator that is loving, tolerant, understanding and non-judgmental. The “Christians” may keep their heaven, their hell and all of the judgment they swear is not “their” place to hand out (yet it is; daily, hourly and moment by moment).

Why? Because actions speak more loudly than words and the deafening silence that ensues each and every time “Christian organizations” (along with those who identify with them) blatantly express judgment, feign indifference and actively seek out to cause harm to LGBT persons, their families and their friends (under the guise of religious faith)… Well, let us just say that it is VERY evident that the flocks of these organized religions are nothing more than hypocrites whose real motto is, “Do as I say, not as I do.

Yeah, I’m pretty hard-pressed to take up for Christians and Christianity, for the moment, since so many seem incapable or unwilling to take up for those of us they profess to love.

Related Links:

  • dallasvoice.comChurches Near Mountain Home, Ark. Refuse Funeral For Gay Man.

    What follows is a comment made by Jay Hoskins, husband of the deceased, following the article and update on the Dallas Voice:

    do not know what happened to the post I just commented on. I am James’ “legal” husband of nearly 6 months, and we had been together for over 10 years. Yes, this incident happened. And yes, it was out of the fundamentalist Clarkridge Church of Christ, amongst others. I just learned of the media coverage of this issue in the past couple of hours on the Voice. I have been contacted by local media in the last hour.

    I can tell you that there were not only issues having a service for him, but also in so much as that one or more members of the Clarkridge Church of Christ called and “CANCELLED” our family get-together after the service, and that TWO members of the Clarkridge Church of Christ, Jerry and Vicki Oels gave James grieving mother, myself and the preacher a nice big envelope each

    One filled with over 10 pages of Bible passages condemning us to hell, referencing God’s marriage laws, marriage amongst people and animals, and then a sympathy card.

    I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED SUCH HATE AND BIGOTRY in my life. James was taught not to be bigoted, hateful, and would not have approved of this.

    James did not die of Sjogren’s Syndrome. He died a tragic death of suicide where his poor mother and myself found him hanging from a ceiling fan. I tried unsuccessfully to revive him, but it was too late.

    To the people of Clarkridge, including his own family, RUTH STRAIN, RAY WAYE, ROY (JUNIOR) STONE and JACKIE STONE- you all will be judged just as everyone else. The same goes for VICKI and JERRY OELHS.

    And for anyone who would like to send their thoughts to Jerry and Vick Oels, you can write them at JERRY AND VICKI OELS
    3843 CR 37
    I can be reached via email at


My Thoughts On The Minimum Wage

25 Jun

On the issue of the minimum wage, I’ll admit it hasn’t really kept up with the rate of inflation so perhaps a “slight” increase is called for. Having said this I want to make an important distinction between those who are expecting to make a “living wage” and those who are simply out there “flipping burgers” and the like. In recent months, we’ve heard a lot about minimum-wage earners employed at fast food joints who are bitching, claiming they can’t make a decent living at their job…

What do they expect?

These people need to get off their ass and get a job that wasn’t intended to be anything more than a “temporary job for a school kid in need of a bit of spending money while attending junior high or high school.”

It chaps my ass when I hear about some knucklehead working at McDonald’s (or any fast food joint for that matter) who’s complaining he or she isn’t making twenty bucks an hour.

If such a person really wants to make twenty or more dollars an hour then he/she needs to get a real job that requires more of a skill-set than just being able to toss some fries in a cardboard envelope and slopping a burger in a box. Demanding such a wage for that kind of work is a slap in the face of every person who actually goes the distance to make the effort to lift him or herself up by learning a skill so that he/she can provide a necessary service or create a product that requires more skills than that which a 6-year old child might possess.

Yeah, I know… that isn’t a popular opinion but I stand by it.


The Beast Within Russia

15 Jan

To many this is considered “old news” because the law was enacted during the summer of last year (2013). But to those of us whose brothers and sisters face anguish, antagonism, vitriolic hatred, physical beatings and (worst case scenario) even death this isn’t old news at all.

In Russia, young men and women live in fear for their lives (just because of what and who they are) If they’re the least bit open about their sexuality.

The British protestor depicted in the embedded video is correct. If this draconian law were instead focused on persons of color (black people) or targeted a segment of society for its religious beliefs (or background, such as those of Jewish descent), there would be an overwhelming outrage; one such that the Olympic Committee would have been forced to revisit its decision to hold the Winter games in Sochi, Russia. However, because the law is “anti-gay” in nature — well, it’s just easier to digest and turn a blind eye to I suppose.

I’ve written the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and as well have signed a petition asking that they take a stand on this issue. My comments to the head of the committee read as follows:

IF the IOC cannot bring itself to do something about this outlandish and discriminatory practice from the Russian government then I will assure you that I (1) will not watch any of the games, (2) will make it clear to ALL of those who purchase advertising for the games that I’ll not be purchasing their products or services so long as the games are taking place in Russia, (3) will not purchase games memorabilia, (4) will write the networks “carrying” the games to advise them of my intent not to watch any of their daily programming during the time that the games are going on — and as well, will further research how I and other like-minded persons may negatively impact the International Olympic Committee and the games held in Russia. I have the greatest respect for the athletes and am saddened that my actions may have a negative effect on them in some fashion but in all honesty, you have had entirely enough time to get off of your ass and initiate a proactive response toward Russia and its policies with regard to this matter. (What you SHOULD have done was either move the damn games or simply call them off until the next set of games were scheduled to take place. I have lost ALL matter of confidence and respect for the IOC at this point in time — and I do know with certainty that others feel similarly.)

And I meant every word. Am I angry? Yes, I am (and as you read further you will understand just why this should anger you as well).

Has anything changed?

We have made a lot of headway in North America regarding LGBTQ issues; acceptance and understanding, tolerance and even equality to a larger degree in many states. Still, there are far too many who unfairly judge and openly discriminate against the gay, lesbian and transgender communities. LGBTQ teens and young adults by and large face higher risks; more attempt suicide, struggle with depression, are homeless and bullied, both online and offline daily — but there has been progress (just not so much in Russia!)

Russian President Vladimir PutinIt’s now open season on all who are even perceived to be gay/lesbian or transgendered in Russia, the vast majority attempting to justify their violent actions by linking homosexuality to pedophilia (a claim that has been debunked many times over).

And Russia’s “head douche-bag”, President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that the homophobic State Duma (the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia) has his full support and praise.

The law passed in Russia only this past summer bans all “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” Propaganda? The law is written so broadly, it’s wide open to interpretation and the perfect tool of choice to enable the police/courts and prejudiced, uninformed citizens (who are waging war on all things LGBTQ) to abuse our brothers and sisters living or visiting there. Most of what I’m reading in the news demonstrates that the law has pushed back human rights for gays and lesbians decades (or more), giving those who are prejudiced renewed motivation to discriminate, humiliate and torture LGBTQ persons in public.

For instance, a group of young men and women gather together (not unlike a rogue pack of filthy, wild dogs) weekly to go on what they refer to as “safaris.” Their sole purpose during these events is to target gay men and women, beating them severely. I believe it’s only a matter of time before they actually kill someone (or perhaps that’s already occurred and we simply don’t know about it … yet!) This ill-educated band of social misfits feel so empowered by the state, they film their attacks and upload the videos to a website for others to view. It’s as if they are peacocks preening their feathers; the difference being that these “lumbering ostriches” aren’t at all, all that beautiful — nor are their crimes of misled passion.

That is the effect this hateful law has had; it simply encourages the most dull-witted and hateful among Russia’s citizens to become more and more violent, seemingly with the state’s permission and encouragement.

Vladimir Putin must be so proud.

Related Links:

  • HUFFPOST GAY VOICESThe Heartbreaking Story Of Two Gay Men Who Were Forced To Flee Russia “Oleg Dussaev, 33, and Dmitriy Stepanov, 30, fled Moscow in October last year after allegedly being beaten up, harassed and intimidated by anti-gay vigilantes. Their careers met an abrupt end after Oleg came out publicly on Facebook in August.”

  • The IndependentRussian politician Vitaly Milonov brands Stephen Fry ‘sick’ during anti-gay rant “Mr Milonov met Mr Fry in St Petersburg in March this year when the broadcaster was filming a documentary on gay people’s experiences across the world and he interviewed the politician. The comment was part of a long, offensive rant by the politician and lawmaker, who likened homosexuality to perversion.”

  • CBS NewsRussian anti-gay bill passes, protesters detained

  • ALLOUT.orgSend a message to Thomas Bach, IOC President

  • DallasVoice.comOut on the Street: Homeless LGBT youth in Dallas often turn to drugs, prostitution if social workers don’t find them first – and advocates say they need the community’s help.

  • on homosexuality and pedophilia — “The simplest understanding of this, and a very correct understanding is to see that sexual abuse isn’t about sexual orientation or sexual attraction. Unattractive people are often victims of sexual abuse and sexual violence. Sexual violence and abuse is about power, domination, and control. It’s not about sexual attraction.

  • (SPLC) Southern Poverty Law Center 10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked — [Excerpt] “These fairy tales are important to the anti-gay right because they form the basis of its claim that homosexuality is a social evil that must be suppressed — an opinion rejected by virtually all relevant medical and scientific authorities.”

  • ABC News online: Russia expels David Satter, US journalist critical of Vladimir Putin — [Excerpt] “In one of his books, Darkness at Dawn, Satter accuses the Federal Security Service (FSB), a successor of the Soviet-era KGB, of being responsible for bombings of Russian apartment buildings in 1999 which killed more than 300 people.”

  • Google Search including the keywords anti-gay, law and Russia.

  • Google Search including the keywords Russia, “Vitaly Milonov” and anti-gay.


Medals for Mediocrity

21 Oct

Definition of mediocrityWhat are we teaching our children today. (Okay, in all fairness I don’t have kids so perhaps the question should be “What are you teaching your children”?)

Recently, it’s become a pattern to give kids a medal for “participating” (for just showing up, regardless of whether they were prepared, put any effort into the competition or were skilled.). I know this because I’ve seen it firsthand over and over. The message seems to be that it’s alright to be lazy, to be motivated not to improve one’s skills and hone his or her craft.

All that matters is that you show up — and you deserve a medal just for doing so.


Read the rest of this entry »


Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001?

11 Sep

On the morning of this day, twelve years ago I sat in total shock while watching the news on the television. I was staying at the apartment of one of several friends with whom I was staying as I regained my footing in life six months after leaving an abusive ex.

Watching helplessly on as first one and then another plane hit its intended target, I felt numb. Thankfully (for my sanity) I was preparing to leave for a 10-day meditation retreat that would begin three days hence.

At the office, we had been working with a law firm located in Tower No. 1, many of whom were early morning risers and in the office at the crack of dawn; we’d developed close ties and relationships with many of them.

Nearly three thousand innocent souls were taken in these horrific terrorist attacks; my claim to being un-racist, GONE.

Since that day I’ve fought feelings of pure hatred for those in the Middle East. Yes, I realize the terrorists were but a sampling of those with extremist views born of that region but after enduring year after year (before and since) of news of civil war and the feelings of hate that so many in the region feel toward “America” and its citizens — all while having the AUDACITY to call US the infidels and heathens when they’ll resort to anything to make it clear just how deeply their hate resides for us as a nation…

Since 9-11l, my temperament has gone from one of “live and let live” to one of a deep, abiding hate for the fanatics born of that region. I won’t mention the labels I have contrived for these people; doing so would not solve anything and would only result in arguments and harsh feelings. I’ll only say that their strike against our nation, what we stand for, the INNOCENT LIVES taken on that day and the feelings of uncertainty that did then follow (very real and felt by so many across the borders of our country)…

Were it within my power I would simply, once and for all time, wipe the entire Middle East off the face of the earth and be done with their ridiculous fighting and feelings of hatred for everyone else. They’ve proven time and again that their interest is NOT in finding peace within this world, but in fighting a cultural and very real war against ALL OTHERS instead.

So no, I will NEVER forget that day twelve years ago; I’ll not forget what I was feeling and what I was doing when the first plane hit its mark, or the second and the third… or when the passengers of the 4th fought back and PREVENTED these jackasses from hitting their 4th target. I’ll not forgive those responsible for the terrorist acts and am highly unlikely to see ANY person born of that region as a human being that is worthy of one’s respect, tolerance and love or admiration.

Furthermore, I am incensed that we as a nation continue to fund the rehabilitative efforts within a region we went to war with.

I say to this region and its people, “Screw you! Rebuild your own country and don’t expect myself or any of my fellow Americans to play into your b.s. EVER again. If it is considered necessary to bomb your sorry asses to oblivion in order to maintain a sense of safety and freedom around the world, so be it but DO NOT expect us to pay to rebuild your infrastructure after. Pull up your big-boy pants and pay the consequences for all of the hate against America and its citizens, hate you have instilled in your young and within the extremists amongst you.

You talk bravely of rattling your own swords but you do not realize just yet your own mistake in awaking the sleeping giant in many within our own country. We will NEVER forget the senseless deaths of that day.”

(Consider that carefully, Putin, as you continue to make threats of your own in response to our feelings of DISGUST toward a regime in Syria that would kill innocents in a civil war. We are not the globe’s Sheriff but by God we WON’T be bullied by some imbecile in Russia who doesn’t recognize the value of civil rights and is only a greedy little “Hitleresque” dimwitted fool.)


Gone Too Far

02 Sep

Tolerance, the definition ofOkay, clearly I have more serious concerns right now, what with the possibility of a relapse of cancer on the horizon but I’m going to take a moment to comment on (what I perceive) to be an unrealistic over-reaction to a husband-and-wife bakery shop in Oregon.

I agree that those of us who are members of the LGBT community should be treated with the same level of respect any human being, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, is deserving of. I also believe it’s inherently important that our GOVERNMENT recognize and offer to gay couples, the same rights and protections that any other committed [straight] couple would be extended as a consequence of the couple’s expressed devotion to one another.

Does it bother me that there are so many who classify us as degenerates and refuse our business, justifying their actions by dismissing us as sinners who are unworthy of the most basic rights in this country? Certainly. I think such people are small-minded, pathetic and haven’t one damned clue as to what Jesus Christ was all about and/or how God feels about His gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered children. To put it simply, I think they’re DUMBASSES, but…

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Just how much do you expect us to pay for your raise?

29 Aug

At the risk of sounding insensitive I’m going to remind the employees of McDonald’s, Wendys and Taco Bell (who were out on strike) today of something:

You are flipping a damned burger! (Precisely how much skill and hard work does that require?)

Yes, I read all about how the 20-year old mother, Shaniqua Davis “struggle[s] to make ends meet” and as well, how 25-year old mother of three, Shenita Simon shares an apartment with her mother and “fight[s] to put food on the table.”

I’m certain it IS difficult for a young mother of [insert number of children here] to live life as an adult, maintaining a home while covering the rent, utilities and setting money aside for the incidentals, all while working at a job that’s generally held by a teenager. My bad; you have no skills or you’re too lazy to get a real adult job (and as with everything else in your life, “I should be the one paying the price for your lack of motivation to get off your ass and make something more of yourself?”)

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A Word to Christians Everywhere

15 Aug

No apologies for my faithfulness; I’m gay but I’m also a man who believes in a higher power. God, Creator, Yahweh, Spirit, The “One”… choose whatever label you are comfortable with. I simply do not believe life is just a co-inky-dink; that we are simply born, die and that’s the end.

I believe in so much more!

We are not alone; we are not a “happenstance” — some mingling of two molecules that somehow, quite by accident did miraculously combine, resulting in our creation. There is a reason, a purpose for our being here.

Here is where my brand of faith diverges from that of many whose faith is more “traditional“. While I do believe we exist for a purpose (to experience, grow and evolve), I do NOT believe we’re some experiment in God’s proverbial lab upstairs. He isn’t testing us to see if we are deserving of His company in the afterlife or an eternity in hell. Nor do I believe that we get only “one shot at life” (I’ve addressed the fact that I believe in reincarnation in other blog entries – no good reason to rehash that here).

What we are is God incarnate; we are made in God’s image, each one of us and as such we’ve a choice in our birthright. We’ve power over our lives, the likes of which few will ever fully realize in this lifetime.

(That will sound like blasphemy to those who ascribe to an orthodox brand of faith and again, I make NO apologies to such people.)

The traditional believers did get one thing right; we have free will. While I believe we choose the circumstances into which we will be born (to best set ourselves up for the experiences that will most likely help us to evolve), our lives and all that will happen to us is not “carved in stone” (there is no such thing is pure destiny). The path that our lives take will be affected by every life-altering decision we make, from the time of our “birth” until the very moment our physical bodies cease to function. Our lives will become what we make of them; peaceful, fulfilled, chaotic and disorganized, loving or bitter… There are as many outcomes as there are stars in the heavens.

This doesn’t mean I’m blind to science though; I do believe in evolution.

In fact, I think it is not only silly but downright irresponsible that some institutions teach only creationism. It isn’t God’s intention for us to walk through life with blinders on, oblivious to the fact that “life evolves.” God doesn’t ask that we remain ignorant of how our lives and our environment are affected by science.

If anything, I believe He would ask that we continually question and search out the truth. Anything less is a waste of our intellect which, if one is to believe that all things come from God so too do the minds with which we use to reason with each day.

And yet, there are many who cling to tradition; even in the face of a preponderance of evidence indicating they do not fully understand that which they judge. Their inability to move past their fear and hatred give them cause to do things in the name of their “faith” that is unwarranted, anything but Christ-like and downright inhumane.

I am appalled by the vast majority of those who are quick to proclaim themselves as Christians or devout Catholics, who cloak themselves in religious doctrine to the extent they set aside human dignity for their fellow man.

These individuals are so quick to try and justify their prejudice through a “book” written thousands of years ago in Hebrew (with the exception of a few chapters written in Aramaic). It was written during an era when the language did not even have “words” for some of the things “Christians” and others of faith attempt to pass judgment on today. For instance, many assume God held homosexuality in disfavor when only one or two scriptures make mention of persons of the same gender laying with one another. (Even then, it takes a stretch of the imagination and gross misinterpretation of those scriptures to justify their stance on the matter.)

Leave the judging to He who knows us bestThose who use the Bible to justify their prejudice against (and the hatred or disgust they feel toward homosexuals) more often than not will disregard all scripture which may present their own actions in an unfavorable light. Such persons choose instead to focus ONLY on passages that appear to support their not so Godly agendas. They much prefer to criticize and condemn rather than leave the judging up to Another who might know our hearts so much better than our peers EVER could.

How ironic is it that they cannot see the correlation between the arguments used by those who preceded them, who relied on the Bible in a failed attempt to justify slavery and preempt couples of mixed races from following THEIR OWN hearts and marrying one another? Those same arguments are eerily similar to the ones given in the “present day” while trying to prevent same-sex couples from marrying, a right opposite-sex couples often take for granted. (We simply wish to secure the same protections for our loved ones as any other “married couple” might enjoy under the (sic) watchful eyes of the government.)

But setting aside the issue of marriage equality for now…

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LGBTQ-Related Suicides during 2012

09 Jun

The number of LGBTQ suicides for the year 2012 currently stands at...As indicated in an earlier [blog] entry, I’ll continue to focus my thoughts on everything I am thankful for (which is quite a lot) and I refuse to allow the works of those whose actions are born of hate to have their desired effect on me. That does not mean I will ignore the tragedies that are left in the wake of their hatred, however. Bullying a child for any reason is wrong, whether the abuse comes from another child or an adult. Sadly, there is a lot of bullying that is originating from BOTH these days; most notably (at the moment), from those who are trying to secure the nomination for the Republican ticket in the upcoming presidential election and as well, from the uber-conservative “we’ve got a stick up our arse” State of Tennessee!

This entry isn’t going to be a full-on rant but understand one thing… I will revise the entry each and every time I hear of yet another child or young adult whose suicide or death is somehow related to LGBTQ intolerance and bullying. It isn’t intended to be a depressing blog entry (though by its very nature it will be).

Rather, it is a reminder to any who read it of just how many senseless deaths are taking place in this one year (2012) alone as a consequence of prejudice and intolerance.

“God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Ellen Degeneres and two-million moms

11 Mar

I don’t watch the show regularly but I have a lot of respect for Ellen DeGeneres. Her talk show is always positive and upbeat. When she is addressing a serious topic that has made the news, she doesn’t “react” irrationally but rather instead, she gives her opinion and [often] even interjects a bit of humor simultaneously.

So, what’s the problem?

Oh my God… She’s (dare I say it?) a lesbian! And a group of mothers on Facebook who’ve banded together under the banner of “One Million Moms” is taking exception to JC Penny’s hiring Ellen on as a spokesperson. By the way (and as Ellen points out in the above clip from her show), it’s interesting that the membership of “One Million Moms” falls FAR SHORT of “one million.”

I really want to thank everyone who is supporting me and if you don’t know me very well, if you’re just watching maybe for the first time or you’re just getting to know me I want to be clear and here are the values that I stand for.

I stand for:

  1. Honesty;
  2. Equality;
  3. Kindness;
  4. Compassion;
  5. Treating people the way you want to be treated; and
  6. Helping those in need.

To me, those are traditional values; that is what I stand for.

—Ellen Degeneres

At last count the page indicated there were 45,152 members posting. (I suppose it’s alright to round up to the nearest million. After all, who needs truth, honesty and personal values, right?) Just sayin’…

What’s equally interesting is that in response to the above group’s attempt to divide JC Penny and Ellen, another group of moms have appeared on the horizon in support of Degeneres. Let’s give a big shout-out for “One Million Moms Behind Ellen” (who likewise, need to shore up their numbers). Show them some love; go to their page and click on the “Like” button.

And if you’re not a Mom there’s another group on Facebook called “1 Million people who support Ellen for JC Penny” that, at last count, has garnered 199,688 likes with 6,486 people talking about the page. Click on the link and Like their page if you are of the mind. Show Ellen the support she deserves.

I now want to take a moment (specifically) to encourage you to watch one of the episodes of The Ellen Show, which is available via the Internet here. In this episode, Carrie Agnew and Rebecca Johnson talk about what happened during the birth of their daughter, Ruby. Rebecca had a wonderful pregnancy but in her own words, the childbirth was anything but. (She had to have a C-section without any anesthesia due to the need to get the baby out immediately Why am I talking about this? Simply put, this is but one of the reasons why we need to achieve Marriage Equality across the nation. Ruby was close to death after delivery but Carrie, not being the “birth” mother, was unable to make the life-saving decision that needed to be made in that moment. Fortunately for the entire family, Rebecca (who had passed out from shock from having to be opened up without anesthesia), awoke just in time to give the necessary consent — but did it really have to be this way?

Personally speaking, I am convinced that in the end we (LGBT persons) will have the right to marry our loving partners, regardless of what those who oppose such equality across the nation might feel. It’s simply a matter of time (and if the desperate cries of the ultra-conservatives is any indication, we’ll attain such sooner rather than later).

Think about it.

Namaste and peace be with you,