Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Gay" in the News: Melodrama Debuts at Utah State Capitol

Utah legislators conduct tear-jerker hearing.

Photos of other men expressing similar sentiments.

Members of Utah Congress heard pathetic stories of sad Utahns who have been insulted, fired from their jobs and felt unable to make a decent life because they are "gay".

I am not without feeling.  But a photo-op of one of the attendees at the hearing, apparently caught wiping a tear from the corner of his eye, just might approach maudlin.  And it certainly represents the degree of calculated cynicism exhibited by the typical media reporting of these events.

It approaches melodramatic proportions where this is no longer staging a demonstration, it is a performance piece.  Victims on parade.  And bleeding hearts reporting it.

What kinds of gestures will it take to satisfy homosexual advocates in Utah that they have made their point?

I get it.  People are getting their feelings hurt, subjected to hearing of discouraging words, and worse.  This is belaboring the point.

And now what you do shouts so loudly in my ears, I can't hear a word you're saying any more.

Is the US facing the threat of Balkanization?  Have we become so polarized that debate in the public square becomes just another recitation of charges to shout past each other?

I have no defense against the accusation that a few people in the state of Utah are perpetrating harm and malicious acts and denigration against social misfits.  Since I am personally handicapped and have suffered all kinds of resulting discrimination myself, I have no reason to deny that such things happen.  Sometimes people park in the blue spot that are clearly not among those designated for such accommodation.  I have considered reporting this to police, but I suppose cops really have better ways to spend their time.  And balancing these few unfortunate episodes are countless gestures of kindness and good intentions from Utahns trying to be sensitive about my disabilities.

The question is, do I expect government regulation to come to the rescue in cases where nothing less than thought police will do?  Have we reached a point where the priority of special rights for one group overrides the existing protection of rights for all others?

One of my friends participated in staging this production.  I wonder if I should ask him for a copy of the script?

"Gay" in the News: Transgender Surgery and Insurance Benefits

Transgender reassignment surgeries will be covered by an increasing number of insurance plans.  Isn't that just such a comfort to know?  If I happen to be out shopping, and should decide that I need to just pick up a bit of transgender surgery today, I will keep this in mind.

Because "gender identity" is such a serious thing these days, the mayor of DC has joined with others in recognizing "gender identity disorder" as a legitimate medical condition. Washington DC now joins California, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon and Vermont in mandating insurance coverage for treatment of "gender identity disorder".

I admit I am confused all about this, because it seems to me like mental health professionals just got through revising their categorization of such things so that homosexual behavior cannot be treated as a psychiatric disorder.  But now insurance coverage is mandated for treatment as a medical disorder?

The world is a mixed-up place.

"Gay" in the News: Arizona Bill is Misrepresented

Breitbart publishes correspondence from a coalition of law professors, claiming that the Arizona legislation is being "egregiously misrepresented".

This group of academics sent the letter to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer prior to her veto of the bill.  From a law professor's perspective, the bill apparently represented "...a uniform standard to be interpreted and applied to individual cases".

The opposition to the bill does not seem to address this idea.  It is uniformly characterized as "anti-gay discrimination" and "hateful bigotry".  Most of the media coverage of this controversy seems narrowly focused on that idea.

Imagine that.

"Gay" in the News: Arizona Bill Vetoed

Arizona's Governor Brewer decided to capitulate, rather than bear any more of the brunt of homosexual advocates wrath.

A more extreme review of the Brewer veto.

Totally understandable.  She was obviously intimidated by dissonant voices, clashing on the courthouse lawn.  Apparently the "gay" protests shouted louder and longer.

Arizona is already the focus of enough controversy.  They have no real need to force this issue at this time.

Compromise is the foundation of diplomacy.

There will be other opportunities to test this idea further.  I'll be back...

Meanwhile, we can just picture all the Archie Bunker look-alike bigots huddling in their dank dungeons in Arizona, stashing away their secretive stores of "NO GAYS ALLOWED" signs, behind the stacks of ammo boxes, ready to display at a moment's notice, if again the phony call of "religious liberty" should ever again be invoked from the sacred halls of discrimination.

This is not "coexist".  It is "capitulation".  Homosexual advocates got whatever they demanded, and nobody else got anything.

One can hope that the interests of the people of Arizona are well served.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Gay" in the News: Corporate Coercion

One of the major corporate sponsors attempting to exert coercive pressure on Arizona regarding the recently approved "religious rights" bill.  Apple is currently building a facility in Mesa, and suggests that they may have to rethink this if Governor Brewer signs the bill.

This is interesting too for the fact that the population of Mesa is predominantly Mormon.  The religious rights idea would seem to be a perfect fit for the community.

How this issue comes under the domain of proprietary interest by the computer industry escapes me.  From my perspective, computers seldom claim anything like "gender identity".  I also use Apple Computer products, so I must be contributing to their success.

But Apple apparently expects to get some mileage out of it.  Maybe marketing research indicates to Apple execs that the corporate culture they project wins them market share.  Seems to be a fairly successful business strategy, to flatter the thundering herd who "think different" in their uniformity.  But Apple practice does not seem to be altogether consistent with this idea, at least in this case.  They seem to believe financial influence buys them political power.  And to be honest, is there any other way?

Perhaps by no small coincidence, even their corporate logo apparently signifies sympathy with homosexual advocates.

"Gay" in the News: Federal Judge Rules Against Texas DOMA

 Oh, what a surprise.

Another federal judge rules to overturn democratically-approved state restriction of same-sex marriage.  This time in the great state of Texas.  And in response to yet another lawsuit.  Imagine that.

I guess the motto will also require some revision.  "Don't mess with gays and federal courts!"

The judge, in his decision, intones,
Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution. These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex.
Perhaps one of the problems being that of course there is "legitimate governmental purpose" in all sorts of governmental regulatory restrictions on marriage.  I cannot marry my mother or my sister even if I wanted to.  Neither can I marry my 1995 Toyota 4-Runner, no matter how much we profess to love each other.  But who knows, maybe those rules will also change.

This specious rationale is just further insistence that if we call the tail a leg, the government has a Constitutionally-vested interest to force everyone to recognize that a dog has more than four legs.

"Gay" in the News: Morphing From "Leave Us Alone" to "Bake Us a Cake!"

When "Leave us alone" became "Bake us a cake.  Or else!"

There was some point of departure where imploring everyone to just look the other way and ignore deviant behavior became strident demands to participate in public flaunting of "gender identity", or face criticism, and now lawsuits.

Advocates of "equivalence" for deviant behavior have escalated the issue, although their efforts have been consistently voted down through democratic process.  They continue to insist, and federal judges are now backing their claims.  Mainstream traditions are becoming indefensible in most lawsuits, as federal judges and elected officials see no difference between practices that reflect social norms and those that represent deviance.

"Gay" in the News: Arizona and "NO GAYS ALLOWED"

Why do homosexual advocates insist that the Arizona law will result in "NO GAYS ALLOWED" signs?  They seem to have reasons of their own.  Some analysis of the new law concludes that discrimination is already legal and permissible under current Arizona law.  If businesses in Arizona were inclined to plaster their establishments with such signs, they could already be doing it.

Perhaps the question that needs to be addressed is, why are opponents of the new law so convinced that it was written specifically to promote "anti-gay" discrimination?  The purpose of the new law seems to be to protect business from being sued for claiming a religious basis for their philosophy and practice.  The term "gay" is not found anywhere in the bill.

Could it be that homosexual advocates just generally oppose anything which furthers religious interests?  If so, perhaps the bill is well justified.

Of course, one of the most frequently suggested idea from those opposing the Arizona law is that nobody is forced to operate a business in Arizona.  Sort of a twisted "Love It or Leave It" slogan.  Sad to say, any business owner who presumes to have a right to religious views would be well advised to think twice.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Decline to Watch Super Bowl XLIX

Decline to watch the Super Bowl in February 2015.

Make plans to be elsewhere than in front of the TV on NFL game days next football season.  If you really enjoy football, watch NCAA games instead.  They're better anyway.

No further need to use products that are advertised during NFL football.  They don't need your money.

See how long it will take for wealthy pro football sponsors to realize that the general public is their only source of revenue.

I recognize that the owners of the NFL have every right to express their opinion, as everyone does.  But threatening to take the venue away from Arizona just amounts to a rich guys club bullying for political influence.

The only way to make NFL owners understand public sentiment is for the majority of decent people to stand up for what is right.

It seemed to work well enough with the Duck Dynasty controversy.

I have no problem if Governor Brewer weighs the options and decides to veto.  But the NFL has no right to force the decision about legislative merit.

"Gay" in the News: NFL Threatens to Take Away

Arizona warning from NFL - "We have heard from our stakeholders".  I wonder who that could be?

Big money apparently believes they can exert pressure and coercive threats against Arizona governor Jan Brewer to force her to veto the Religious Freedom Restoration Act recently approved by Arizona Congress.

Arizona is currently slated to host the 2015 Super Bowl at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium.  They stand to bring in significant revenue from hosting the party.

Opponents of the bill contend that it will allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to homosexual customers.  The claim is, NO GAYS ALLOWED" signs will suddenly spring up unconstrained all over Arizona - even though the bill itself is all about protection of religious rights, and addresses nothing specific that relates to "gay rights" advocacy.

Without the power to bring government sanctioned righteous wrathful lawsuits down on the impending flood of discrimination and bigotry, they predict that everyone will suffer from injustice and bad karma, and probably athlete's foot.

Sadly, the negative rhetoric appears to bear little relation to the actual legislation.  Vociferous opponents claim the law is nothing less than "Jim Crow" revisited.  But perhaps in this instance, the crow has lost a few feathers.

Perhaps this occasions an opportunity for an honest public expression of public interest from all those who watch NFL games and use products advertised during the televised games.  A note to the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might change a few sentiments.  (National Football League, 280 Park Avenue Suite 12, New York, NY 10017-1216).

This approach seemed to work well in the case of Duck Dynasty and the Phil Robertson controversy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Gay" in the News: Agenda is Advanced

Recognizing that the agenda of homosexual advocates is being "advanced", through federal courts and foot-dragging by state officials.

The suggestion seems to be that what cannot be achieved by democratic process may just as well be forced by federal judges who know better.  This is considered to be some kind of "advance", as though it represents the final round of game show competition.

Though I disagree with their premise - the only way to find happiness is by changing the rules - I hope those people eventually find what they are seeking.  

"Gay" in the News: Dealing With Sexuality in the Real World

"Same-sex Marriage" - both sides of the debate need hope.  Divisive rhetoric from either side of the issue does little to settle the controversy over marriage traditions.

Reducing the perspective to allow few alternatives is a cognitive distortion.  

"Either jump out of the closet, join the celebration, make being gay or lesbian the dominant characteristic of your life and the sole foundation of your identity, and join the same-sex marriage lobby — or remain ‘closeted,’ deny yourself, choose a false identity, become depressed, and risk suicide.”

This same false dichotomy is presented to the public, insisting that the only way to recognize the equal dignity of gays and lesbians is to redefine the institution of marriage to include same-sex couples — or risk a repressive, backward society that shuns its sons and daughters, consigning them to lives of solitude, misery and despair."

In the real world, there are many who experience same-sex attraction that have learned to deal with it, without any of the dire consequences that protesters insist on.

Also in the real world, those who indulge their enslavement to biological imperative seldom seem to find lasting happiness, "gay" or not. 

"Gay" in the News: Uganda

After signing the bill criminalizing homosexual behavior, the Uganda president is quoted, "This law was provoked by arrogant and careless Western-based groups that are fond of coming into our schools to recruit our young children," he said in a televised speech shortly after signing the bill. "Can somebody be homosexual purely by nature without nurture? The answer is: 'No.' "

He certainly seems to have failed to get the message about "born that way", doesn't he?

If that line don't fetch them, I don't know "gay" activism!

Somewhat ironic to see news media pictures of protest signs.  Uganda reportedly has a high literacy rate of about 2/3.  The signs are obvioulsy intended to be read by others, not Ugandans.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The LDS Church and Consensus

In her critical essay "The LDS Church:  From Proposition 8 to Religious Freedom", Valerie Hudson mistakenly observes, "The Church perceives, rightly in this observer's view, that religious freedom is an issue around which a broad consensus can still be built within American society."

It is not evident from her essay exactly how Hudson discerns exactly what "The Church perceives", either with her gratuitous approval or not.  The rest of her criticism fails on the basis of this pivotal false assumption.

It is evident, from hundreds of years of Church history, that "broad consensus" has never been one of the operative decision making points on which Church policy turns.  Although this is quite difficult to communicate to those minded like Hudson, those who seem to put their faith in the intellectual theory of "social constructs", and promote popular politically-correct perspectives.

This philosophical approach, though proponents claim common membership and carry Temple recommends, neglects the consideration of greatest significance in relation to Church policy and Church membership.

Elder Oaks said of this academic approach,

I admire those scholars for whom scholarship does not exclude faith and revelation. It is part of my faith and experience that the Creator expects us to use the powers of reasoning He has placed within us, and that He also expects us to exercise our divine gift of faith and to cultivate our capacity to be taught by divine revelation. But these things do not come without seeking. Those who utilize scholarship and disparage faith and revelation should ponder the Savior’s question: “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44).
God invites us to reason with Him, but I find it significant that the reasoning to which God invites us is tied to spiritual realities and maturity rather than to scholarly findings or credentials. In modern revelation the Lord has spoken of reasoning with His people (D&C 45:10, 15; 50:10–12; 61:13; see also Isa. 1:18). It is significant that all of these revelations were addressed to persons who had already entered into covenants with the Lord—to the elders of Israel and to the members of his restored Church.  (Historicity of the Book of Mormon)

I find it common among such advocates of heeding or being "sensitive" to popular consensus that they tend to confuse this with the principle of common consent.  But this idea is problematic, because common consent as practiced in the Church relates to our opportunity to sustain by covenant, and is unrelated to any sort of political veto power.  It is our opportunity as Church members to participate in a common and united expression of faith.

President Monson urges us to walk against the tide of popular criticism.  What we seek is the approval of God:
It is this sweet assurance that can guide you and me—in our time, in our day, in our lives. Of course, we will face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but also as a determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.  (The Call for Courage)
There is a difference between prudently using the power of the tide, and just passively going with the flow because it is the consensus or seems overpowering and inevitable.

When I was SCUBA diving in coastal ocean waters in Southern California, as we did not have a boat, we frequently used the tides to access areas far from our entry point on the seashore.  We would identify areas of tidal outflow, popularly known as "rip tides".  And we would purposefully swim out into one of these "rip tides" and allow it to carry us out into deeper waters.  Thus instead of wearing yourself out trying to flounder directly through the onshore current and battering waves, we would let the tide work in our favor, to save time and energy.

"Gay" in the News: Supporting Traditional Marriage

At the "Support Traditional Marriage" rally a couple of weeks ago, the "gay" interests held a competing rally on the same location several hours before.  Some of them stayed on, apparently intending to disrupt the subsequent rally.  They marched down the aisle while the Utah Attorney General was trying to speak, and threw glitter-filled balloons at him.  Then they fell on the floor kicking and shouting like an angry two-year-old in a tantrum.  That part was not particularly interesting to me, but it was fascinating to see dozens of media representatives rush down the aisle to make a record of the petulant outburst.  There were more cameras than cops.  The reporters swooped in from the periphery like a flock of vultures as the cops dragged them away.  Thus the protesters apparently fulfilled their purpose.

It would seem that most of us pitiful and pathetic people have an independant life of our own.  Others seem compelled to publicly exhibit a contrived "gender identity" that we must never presume to question.  That would constitute a thought-crime against humanity.

I'm pretty sure I have little understanding of what "transgender" hopes to accomplish.  As far as I can tell, what happens to a developing human takes place a long time before anyone is even born.  A bit of snipping and cutting, an excision or augmentation here and there, is not going to ever change that.  Cosmetic surgery makes changing some rather superficial physical characteristics about as easy as changing your clothes.  And as meaningful.

I personally feel that the ramifications of my own life are more important than an actor's wardrobe.  Sexuality is a human attribute, but I would think my life shallow indeed if I held that to be anything more than a small integral piece of what defines me.  Those advocates for "gay" thinking seem to be letting one obsession define the whole of their existence.  I could never be so narrow.

An associate once challenged me about my presumed "homophbia", suggesting that I should "try being gay for a day".  My impression has long been that I would find no real difficulty in doing so, in every bit as superficial manner as those who would project a "gender identity".

In me it seems to represent a character defect that I must work to overcome.  But others are apparently privileged to argue, "I was born this way".

Weren’t we all... 

"Gay" in the News: Gay Father Hoax

"Gay father" birthday party invitation hoax.  The radio show hosts fabricated a controversy which they later backed away from, saying they were only "attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic".  Those who called the radio show to comment were deemed to be sufferers from that deplorable "homophobia" disorder.

"Gay" in the News: Not So Okay in Russia?

Police detain wielder of "Gay is OKAY" banner. Russian laws presumably violate  "gay freedom".  The demonstrations apparently serve to inform the public of this grave injustice.  I suppose the demonstrations are staged with this in mind.  Most generally, I think it serves to get their pictures in the papers.  Interestingly, the Russian authorities deny that any such event occurred.

"Gay" in the News: Google Plays "Games"

Even Google affirms, from the front page of their vast data stores, that Russian Olympics are "the gayest games ever".  Not really very convincing.  Still trying to grasp how the expression of sexuality relates to Olympic competition.  The Olympics still appears to be a place where the girls are girls and the boys are boys.

"Gay" in the News: Russian "Homophobia"

Russian "homophobia" stigmatizes "gay" behavior.  What a collection of strange misnomers.

"Gay" in the News: Facebook Goes "Custom"

Facebook Choices

Social network adds feature to accommodate "gender identity".  A rainbow menu of new choices for the sexuality connoisseur.  I tried switching my designation to "custom" but Facebook refused to "save" my preferences.  Might still have a few bugs to work out.

What it is apparently all about.  "Gender identity" opens up a thrilling new world to the imagination and indulgence of the sexual explorer, in terms of the nuances of defining one's sexuality.  Or rather, having it define you.

"Gay" in the News: Toilets are "Gay"?

Women's Toilet

Men's Toilet

Transgender Toilet

Are not toilets somewhat "gender neutral" anyway?

"Gay" in the News: Maine Valiantly Defends Transgender "Rights" for School Children

Maine court orders "transgender" rights to fifth-grader.  "Constitutional right" of grade-school children to use the toilet of preference.  What does it represent to perform sex-change operations on grade-school children?  All kinds of vital questions come to mind.

"Gay" in the News: Cosmetic Surgery


"Transgender" ball player in California schools.  What advantage is "transgender" if you're that ugly?  While this person was getting a sex-change, why not some cosmetic enhancement?

"Gay" in the News: Monkey does WHAT to a Football?

"Coming Out" is popularized by NFL prospect Michael Sam.

Adds whole new meaning to "coming out", doesn't it?

"Gay" in the News: Uganda Homophobes

Discrimination in Uganda.  Homosexual behavior is criminalized.
Mr. Obama threatens to use harsh language in his vigilance against Uganda discrimination.  Seems to be comparable with his concern for Syrian children and his golf game.

"Gay" in the News: Not Far From the Tree

Now Chelsea Clinton follows proudly in her father's footsteps, to become an advocate for "federal equality" in sexuality.  News coverage reports that throughout her speech for the Human Rights Council, Clinton referenced a report by the Human Rights Campaign, “Growing Up LGBT in America.” The report supposedly interviewed 10,000 LGBT-identified youth between the ages 13 and 17.  The survey reports that 68 percent actually heard elected officials make negative comments about being LGBT.  Can you imagine - someone heard a discouraging word.

Clinton asserted that the implementation of federal laws that attempt to enforce "equality" are not an indication of success.  What the issue requires is apparently a full force of politically-correct thought police, ever vigilant on the watch against harsh language.  And rest assured that it all depends on what "is" is.

I keep trying to convince myself that what I read in the news media is ever biased concerning these issues.  Journalists appear to be largely sympathetic with "gay" issues, thus a particular editorial bigotry is evident.  But this news is representative of current events in the world.  If that is not troubling and concerning you, you may be on another planet.

"Gay" in the News: Coining a Funky New Term

"Heteronormative" perspective.  Not so cool to be "not so gay" in your personal views.

"Gay" in the News: Washington Marries Everyone to Everyone

Already tied the knot?  Why not?  In Washington and a few other states, "domestic partnerships" automatically get transformed to "marriage" compliments of the state.

"Gay" in the News: Landmark Legislative Deliberation

In California, and New Jersey, it is now illegal for mental health professionals to mention "gay conversion therapy" to minors, even at the request of parents.  

Because "gays" claim to be "born that way", it is deemed harmful for mental health professionals to try to help them to change their "gender identity".

The argument in California apparently turned on legal quibbling about the distinction between "speech" and "conduct".  Apparently the law can find justification to regulate "conduct", but not from "speech".  Very confusing legalistic nuance.

But in any case it's okay for grade-school children to undergo "transgender" cosmetic surgical procedures - with a note from the parents, of course.

"Gay" in the News: Gambia Homophobia

Gambia promotes government "homophobia" common in African countries.   His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh is the Commander In Chief of The Armed Forces and the Chief Custodian of the Sacred Constitution of The Gambia.  President Jammeh is also the Minister of Defense of the African country of Gambia, reportedly refers to homosexuals as "vermins".  
After the "vermins" reference, my favorite line quoted from the speech is "...LGBT can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence..."

"Gay" in the News: Kansas Overturns Religious Rights

Kansas protesters have success rejecting a religious rights bill.  Perhaps it was legislative overreach.  But nothing compared to the potential impact of federal judges overturning democratic initiatives.
Though this protester's placard represents sound advice, it is hardly definitive.
I love my mom, I even live in her house.  I also love my 1995 Toyota 4-Runner SUV.  I love furry little kittens and bunny rabbits.  I adore little children.
But we don't really have any desire to marry.  Honest.  Maybe there's a bit more to this issue than the sound bytes and slogans can communicate.
"Love" is much more than indulgence of the biological imperative.  And marriage is a "gestalt" that means so much more than "I am physically attracted to you and want to share your bed for a while".

"Gay" in the News: Oklahoma Religion in the Courts

Oklahoma court ruling clashes with religion, business.  Most religious systems advocate for moral values.  Business represent a number of religious individuals who choose not to cater to immorality.  Therein lies the conflict.

"Gay" in the News: Not So Much That You Would Notice

Still others, though they seem somewhat less "Mormon" than strident activists with an ax to grind, muddy the water further with the specious accusation that "Mormon" traditions really aren't all that traditional.