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“If gay men were really gay, would they commit suicide?”

NOM Exposed Right-wing

by Rob Tisinai

I recently had an exchange with a NOMmer on Facebook who was grousing about the word gay and ended his little polemic with this:

If gay men were really gay, would they commit suicide?

Like you, I’m torn up by the run of suicides we’ve seen from gay kids lately. I read that glib line from this self-described Christian (though I’m not sure what Christ would say about him) and it brought all the heartache up to the surface. I wrote back:

“Gay” became a code term for homosexual men to identify each other without getting fired, beaten up, or killed.

“If gay men were really gay, would they commit suicide?” I think that sentence speaks for itself. That’s the sort of sad, twisted, impersonal statement that makes people realize the anti-gay forces have serious psychological issues.

In other words, Will, people like you are the reason the votes at the state level get closer and closer, why people don’t want to be seen as opponents of marriage equality, why people are turning away from your side every year, and why we’ll win this battle. You, Will, are the reason you’ll lose.

He came back saying it was just a play on words. In other words, he confirmed what I said about him (Gays? Suicide? Teens killing themselves? Time for wordplay!). But at that point, I was through posting on NOM’s Facebook page.

Dan Savage, though, has a great article with a line that says exactly what needs to be said:

The religious right points to the suicide rate among gay teenagers—which the religious right works so hard to drive up (see above)—as evidence that the gay lifestyle is destructive. It’s like intentionally running someone down with your car and then claiming that it isn’t safe to walk the streets.

Read his whole piece. It’s worth it.


  • 1. Ed  |  October 12, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Unbelievable! The twisted logic these "christians" use is unbelievable.
    The phrase that always gets me and even offends is "traditional marriage"…. Well excuse me for gay people not participating in marriage "traditionally" …. the reason that gay people have not "traditionally" married is because they were a little afraid of going to city hall in Rome or Jerusalem, or Berlin or Moscow to ask for a marriage license…. Why not you say? mmmm let's see maybe they were a little more concerned with being locked in prison, tortured, and murdered. But give us a chance and we will join right in on that oh so holy "tradition"…..

  • 2. JefferyK  |  October 12, 2010 at 1:39 am

    If Christians were really followers of Christ, would they preach hatred?

  • 3. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 12, 2010 at 1:43 am

    And actually, the use of the term "gay" for homosexual men began in Great Britain. At one time, the female prostitutes were called "gay ladies" and the male prostitutes were called "gay boys" Thus, homosexual men for at least two centuries have been called "gay" and "boy." Those who are trying to learn about the discrimination against us really need to review their history better. They also need to look at themselves and finally own up to their own part in continuing this discrimination, including but not limited to, the beatings, stabbings, suicides, and other detrimental actions that result from their part in this discrimination. Enough is enough!

  • 4. Sagesse  |  October 12, 2010 at 1:43 am

    If their logic gets any more twisted, they'll strangle themselves.

  • 5. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 1:44 am

    subscribing. I attended a conference about this over the weekend….I will post additional information this evening about this. Briefly, esteemed 30 year activist, researcher, equality champion Dr. Caitlin Ryan with Family Acceptance Project, , states that many parents ridicule, punish, banish kids from a place of love, they just lack information and tools.

  • 6. Alan E.  |  October 12, 2010 at 1:52 am

    Just subscribing. Will check back later.

  • 7. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Just wanted to share that my husband (and I) "came out" over the pulpit on Sunday. It was an extremely emotional day. Only a couple of close friends knew our son was gay, but many know and love our son. My husband presented it in a genious way. He talked about his 21 years working with the young men's program and mentioned several boys and their subsequent accomplishments, like marrying in the temple. Then without mentioning his name he described our son: the boy who always looked forward to passing the sacrament, who never missed an opportunity to bless the sacrament, an Eagle Scout, never missed a day of seminary, attended one of the top colleges in the nation and graduated in just three years. Then he said, you may think this boy has it all, but not so. From there he went on to describe our son's anguish and pain………… Earlier in the week I had chosen the hymn The Lord Is My Shepherd and dedicated it in my heart to those who have taken their lives. (I am chorister for our ward). I only made it through the first verse and I just started sobbing. It took my husband 45 minutes to leave the chapel because so many people came up to him and shared that they had gay relatives, or thanked him for sharing his feelings because they felt the same! One person asked if she could call me because she is an adult (mom) psychology student and is writing a paper on the struggles of gay culture in the church. One of our anti-gay everything friends has suddenly decided to soul search because he has such high admiration for our son and had no idea he was gay. My husband and I feel so liberated and empowered!!! My husband shared a story of two from "gay friends"………..I want you to know that those stories came from you……ones that I have shared with him over the past several months. Eyes are being opened.

  • 8. Kate  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Oh, Santa Barbara Mom! What a HUGE contribution you and your husband have made to eventual equality. This is exactly how "converts" are made — once they realize they know and love a gay person (and have for years), it's a whole lot more difficult to continue to hate. You are changing the world around us. I love you!

  • 9. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:10 am

    We love you too.

  • 10. Ed Cortes  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:18 am

    One can only hope!

  • 11. Alan E.  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:21 am

    That is fantastic SB Mom! What a wonderful way to present your son's story without beginning with "he's gay." It was a nice reminder that many people in your church loves your son for who he is, and oh by the way, he has to deal with all this other crap, too.


  • 12. Alan E.  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Best part of Dan's article (besides the entire thing):

    "Fuck your feelings"

    If the two are interrelated, then someone's feelings don't matter much when kids are dying.

  • 13. Ronnie  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:31 am

    That Protect Marriage page has completely been taken over by 100% hate…If people from all over the country were to join in a class action lawsuit against NOM…that page shows 100% animus towards LGBT people….every derogatory word that can be used towards LGBT people is posted on that page….Someone just posted the same old tired derogatory, insulting, offensive, degrading, & demeaning comparison of Homosexuality (which is LEGAL) to all of the other usual drivel (which is all ILLEGAL)…

    I hope Brian Brown is proud of his little Fascist hate page in which at least one person a day posts something advocating murder & violence towards LGBT people

    This Bonnie Parker character just seems to love mention sending Gay people to Uganda on a daily basis…Is that what NOM is about?….shipping people off to a country where mass murdering innocent people based on orientation could soon be legal?

    NOM… you don't fraked up…I thought your page was only about "Marriage"….yeah NO!!!!…FAIL!!!!!!……<3…Ronnie

  • 14. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:31 am

    That is so WONDERFUL!!!! I am so very proud of you and your husband!!!

  • 15. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Yay SBM! I advocate that closets are unhealthy places for LGBTQ persons. I also respect the right for everyone to "come out" when and how they choose. But when they do "HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!" Love 2 you and your family! there are so many suffering families out there!

  • 16. fiona64  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:37 am

    The people you are talking about are not Christians; to be Christian is to be Christ-like. Those who preach hatred and fear are not following in the steps of Rabbi Yeshua ben Yussef, and he would not recognize his teachings in their mouths.


  • 17. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:37 am

    SBM – I encourage you to "connect" with PFLG Mormon Mom(President PFLAG Ogden UT) if you have not done so yet… . She and many others working form the bottom to top approach to help enlighten Mormon families, who care about their kids,but don't have the tools/info they need and find the official church information inadequate. WOOT WOOT!

  • 18. fiona64  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Well, Louis, Brian, Maggie et al:

    So much for "we are not motivated by animus," eh? All someone from the 9th Circuit would have to do is look at your page to know the truth.

    I pity all of you.

    Whom would Rabbi Yeshua hate?


  • 19. AndrewPDX  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:43 am

    @Rob, thank you for firing back at 'Will' with such composure (you are so much better than I could be). And thanks for sharing Dan's great analogy.

    @ SB Mom, thank you and your husband for sharing with your ward the truth about your wonderful son. I'm glad your congregation has so welcomed your openness. You are a true hero!

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 20. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Thank you so much, Santa Barbara Mom! This is what we need in addition to the protests and other forms of activism. We really need these courageous conversations. You are so right–this will help people to see that we are just the same as they are–unique human beings who have our own dreams, hopes, aspirations, fears, worries, and concerns, and that as a result, we deserve the same respect, dignity, freedom, and rights that they have. Every day, I say a heartfelt "Baruch HaShem!" for people like you and your husband. We need more people out there like the straight allies I have met here on this site.

  • 21. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:47 am

    Gregory, thank you for that website…I will check into it. I tried to find you on FB to share this with you, as I gave your blog site as a reference to the student I referred to.

  • 22. John B.  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Along a similar vein, check out this incredibly offensive Washington Post guest column by Tony Perkins–on National Coming Out Day, no less!

    The guy actually has the nerve to suggest that gay kids are committing suicide because we're trying to give them a positive message–surely not because of the nasty anti-gay bile being spewed by people like Perkins. I guess this is supposed to provide "balance" but I have to wonder if they would run a column by a KKK leader on MLK Jr. day to provide similar balance.

  • 23. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:57 am

    I don't know how to embed this on this site, but I for the past 48 hours I can't stop singing along with this song. It totally blows me away on so many levels. Sorry I don't know how to embed it here……..rats! But thanks for putting up with me :)
    K.D. Lang sings Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah
    K.D. Lang's Juno Awards in Winnipeg in 2005 Performance on Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Thank you Ken!

  • 24. Ann S.  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:57 am

    SB Mom, that is so powerful. I thank you and your husband for standing up in such a moving and powerful way. You will change hearts and minds by what you are doing.

  • 25. celdd  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:59 am

    What wonderful parents Mr and Mrs Santa Barbara Mom!!

    That took a lot of courage I am sure, but congrats on such an inspirational presentation. I hope minds were truly enlightened with your story, and love wins out.

  • 26. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:59 am

    fascinating Richard! I love trivia like this…. Even though not entirely accurate I enjoy reading Dan Brown(Da Vinci Code) Novels that expose "common sense" traditions as inaccurate and misleading…and used by some individuals and organizations as religious "truth" to advocate for their own agendas.

  • 27. elliom  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:59 am

    I have to share a counter-point to SB Mom's story (which was very touching).

    As everyone's aware, we launched Feed Equality yesterday. This is something I'm very proud to be a part of creating (though, I do feel a touch of guilt for my pride).

    Over the weekend, I remembered my dad has a FB account, so I friended him, and gave him all the group invites, etc., for them to check out (I've been out to my folks for 20 yrs). Yesterday morning, I called my mom to share with her our opening. This was her response:

    "This is all very nice, but how do I keep ppl from the church from seeing this?"

    The whole conversation, not one word of encouragement. Not "I'm proud of you." Not "Good job." Not "We raised you right." Nothing but….

    "How do I keep ppl from church from seeing this."

    Over and over, the conversation keep coming back to that point.

    I've learned to do a lot of things for myself over the years. I can even pat my self on the back, when noone else will. But I still desire the approval and recognition from my folks. It MEANS something to me.

    It's so demoralizing when we can't even get the support we need from our own families.

  • 28. AndrewPDX  |  October 12, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Here you go! (there's an 'embed' button below the video, copy that whole thing and paste in here, et voila!)

    [youtube =]

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 29. Kathleen  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:00 am

    just subscribing

  • 30. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:01 am

    SBA -You give me incentive to update blog. I "hid" all but cover of blog while I redo a bunch of stuff…You give me incentive to update blog ASAP!!!!!! Glad for you to share my story with anyone!

  • 31. Ann S.  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Oh, Elliom, I know it's not the same, but I am proud of you, and the rest of the team that put this together. It's really amazing.

    I'm sorry your mom can't provide that to you also.

  • 32. elliom  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Ann S:

    Thanks, it does help. But the sting of her ambivolence still hurts. It hurts a LOT.

  • 33. Ann S.  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:06 am

    I'm sure it does. I'm so sorry. Hugs to you.

  • 34. fiona64  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:07 am

    I guess I would have to ask "Why would you not want the church to see that I am helping hungry people to be fed? That was one of the things that Jesus asked of his followers, after all."

    I am so sorry, Elliom. What you are doing is awesome work, and I am so proud of the people in this group who set aside time from their schedules to make it happen.


  • 35. Santa Barbara Mom  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Dear Elliom, okay now I am crying again. I am so sorry. We will NEVER understand these kind of feelings. Your parents are missing out on so much love.

    Thank you Andrew ~ you can tell what generation I belong to!!

    Okay, instead of Mr and Mrs SB Mom (LOL!!!), my name is Julie and my husband is Larry. Watching the clock as work is calling :(

  • 36. Kate  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Tell her that would be wonderful — you'd love to have her organize a group in her church. (To counter that, she'd really have to face up to what she said to you……)

  • 37. Kate  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Ya' know….. not being into sports or the Olympics, I must admit I've wondered why this song was chosen for the opening. I absolutely love both kd's and Cohens versions (and have since it first came out), but I'm really, really surprised that it was picked for the Olympics. I don't see the connection….. maybe 'cuz both kd and Cohen are Canadians? There must be a better reason. Maybe the committee didn't really LISTEN to it????

  • 38. elliom  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:14 am

    My mom could SOOOOOO be AB in this scene

    [youtube =]

  • 39. elliom  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:23 am

    She's more afraid of the social stigma for having a gay son.

  • 40. elliom  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:24 am

    They love me a lot. I know they do. And they're both pretty liberal when it comes to other ppl, but not when it comes to me.

  • 41. Sagesse  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:52 am


    The Olympic Committee were absolutely showcasing Canadian talent. That song is Leonard Cohen's signature, and they asked him to perform it, but he suggested they ask KD Lang. She sang it at his induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (may not have the name quite right) and he was blown away.

  • 42. Anonygrl  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:56 am

    SB Mom, you brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely way to deal with the subject, and to gently introduce it to people.

    Well done. And thank you!!!

  • 43. Ed  |  October 12, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Yes, he's way way out there…..he's crazy….but….

    Read the comments following the article…much more positive and on our side :)

  • 44. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:00 am

    The comments were lovely to read…..helped re-lower my blood pressure :-)

  • 45. Ronnie  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Now they are on that page saying that the Matthew Shepard hate crime was not a hate crime…it was a drug deal gone bad….quotes:

    Will Rodgers ~ "It's sad that those kids get bullied some of the recent suicides were kids that were not even homosexual but were bullied because they were different in some other way. You don't have to agree with someone to be civil with them. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and understanding. We don't however have to take that to the extreme and encourage inappropriate behaviors out of fear that we may offend that person."

    (me) so in that same statement he basically says its wrong to bully people but its ok to bully people who are Gay…sorry buddy calling calling somebody a pervert, comparing them to pedophiles, & diminishing their entire being, character, & life down to who they have sex with as the only thing they are about & saying a "behavior" (which that "behavior" is not illegal at all…the Bible is not basis for law…too bad for you) is NOT kindness & understanding…dipshite…..

    Lisa Patterson ~ "Although tragic that someone was killed, his death has nothing to do with NOM's mission/purpose."

    (me) on its face, neither does the majority of the bullshite hate speech that is posted on that page….but all we really know what is behind that iron curtain…a mock copy cat of the Berlin Wall drenched in the blood of innocent LGBT people….

    Nick Jones ~ "His death has nothing to do with homosexuality at all actually. It was a drug deal gone bad. These facts are verifiable as well"

    (me) yeah…NO!!!…not really…if people have read things from Nick Jones before…he is obsessed with AIDS & all forms of disease…He has advocated murder & violence towards LGBT people…& he is specifically obsessed with male on male sex (closet case much?)…..He has taken a personal photo from a pro-Equality person's personal Facebook account & photoshopped this person's actual photo, name & more into a sex offender registry form….& he just broke federal law by taking that photo from Betty Bowers that has the 3 drinking fountains & says "Rich Whites", "Coloreds", "Queers" & "Republicans: keeping blacks and gays in their place, one filibuster at a time"….

    well that photo is copyrighted by…& Mr. Nick Jones altered it (very poorly I might add) in photoshop & posted it on several anti-gay Facebook pages switching the words "Coloreds" & "blacks" with "pedophiles"…….Is that type of "moral" people NOM wants affiliated with them?…people who break federal law?…Oh wait….NOM breaks federal law also…so I guess they do…..

    from Betty Terms of Services (TOS)…
    "All content on is protected by federal copyright laws."…"Should you make any changes to any of the Materials you will be violating the Betty Bowers copyright."….hmmm……on to the last comment….

    Tamara Itoney-Carden ~ "Mike, Matthew Shepard's murder being labeled as a hate crime is a lie. In fact, one of his killers was allegedly bisexual. Sorry, you can't blame straight people for this."

    (me) what????????!!!!!! …… : / …..Ronnie

  • 46. Anonygrl  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Oh Elliom! Of course it isn't enough, but WE do love you, and are proud to know you, and to be a part of your idea.

    Maybe one day a friend from her church will come to her and say "Hey! Congratulations on your son's terrific charity!", and she will realize that she is missing out by not being proud of you.

  • 47. Kate  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Thanks, Sagesse. That makes sense — showcasing the talent. They certainly succeeded!

  • 48. fiona64  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Those people are sick. They are telling themselves a whole bunch of lies because, deep inside, they know that blood is on their hands.

    Thank you, Ronnie, for continuing to call them out. It's the only that will ever stop.


  • 49. Ronnie  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Oh & P.S. Nick jones posted this little gem…..

    Nick Jones ~ "New Details Emerge in Matthew Shepard Murder"

    (me) complete & utter propagated bullshite….. by the way this ridiculous little diatribe link about Matthew Shepard has been used ad nauseum by the anti-gay heartless troglodytes all over FB & nobody but a far far far reich wing Fascist takes it seriously & gives credit to it…..FAIL.. : / ….Ronnie

  • 50. fiona64  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Dear Elliom:

    I guess I would not want to go to a church like that. I am so sorry. I guess it's more important to shame people than to feed the hungry?

    Not very Christian.

    As Ann S. and everyone else said, we love you. I am so sorry about your mom. I had to shut down a family member (and block them from my facebook recently) for hate speech against GLBT people, and it's particularly hard when it's a relative who is behaving this way.

    Honestly, I pity your mom if the approval of those in the pews next to her is more important than you are.


  • 51. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:12 am

    What the……!!!!!!!!! Drug deal gone bad? Tell that to his mother (Judy Shepard) who spent 10 years getting government to acknowledge and address! I really like the updates to their website :)

  • 52. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:14 am


  • 53. StraightSupporter  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:28 am

    I have a similar story of disappointment but not as much. I moved out from my mother when I was ~8 to live with my father and we lost touch for a while. Within this last month she got into contact with me via FaceBook. I don't usually do FaceBook; a friend had created an account for me a while ago without me knowing and then gave me the log-in details later. I figured since I may end up using it to communicate with her and other long-separated family, I would update my details, so I updated my hobbies, interests, etc, including religious views to agnostic atheist.

    The next time I logged in I got a chat from her immediately about that. Not "Hey long time no see, how have you been". Not "Congratulations on school/work/etc". Just that and some trash-talk about my father for being a JW. Now I think the same of the JW religion as others, but when comparing the personality of my father to my mother, my father is much more agreeable and peaceful person than my mother. My mother would be a "lock up the gays and ship them out or execute them" type of person. My father is more of a live-and-let-live type of person.

    I also have some siblings that I have just gotten in contact with who lived with her. Sadly, I know my mother well enough to know that she home schooled them from middle school and up in order to control certain aspects of their education, including so she could raise them to think the same way.

  • 54. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:32 am

    HOLY SHIT Elliom! (pun INTENDED!) Thumbs DOWN to your mom…though certainly not unprecedented as parent isolate and neglect their children in so many subtle and not-so-subtle ways. GRRRRRRR! :(

    I am grateful, proud and admiring of your efforts for Feed Equality and FABULOUS contributions to this community. BIG WOOT! to you for what I said above and for not becoming one of these sad statistics. Tears from here too :*( deep breath, blowing nose and BIGHUG from Salt Lake City.

  • 55. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Hi SS! I'm going to go Hug my My mom and dad first chance I get for always accepting me NO MATTER WHAT. I've taken them for granted far too long….

  • 56. Kate  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:41 am

    SS, you don't need her in your life. Biology is unimportant — what counts is chosen family. She doesn't count.

  • 57. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:56 am

    time to watch TST again! what a scene! whoa! thanks Elliom. sorry AB is your mother! double kudos to you for not becoming a statistic!!!!!

  • 58. Ed Cortes  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:58 am

    OT, but great news!!!

    I hope I did it right!

  • 59. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Santa Barbara Mom, I haven't had the honor of speaking to you yet, but after reading what you and your husband have done I must say, YOU ROCK!!! Thank you for standing up for love, for truth, for responsibility, and for having the courage to do so in what could have so easily been a hostile environment. Way to go! :)

  • 60. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:08 am

    No, but they do self-identify as Christians. And for other Christians to deny that they are simply because they distort the teachings usually has the effect of the problem being swept under the rug. I've seen it far too many times, and there are nowhere near enough like Santa Barbara Mom who stand up to the intolerance. I so hope that will change.

  • 61. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Hear, hear!

  • 62. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Elliom, what a horrific response to such a wonderful venture! It's sad your mother can't see past her own nose. I wish I knew what to tell you, but I'm having my own frustrations in that regard.

    I'd like to share my own disappointment story: My family all get together once a month to keep the ties nice and strong. We got together just a week ago.

    Backing up, I credit my Mom with teaching me tolerance and respect for other people, no matter how they differ from me. It was she that told me in my youth that one doesn’t have to go to church to be a good Christian, which led to my investigation of other religions. It was she to whom I came out of the broom closet when I joined my first Wiccan coven. It was she who helped my Dad and brothers to understand my choice.

    Invariably, we end up talking politics at our get-togethers. I don’t remember what exactly we were discussing, because everything before became quite a blur. I already knew one brother was against marriage equality, but when I remarked, “At least it looks like Prop 8 is going to fall,” the silence was deafening. I ended up asking whether my family believed it was right to vote on people’s civil rights. Twice. Never did get an answer on that. What I did get blew me away. My Mom stepped right up to me and said she doesn’t support marriage equality because that’s not how it is in the Bible. The one member of my family (besides my darling wife!) who I thought I could count on to think beyond that book.

    I want to discuss it further, but I don’t know quite how. As vehemently as she said it, I doubt I can say anything to change her mind. And being Wiccan, it also calls into question for me her view of my marriage. I don’t know how she can reconcile denying LGBT people the right to marry based on that book, yet affirm my marriage which had nothing to do with it either. I am so angry and frustrated at her right now, and for the first time in my life, I don’t know how to deal with my own mother.

  • 63. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:26 am

    I hope Obama manages to live up to Valerie Jarrett's speech here.

  • 64. Kathleen  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I just retrieved today's documents in this case. I'll upload them and post links in a minute.

  • 65. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:34 am

    AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! screaming into the world….. Families, please wake up!!!

    Chris, I can offer this manual. Download to see if you get any ideas. Best of everything to you! Gregory

  • 66. AndrewPDX  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:35 am

    As always, Kathleen, thank you :)

    Are you sure you're not a super-heroine in disguise?

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 67. fiona64  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Well, then, I guess that more people need to start calling those folks out (I am not asking anything that I have not done myself, BTW). I do attend a Metropolitan Community Church, but do not self-identify as a Christian, as my belief system is eclectic. However, I do have a very good religious education (because once upon a time I did self-identify as a Christian, and I left church because of people like those whom you cite).

    Again, it only stops when we call people out. I think my problem with your comment is that it assumes that all self-identified Christians preach hate, and that is not so.


  • 68. Kathleen  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:48 am

    I'll have to post these in three separate comments, to avoid getting hung up in moderation.

    LCR v. USA – Amended & Final Memorandum Opinion

  • 69. MichGuy  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:48 am


    Judge orders 'don't ask, don't tell' injunction

  • 70. Kathleen  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:48 am

    LCR v. USA – Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law

  • 71. Kathleen  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:49 am

    LCR v. USA – Judgment & Permanent Injunction

  • 72. Judy  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:54 am

    WOOT! I'm hoping there is no request for appeal! Let it stand, Baby!

  • 73. Carpool Cookie  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:54 am

    I posted this on another site once, when a straight person was wondering what the "big deal" was about his female friend coming out of the closet…why she had waited, etc.


    “Now, none of us are religious in any way, but she still feels guilt and a lot of shame. (WHY!!!!). My wife is one of the first she has told about this. (N. knows we don't give a flying fuck about what consenting adults do)….I don't think she has told her parents yet. But then again, it's not like it's something bad, is it? Some people are gay or bi or whatever, get over it already!”

    It is very flattering that N. chose to tell your wife about this. It indicates she trusts her and feels loved. Yet obviously, it was still very wrenching for her.

    Every gay person's life experience is different, but as blithe as we may be about how "times are changing", and "who gives a ____"…there are many people out there who DO care, and actually wish gays and lesbians harm. It begins on the playground, and takes different forms throughout life.

    I have recently been thinking why this is, as I ponder the whole Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial. I think part of it is that humans feel more secure when there is a sort of pecking order in place. To know that someone else is "worse" is how people comfort themselves, subconsciously. You can look at someone else on the street as you eat your third ice cream cone and think, "Well, at least I'm not THAT fat! I'm okay."

    Homosexuals have pretty much been the lowest of the low. They were burned at the stake. Even murderers could find redemption, the act was not always inherently part of them for life. Blacks were sold into slavery…but they weren't arrested and charged with being black, and given shock treatment, insulin treatment, etc. to try to change them or punish them. The fact that women's rights and civil rights for people of color were addressed earlier in the 20th Century and that we're still deeply divided on gay rights shows just how low on the totem pole this group was.

    That social ostracism/villainization is not just academic or theoretical. It translates into how people treat you, how they look at you, how they talk about you. You can have a GREAT LIFE being gay……..but it also comes with sometimes intense baggage that's not yours, that won't always disappear.

    Women are raised with the knowledge that they are not inherently safe; that it is dangerous to walk down dark streets alone, that strangers may be targeting them for abuse. That is why it is polite for a cab driver or someone in a car to see that the lady is safely inside her door before pulling away. (I do not know much about African American culture, but I know this violent targeting still exists for people of color to a degree, as well.)

    Homosexuals also have this consideration. There is a big, big, big difference between a heterosexual white male walking down a dark street or being in an unfamiliar part of town and a gay or lesbian doing the same. In fact, you don't even have to be on a dark street to be verbally harassed. That can happen anywhere, and it is unlikely another stranger will address it, because either they're embarrassed for you, or feel they don't want to risk endangerment themselves.

    I'm not saying being gay is a HORROR SHOW at all….I'm just saying there can often be an underlying sense of unsafety that others don't full appreciate. We cannot say it is truly "A-Okay to Be Gay". Yes, things are waaaaaay better, and in polite society it's not a problem and will even be embraced. But the world is not made up of polite society.

    So………..all that being said, and I could of course be projecting some of my own discomfort or experiences onto N, but I would imagine she may be FREAKING OUT at finding herself transformed in this way, and worried about how she will be treated, thought of, spoken about. Will she be embraced, or abandoned? (There is also something humiliating about having to make a special appointment to discuss your sex life with everyone else, as you give the news. Obviously, it is an issue for people, or you would not need to explain yourself.)

    PLUS…even if TODAY we've evolved to being more free and accepting as a society, there are a lot of middle aged people around who were raised by parents who learned of homosexuality when it was still listed as a mental disorder by psychiatrists, who remember when same sex relations were a criminal act. Who were spoon-fed an association between homosexuality and pedophilia, violence, untrustworthiness, etc. Those early teachings about sex and social taboos can run very deep, and not everyone just shrugs them off.

    So again, it's not like being gay is this yawning chasm of danger and despair…'s just….well, it's a little different than telling people you've won the lottery.

    This is a very serious topic to me. I have had a wonderful life being gay and tons of friends and even some national praise….but that does not change the fact that there is also a darker side to being gay THAT OTHER PEOPLE PUT ON YOU. Sometimes in serious ways. And while it is fine to think "I'm just not going to care"….it's hard, if not impossible, to convince that other half of society that isn't so nice to do the same. And that is reality.

  • 74. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:03 am

    I can relate, My mother was all ways worried about what people would think. She was also one to not give compliments (at least not directly to the person). She always concentrated on her perceived imperfections of a person (do 10 things right and 1 thing wrong and you only heard about the 1 you did wrong).

    When I bought my new (and I mean new) car, I was sure my dad would be excited for me but when I told him, all I got was a "that's nice." So, yeah, I understand wanting our parents approval and excitement about something we've done and not getting it.

    It is sad that we have to come to a group of people, most of whom, if not all, that we have not met to receive the recognition for our efforts. And, yet, how wonderful that we have this community who is there for us.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 75. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:03 am

    DITTO Chris!

  • 76. Bob  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:08 am

    SS, Elliom, and Chris, welcome to the club, there are many of us, who fall into the same category, with mothers who choose the beliefs of their church rather than experiencing love of their gay children.

    These people's personality and characters have been heavily affected by brainwashing. and in some cases are incapable of the ablitiy to form their own thought processes. It's been a long time working on my mother, and she honestly doesn't get it, or I have failed in my ability to communicate appropriately.

    She is extremely protective of her church, saying leave her church alone, and seek my blessings where I may. I have not been to family functions for years, out of politness they invite me, and they believe that invitation is an expression of love. But they also are very happy I don't attend, because, I always find a space to tell my truth, just like you did Chris, something as simple as mentioning prop8 would bring a round of silence deafening, followed by a day of slights and slurs. It's just too uncomfortable for everyone. Those poor people for having to endure my outspokeness…. My mother attends her regular church quiltying circle, and I asked if she ever mentioned gay marriage or talked about it, she was horrified at the thought. These people are trained to insulate themelves against the real world, and what their families actually look like, The other way my mother expressed love was to send me money, years ago, I put the cheque back in the mail, and told her to never send me money ever again, it was an insult……
    We still try to engage from time to time, my mother can't accept that we are distant, out of eight siblings , I'm the outsider.
    I'm not saying we won't some day be able to experience love in our relationship, but I think it's important to reckognize it's present absence, and the emptiness that leaves.
    I know we struggle, the last time my mother phoned she wanted to tell me about a dream, she said it wasn't good, she said, her and I were in the garden chasing each other around threatening to kill each other. She was very upset, and I said wow thanks for that, maybe you're getting in touch with your anger, I told her I loved her and we said goodbye, I'm waiting for the next opportunity, so I can ask her what her anger is about.

    What I really wanted to say to all of us with these awkward relationships, is that, all three of you did the honorable thing, equally as much as Julie and Larry, each time is a coming out, we still haven't reached the desired response we hope for, but our work at confronting uncomfortable situtations with the truth about ourselves, is also important.

    My definition of acceptance and love has changed over time , my families has not. This to me is the price I pay and gladly for honoring myself and all the people of the Rainbow Tirbe our strength now comes from a larger sense of community, with different values, than the church community which brainwashed me as a youth.

    Keep strong, our job of standing up is every bit as valid and necessary. Imagine one day, Julie or Larry standing up in my mothers church, maybe she would be the one approaching them, saying I have a gay son. We're working from both ends to get to the middle and find LOVE

  • 77. robtish  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Can anyone provide me with a link to someone from NOM explicitly claiming they're not motivated by animus? I need it for a piece I'm working on (actually quite similar to what Ronnie posted at 11:03am, except I've been collecting screen grabs to go with it).

  • 78. Carpool Cookie  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Yes…I've always wondered about how gay men in the 1800's came to be grouped with the "gay" ladies of the evening in London. Maybe they hung out at the same pubs? Both were members of "secret societies," too.

  • 79. Straight Ally #3008  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Oh, they're not motivated by animus, no! They're just really, really uncomfortable with gay people having equal rights and being accepted as normal by society!

  • 80. Straight Ally #3008  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:20 am

    From "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" by The The:

    But if you think that Jesus Christ is coming
    Honey you've got another thing coming
    If he ever finds out who's hijacked his name
    He'll cut out his heart and turn in his grave

  • 81. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Along with an edit feature, really need to be able to apply to any post.

    SBMom, I was hoping you would post this experience. It is such a heartwarming story. And, I know there will be positive things happen because your husbanded out yourselves and parents of a gay son. We tend to stay in that closet too long. Some people in my ward know my son is gay, some don't. Time for me to take that up a notch.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 82. Carpool Cookie  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:21 am

    The late Jeff Buckley's version is gorgeous, too.

  • 83. PaulaO  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:26 am

    They aren't Christians (which means to be Christ like). They are Paulians. Modern stereotypical Christians follow Paul more than they do Christ. Moses was given 10 laws and the church turned it into, how many? Christ gave us 2 and look what we have now.

  • 84. Bob  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Kathleen, could this create a legal loophole, or window of opportunity so to speak, for those in the service who whish, to come out, as many as possible before any attemts at appeal. Just set the movement in motion. not turning back:

  • 85. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 12, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Thanks Gregory! Will be reading it thoroughly later tonight. :)

  • 86. fiona64  |  October 12, 2010 at 7:20 am

  • 87. Franck  |  October 12, 2010 at 7:23 am

    If I may, I know a shorter but just as good version of that song performed by two young artists I like (one singer and one musician). You can listen to it here.

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1208 days, as of today.

  • 88. robtish  |  October 12, 2010 at 7:42 am


  • 89. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 12, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Thank you, Bob. It means a lot to me. I've actually been doing a lot of soul searching in the last several years, trying to figure out my orientation, so I guess that puts me at least as a solid "Q". Probably why I took my mom's tirade so badly.

    What you said about brainwashing is probably dead-on in her case, too. I lost all faith in any god around 14 years old until a couple years later when I met the lady who introduced me to Wicca, who I've been married to for 10 wonderful years now. It was in that period of atheism when I began thinking for myself and learned to judge things on their merits alone. The other reason I took my mom's tirade so badly. My mom's been trying to get back into the whole church thing in the last decade, and until last week I thought it was doing her so much good.

    Our coven held class this last weekend, and our teacher was giving us a lecture on mythology. She started with an overview of what mythology is, in which she mentioned how it is a codification of society's mores. It dawned on me that this is the root of the culture war we're going through. People are rejecting Christianity at (for Christianists) an alarming rate. The culture war is the Christianists' knee-jerk reaction to being rejected. It's why they feel persecuted, why they feel they must force their beliefs upon everyone else. Why marriage equality is so onerous to them.

    Marriage isn't just a piece of paper; we've established that and so have they. But it's not just a commitment or an official recognition that one person loves another. Marriage is a rite of passage, like birth, school, taxes, parenthood and death. Marriage says, "We are stepping up to society's table and taking our place." It isn't a request anymore at that point. Once they accept marriage equality, they have accepted non-heteros as being equal. Why they are so loath to deny marriage to everyone. They have to own up to sexual orientation not being a choice or "just a phase."

    Wow… a simple thank you turned into quite a speech. LOL Thank you again, Bob, and Gregory as well!

  • 90. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 12, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I wasn't intending to imply that anyone who self-identifies as Christian preaches hate, and I'm sorry you took it that way. I only meant that calling someone who truly professes the belief not a Christian simply because they twist, distort, and pervert the faith can be just a denial of the problem. Look at Falwell. Look at Pat Robertson. Look a Fred Phelps. I doubt anyone here would call these men Christians, but they themselves do. As you said, these people must be called out. Otherwise their definition of Christianity stands.

  • 91. Bob  |  October 12, 2010 at 8:02 am

    @Chris soul searching is a valuable pocess, not always pleasant, but the goal is PEACE

    by the way I watched the first part of a series on PBS tv called God In America wonder if anyone else caught it, I think there are three in the series, appears to be told from historians perspective, and I found it quiet interesting, has anyone else seen it, got any feedback,

  • 92. Steve  |  October 12, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Politicians put their hands on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. Not the other way around.

  • 93. fiona64  |  October 12, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Thanks for your clarification, Chris. :-)

    MM & BB. ;->


  • 94. JonT  |  October 12, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Subscribing. And "Gay". :)

  • 95. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 12, 2010 at 8:53 am

    MM & BB Fiona! <|:)

  • 96. JonT  |  October 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I concur. Those comments are pretty much 99% anti-perkins and his knuckle-dragging brand of christianist hatred.

    Perkins should just come out of the closet already.

  • 97. Rhie  |  October 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    To be honest, I tried to read one of Dan Brown's books. Half way through chapter one I had to stop. His writing is awful, and he doesn't get any historical anything right. He also blatantly ripped off Holy Blood, Holy Grail. They won a court case against him and that is difficult to do in the US.

    The only other book I have that sort of animosity towards is Twilight. UGH. Unreadable.

    I much prefer the works of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

  • 98. Gregory in SLC  |  October 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    LOL Rhie! (about Twilight…agreed…UGGHH!)

    I'll check out Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. thanks for suggestion! would mention my then teenage daughter invited me to read the Dan Brown books with her, part of my enjoyment of them was her enthusiasm :) Neither one of us could Stomach the Ron Howard Movies by the same title though..

  • 99. Rhie  |  October 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I am so sorry, of COURSE you want your parents to say they are proud of you! *hug*

  • 100. Gregory in SLC  |  October 12, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Chris – the reason I suggested this manual is because it seems your mother has a history of tolerance. This study shows that most parents ridicule, shame from a position of love.. Hard to see it sometimes, but if your mom didn't care at all why would she react so negatively? From that premise, since Mom is traditionally caring and supportive, she may be interested to know the facts how talking negatively about this can be harmful to her child. 8 years and 8000 pages of research when into this study…some families, individuals even churches respond positively to empirical evidence.

  • 101. Chad  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    What my reply would be is, "You're NOT gay, and so why don't you?"

  • 102. Alan E.  |  October 13, 2010 at 2:43 am

    I read Dan Brown's first 4 books. By the time I got to Angels and Demons, I was able to predict whodunnit about halfway through. He has so many markers for his characters that are similar throughout all of his books, it was easy to pick out the worst bad guy behind the plot, as unfathomable it was.

    [spoiler! Stop reading if you don't want to know the end, but it's not really worth reading anyway]

    What I have a really hard time believing is how someone wouldn't notice the pope parachuting from the sky before, during, or after his helicopter exploded.

  • 103. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 13, 2010 at 2:57 am

    LOL Alan…yea pretty astounding no one noticed! ..and how heroine didn't even need a parachute!

  • 104. Ann S.  |  October 13, 2010 at 3:02 am

    I confess, I have read most of Dan Brown's books, although many are quite bad. I finished the latest one but might not have if my husband hadn't bought it for me at Costco.

    I give up. The writing in this latest was so bad it was quite distracting.

  • 105. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 13, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Hi Ann 😀 thanks for "2 cents" I haven't read latest and don't plan to. Any wonderful books you can recommend? Sometimes I like to read something "not serious". Lately I've been reading "House of Spirits" by Isabel Allende, author from Chile. Its a historical Novel with metaphysical aspects. I'm not so interested in content but my hubby recommended it to me as I'm interested to become a better writer. Every paragraph paints these wonderfully descriptive murals…

    to Alan: re: "spoiler alert" I'm one of those people who don't get all upset about spoilers….I've read Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (my preferred Bible) many times. Each each page is a delight and a discovery no matter how many times I've visited it! Any favorite books to recommend?

  • 106. Ann S.  |  October 13, 2010 at 4:13 am

    There are so many books, and so little time! I can recommend several I've read recently.

    "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", a fascinating and well-told story of the woman whose cancer cells became a staple of scientific research everywhere and the impact that this had on her family.

    "The Help", a novel set in the US South of the 60s, about how "the help" is treated, how they affect and interact with the families who employ them, and their own lives (which are often complete mysteries to the children they raise for their employers).

    "Shanghai Girls", a novel about two sisters from Shanghai who are forced to flee in the face of the Japanese invasion of Shanghai in the days before WWII, their detention on Angel Island and their new lives in LA Chinatown.

    "John Adams" — I read this several years ago, but it is an excellent biography of one of our most admirable founding fathers.

    Jeff Sharlet's books "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power", which came out several years ago and I read, and the just-published "C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy", which I have not yet read.

    Hope that helps.

  • 107. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 13, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Yay!!! thanks Ann!!!!!!!

  • 108. Alan E.  |  October 13, 2010 at 5:45 am

    I absolutely love the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs. It starts off with Relic (was made into a bad movie, and they cut out the role of Pendergast, the hero of the book, plus they moved the setting from New York to Chicago, and many other bad things movie people do to books). They have many characters that weave in and out, and you should definitely read them in the order they were put out. The ending of Still Life With Crows is by far my favorite, though.

  • 109. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 13, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Woot Alan!! the way you describe make me shiver with anticipation! Thank you! I'll follow up with you and Ann with Book reports! 😀

  • 110. fiona64  |  October 13, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I second the nomination of "Shanghai Girls"; it was an outstanding read.

    Another great (non-fiction) read is "Homer's Odyssey," by Gwen Cooper. It's about how adopting a blind kitten changed her life, and the way she looked at many things, once she discovered how much this cat could do.

    I hesitate to toot my own horn, but I am awfully proud of my novel (published in the UK and here):

    You can also order it via Amazon if you prefer. If order one, and would like an autographed book plate you can e-mail via this same username at livejournal dot com with your snailmail addy and I'll send one.


  • 111. fiona64  |  October 13, 2010 at 9:57 am

    PS – I must also chime in on Alan E's recommendation of the Lincoln/Childs Pendergast series. Too many good ones to name, but "The Cabinet of Curiosities" really stuck with me.


  • 112. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 14, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Yay Fiona! thank you for recommendations and way to get autographed copy of your book! 😀 when I first came to this website I recall some discussion about a book some here had written and It puzzled me who it was as I was new I didn't know everyone's names…It was you! thanks for solving mystery and for all the good you do. I LOVE our straight allies!!! Can't wait to read all these books recommended to me…the story of the kitten sounds adorable too!

  • 113. elliom  |  October 14, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Thought about it…several times. Even went to counseling for a while to learn it's ok to desire their approval, it's not ok to NEED their approval.

    And to me, that road seems too much like cheating-the-game, and my own moral code won't allow that.

    (On a side note, I don't believe there's anything wrong with self-deleverance for the terminal or chronically debilitative. One is a choice made with dignity, the other a horrible cry for help.)

  • 114. elliom  |  October 14, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Upside: Dad isgenuinly interested. Odd thing: for being 22 yrs Navy, he's pretty much a bleeding-heart. Only thing he ever agrees w/ Repubs on is defense spending (no suprise).

    The only thing he's really ever said on me being gay is, "I don't have to like the choice you make, and I don't have to agree with them, but I have to accept them, and love you anyway, because you're my son."

    Mom's not ususally as bad as this (there is a picture of my partner and I in their bedroom), but sometimes, I just want to scream in frustration.

  • 115. elliom  |  October 14, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Chris in Lathrop:

    I hear ya. That's what gets me. My folks taught me NOT to have the prejudices they were raised with. Both are very open and accepting….other ppl.

    But occasionally, those prejudices they try so hard to hide (and maybe even overcome) explode in full force, and directed toward me (usually in some passive/agressive manner).

  • 116. elliom  |  October 14, 2010 at 2:27 am

    I'm amazed at how much this community has filled a void I didn't even realize was there.

    [youtube =]

  • 117. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 14, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Ditto that elliom!

    We all have are area that we wish we had more support and understanding…I get much LOVE and ACCEPTANCE here that I don't find elsewhere…. thank you ALL!!!

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