Category Archives: Homophobia

Compare and Contrast

John McCain’s record on GLBT issues: Johnmccain10_2

  • Against ENDA
  • Against ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
  • Against the Matthew Shepard Act Hate Crimes Act
  • Against partnership recognition of any kind
  • Against partner immigration rights
  • Against any repeal of DOMA
  • For anti-Gay state constitutional amendments such as those in California, Florida and Arizona
  • Will appoint anti-LGBT judges like Justice Scalia and Alito

Barack_obama Barack Obama’s record on GLBT issues :

Supports ENDA (including protection based on gender identity)

Supports ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Supports the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act

Supports equal benefits for same-sex couples

Supports partner immigration rights

Supports full repeal of DOMA

Against anti-Gay state constitutional amendments such as those in California, Florida and Arizona

Will appoint pro-LGBT judges like Justice Stevens and Ginsburg

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…explain to me again why this is hard?


PflagSo it’s Pride month and if you take part in a Pride March or Festival you’ll probably see alot of the usual groups there.  Dykes on Bikes, Drag Queens and of course PFLAG.  After you’ve been to a few of these the groups can tend to blend together or lose their importance in one’s mind.  But I saw a great video today (SEE BELOW) that reminded me of the strength of one of the oldest GLBT ally groups.

PFLAG, Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is a group I’ve known about for years but this video just really brings their great work to life.  This amazing video is just a conversation with a number of folks who came down to a workshop being run by the right-wing Christian "ex-Gay" group "Love Won Out."  They didn’t come to protest.  They came to serve as a witness to all those going in to the church, First Presbyterian Church of Orlando Florida (further proof that anti-Gay hate isn’t just in Evangelical Christian and Baptist churches but also a blight of once "mainline Protestant denominations).  In the video they talk about why they’re there but also how they’re there to show the Gay people walking into the conference that parents can and do love their Gay kids.  Sounds simple, but there are so many people who need that kind of visible support.

Rene Sanchez: "We are here to show the parents who are coming to the [ex-Gay] "Love Won Out" activity that attempting to change their children’s sexual orientation is not only unproductive but could be even dangerous. There’s no reason at all.  We stand here as a role-model.  There’s no reason at all to attempt to change our children’s sexual orientation.  God gave them to us that way, we accept them that way and we love them unconditionally."

I know when my partner came out his mother got involved with PFLAG in her local town and it helped with his connecting with other parents trying to find a way to love their kids.  The old saying I learned in counseling classes that "when one comes out of the closet, their family goes into the closet" and need help figuring it all out is important to remember.  In this situation its so important to have peers that can help them understand their are loving and sane alternatives to the hateful, anti-Gay ignorance that’s perpetuated by the majority of religious institutions (and yes that’s is most definitely the understanding that the majority or religious groups peddle). PFLAG parents provide that needed alternative viewpoint:

Minerva Villafane: My name is Minerva V. Villafane and I’m here to support parents because I think they need a loving option to accept their children the way they are.

I have to say that the diversity of parents in the video is inspiring and while some of the segments are searing, it is lovely to see all these parents standing with their children.  Some of these parents know the VERY HIGH costs of homophobia.  Not only misery and self-hatred, but sometimes even death.  Their witness is so important to ending this kind or insanity:

Olga Kennedy: My name is Olga Kennedy and I’m from Greenville, South  Carolina.  My son Sean was murdered last year in a hate crime.  The person hated him so much even though he didn’t know him.  So I go out and come to these things to let people know people don’t choose this lifestyle.  God knows people before they are born and God is not wrong…  These ministries do such damage to children.  I have a stepson who has gone through this program and has suffered emotionally for years because of it.

I was in love with the video a few minutes in but found it got better as it continued.  Good for them and good for their kids!  Watch the whole video and get a glimpse at these strong loving allies standing and speaking at the front lines of the struggle for equality.

For more information on PFLAG, visit their website at

New from Sandi Dubowski…


Opens Wednesday, May 21!
May 21 – Tue May 27:
11:20am, 1:15pm, 3:10, 5:05, 7:00, 9:30pm

"Revealing and moving… a gifted filmmaker." – Wall Street Journal


A groundbreaking look at Gay and Lesbian Muslims, A JIHAD FOR LOVE uncovers a hidden face of the world’s fastest-growing religion. Shot over five years in 12 countries and produced by Sandi Simcha Dubowski (Trembling Before G-d) this moving documentary explores reconciling faith with sexuality in societies where "debauchery" can be punished by imprisonment and even death.

Embodying the literal meaning of jihad as "inner struggle," the film’s subjects reveal the hopes of a community fighting for its place in the heart of Islam.

Uncommon Sense…


Killer Gay Sex!

by Tony Valenzuela

The clueless tabloid and public health hysteria over man-on-man sex may be hindering HIV prevention efforts. From an imaginary "super strain" of HIV to the sci-fi MRSA superbug: What is it about Gay sex that makes U.S. health officials want to play Chicken Little with AIDS prevention and public safety?

In February 2005, a New York man with a multidrug-resistant strain of HIV and a crystal meth dependency became the source of the most reported AIDS story of the decade, but he had never, until now, spoken about his trying ordeal.  A slew of chilling claims was made about this man – that he carried a new, more virulent strain of HIV dubbed a "supervirus" that progressed from infection to AIDS in as little as two months; that his meth-induced promiscuity would instigate a deadly epidemic potentially undoing a quarter century of progress against HIV; that he signified what many in the Gay community had been dreading would occur, given that Gay men—stubbornly, recklessly—refused to give up their uniquely nefarious brand of promiscuity.  It is, then, no less remarkable that these allegations that gripped the world with renewed fears of Gay plague proved comprehensively false, yet the cycle of alarm that equates Gay men with disease—as seen once again this past January in San Francisco with a drug-resistant "Gay staph" scare—continues unabated to this day.  By the time the man with the "supervirus" disappeared from the headlines, those still paying attention would learn he did not have a never-before-seen strain of HIV nor did he set off a new epidemic.  Instead, he carried a very rare and difficult-to-treat multidrug-resistant virus that is today fully suppressed as he adheres to a complicated regimen of antiviral medications.

In Paris, the same year the "supervirus" story broke, the late Gay-rights pioneer and scholar Eric Rofes declared to an audience of international activists, "The pathologizing of Gay men’s communities and cultures and spaces is the most powerful challenge we face to promoting Gay men’s health."  Three years later, this man’s story lays bare how far too many who work and report on Gay health narrowly imagine the sex lives of Gay and bisexual men inside a realm of disease and dysfunction. 

This article continues at

Gays In The Military

Gay_soldier20040421Lemme see if I have this…you’ll pardon the expression….straight:

Gay people in the military: Bad for unit cohesion.

Convicted felons…you know, manslaughter, sex crimes, that sort of thing: No problem.

The military and the Bush administration, lecturing us on morality: Priceless.

And…could someone explain to me why we’re so damn eager to join up and kill and contribute to a war of aggression?

Are we that desperate? And what is it, precisely, we’re trying to prove? And to whom?

On the Occasion of the Pope Coming to Town

Many interesting things come over our transom…this from the esteemed John J. McNeill, on the arrival of Joseph "God’s Rottweiller" Ratzinger (wasn’t this guy on Cheers?) on our shores (traveling under his nom de power "Pope Benedict XVI"):

Toward a Theology of Fallibility

Ratzinger_2When Pope Benedict comes to Ground Zero in New York City he will be greeted byMychaljudgepieta_2 a giant banner with a painting of Michael Judge, the Gay Franciscan priest, whose life is recorded in the documentary, Saint of 9/11. That banner signifies the ambiguous state of many Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics toward the Pope. We share the respect and love of the Catholic community for the Vicar of Christ and wish him well. At the same time we are profoundly aware of how wrong he is in his understanding and judgment on Gayness as “intrinsic disorder”. We are deeply conscious that we cannot accept and live out his teaching on homosexuality without destroying our mental and spiritual health. What is bad psychology has to be bad theology. We find ourselves in the same position as children of a homophobic parent, who, while still loving their parent, must separate off and take distance from that parent’s homophobia, if they are to live happy and healthy lives.

We Roman Catholic Gays have found it necessary to undergo the same maturing process in our spiritual lives that Jesus asked his disciples to undergo at the last supper. “I shall ask the Father and he will send you another Paraclete to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth.” (John 14: 16-17) Jesus stressed the point that it was necessary that he should go away in order for the Spirit to come. “Yet you are sad at heart because I have told you this. Still, I am telling you the truth; it is for your own good that I am going, because unless I go, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go. I will send him to you….However, when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth.” (John 16: 6-13)

Why could the Spirit of Truth only come after Jesus’ death? Because as long as Jesus remained alive and present, his disciples had their center of authority outside themselves and were not totally responsible for their actions. They were striving to meet the expectations of a provident leader. They had not yet become fully creative and responsible adults. But after Jesus’ death, his Spirit became what Paul saw as the source of the “Glorious Freedom of the Children of God”. “The proof that you are sons and daughters is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba’, Father; and it is this that makes you a son or daughter, you are not a slave anymore’. Pagans were not free but slaves in relation to their gods because they related to their gods in a spirit of fear. John tells us “Perfect love cast out all fear. It is equally true that perfect fear casts out all love.” Christians are free because their God is a God of love who had adopted them into his family. “All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons or daughters of God, for what you have received was not the spirit of slavery, to bring you back into fear, you have received the Spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:14-17)

With the death of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit, the apostles received a challenge as well as an opportunity to mature. As Paul expressed it, “…until we all reach unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God and form the perfect human, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.” (Eph. 4:13). The apostles had to give up the security of a provident leader; they had to begin to find out what God wanted from them from within themselves and their own experience.

In like manner, in our spiritual life, we Roman Catholic Gay people must pass from a passive, dependent role to an active, creative one. For our survival we have a special need to become mature, self-motivated, autonomous people, no longer dependent on outside homophobic sources for a sense of our identity and well-being. We must not let our enemies outside ourselves define us; we must let the Spirit of love that dwells within our hearts define us. As the Catholic philosopher Maurice Blondel expressed it: “Our God dwells within us and the only way we can become one with that God is to become one with our authentic self”.

It is this understanding of the role of the indwelling Holy Spirit that gives me great consolation during these times when the Catholic Church reacts to its Gay members in ignorance and even downright hostility. We Gays should be grateful to God for creating a humanly fallible Church. We are intensely aware that if our parents had been infallible we could never have matured and become autonomous and responsible adults. God blessed us with finite and fallible parents. It was precisely when and where our parents proved fallible that we were challenged to take distance from their authority, make our own choices and be fully responsible for them.

In a similar way, as Gay Roman Catholics we are dependent on the human fallibility of religious authorities in order to develop an adult freedom of conscience. I believe that we are witnessing the coming into being of what I call the Church of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. After forty years of ministry with Lesbian and Gay persons, as both priest and psychotherapist, I am convinced that a unique spirituality, special and vibrant, is springing up in the Christian Gay community. It is spirituality totally compatible with a life of Gay sexual love and intimacy. As scripture says “the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. (Mark 12:18) Gays are leading the way to form a spiritual community based on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s special presence in the Gay Christian community and the unique graces which are enabling Lesbians and Gays to build a mature, autonomous spiritual life are not just gifts meant for the Gay Christian community alone. When God pours out special blessings on one segment of the community, those blessings are meant to flow out and be shared by the human community at large.

Brendan_faye The Church of the Holy Spirit will be a Church in which all are equal, no hierarchy, no clergy as a separate caste, no domination of men over women. Leadership in the Church of the Holy Spirit will be based on careful listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying through the people of God. A recent event makes me believe that God is working overtime to bring about the transformation of the Catholic Church into the Church of the Holy Spirit. President Lech Kaczynski of Poland in a March 17 televised speech to the nation, echoing the Vatican position, warned that the adoption of the European Lisbon Treaty would compel Poland to recognize same-sex marriages, which he linked to the end of “moral order”. To make his point the president used footage of the 2003 wedding of Brendan Fay and Tom Moulton in Canada. As a result of that speech a media frenzy moved Brendan and Tom out of obscurity and they became world famous. Brendan and Tom are devout Gay Roman Catholics who see their marriage as a sacred bond blessed by God. The Holy Spirit is ultimately in charge of the Church and will transform it so that it becomes one with the realm of God. We who are Gay and Catholic pray daily that the hierarchy will hear what the Spirit is saying through the people of God and cooperate with the Spirit’s transformation of the Church.

John J. McNeill John J. McNeill, author of The Church and The Homosexual, Taking A Chance on God, Freedom, Glorious Freedom, and Both Feet Planted Firmly in Midair. The Reverend McNeill can be reached at

Gay Muslim Life

A fascinating documentary from the BBC.  This is part 1 of 6 and I found it an amazing glimpse into gay life in Muslim countries.  The attention to the position of homosexuality in Islamic law is so helpful as is the expression of outsider status of Gay Muslims in the Gay community.

I would be interested to see if there exist counter-views to this documentary.  It is a powerful statement.