Sunday, October 24, 2010

In 'It Gets Better' Video, Nancy Pelosi Says Diversity Is An 'American Strength' – October 24, 2010 - On Top Magazine

In a new It Gets Better video, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says diversity in an “American strength.”

“You are not alone,” Pelosi says to troubled gay teens considering suicide.

“As a mother and a grandmother, I want to tell you that a better tomorrow awaits. Filled with opportunity, with hope, with the promise of success, with respect and progress for all.”

Pelosi says the country has overcome inequality before and is prepared to do so again for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

“Bigotry and bullying have no place in our society,” she adds. “Bullying contradicts our American values and our aspirations. Diversity is an American strength.”

“Together, united we will remind our LGBT youth and all Americans: It gets better.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
Read more/watch video:

Pelosi Encourages Gay Teens 
October 23, 2010
The Advocate

Following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's and President Barack Obama's  videos encouraging gay youth to endure the tumultuous teen years this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has released a video of her own.

"During this challenging time for so many, you should know that I am on your side," Pelosi said in the video released Friday evening.

“Nancy Pelosi is the one Democrat we can count on time and time again to stand for GLBT rights and equality. She is unwavering and courageous...”
Read more/watch video:

President Obama: It Gets Better,
October 21, 2010
The White House

Recently, several young people have taken their own lives after being bullied for being gay – or perceived as being gay – by their peers. Their deaths are shocking and heartbreaking tragedies. No one should have to endure relentless harassment or tormenting. No one should ever feel so alone or desperate that they feel have nowhere to turn. We each share a responsibility to protect our young people. And we also have an obligation to set an example of respect and kindness, regardless of our differences.

We all have a responsibility to protect all of our children.  But we also have an obligation to set an example of respect and kindness regardless of our differences. 

This is personal to me. When I was a young adult, I faced the jokes and taunting that too many of our youth face today, and I considered suicide as a way out.  But I was fortunate.  One of my co-workers recognized that I was hurting, and I soon confided in her.  She cared enough to push me to seek help.  She saved my life.  I will always be grateful for her compassion and support – the same compassion and support that so many kids need today. Photo

In the wake of these terrible tragedies, thousands of Americans have come together to share their stories of hope and encouragement for LGBT youth who are struggling as part of the It Gets Better Project.  Their messages are simple: no matter how difficult or hopeless life may seem when you’re a young person who’s been tormented by your peers or feels like you don’t fit in: life will get better...
Read more/watch video - President Obama:

The White House Emblem

LGBT Ally Week: Take a Stand for LOVE!
by Jason Mannino,
October 22, 2010
The Huffington Post

I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I didn't have gay allies loving me and supporting me since long before the time I came out, until the very moment in which I am writing this article and I expect beyond the time that I transition into my next life. Then I coach myself to stop and simply bask in the gratitude of not having to know. The truth is I have had so much love and support that I have at times found myself having to work through embarrassment of not always being able to relate to the plethora of bullying, violence, and family ostracizing that others go through.

In September we witnessed five suicides by LGBT teens, and just this week on Tuesday evening the sixth was discovered. This LGBT teen was 19-year-old Corey Jackson on the campus of Oakland University in Southeast Michigan. According to the investigation, thus far this suicide does not seem to have been elicited by bullying.

Melissa Pope, director of Oakland University's Gender and Sexuality Center, said the issue points to a larger, hidden epidemic of suicides among LGBT youth.
Read more:

Sexual orientation 
is less about sex 
more about LOVE
being one with another human being. 
Attachment Theory - - LOVE & RELIGION
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Thalamus Center

Sexual orientation 
Internalized Homophobia - 
“Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 - A flashback far more severe than in 
Brokeback Mountain” 
GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Thalamus Center 
Attachment Theory
Nothing in life is more precious than the intimate relationships we have with love ones. Healthy love relationships delight us give us confidence to take on challenges and support us in difficult times. Photo

Gay marriage ->Restoring 
"Hope of Love"
To Children In Early Childhood -> Marriage Equality
March 23, 2010 – 
by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Thalamus Center

Marriage Equality, like Galileo, is the truth about the facts of growing up gay. Marriage Equality will not become a reality until people learn that its most vital purpose is that it restores the “hope of love” to children in early childhood – essential to their development and well-being for life. Without Marriage Equality we teach children how to hate love and how to be mean and indifferent to people as adults. With all due respect, without Marriage Equality we would teach them in much the same way as has been shown by Benedict XVI and the hierarchy, especially in their lack of care and protection of children for decades.

Gay Marriage Obsession of Benedict XVI 
Neglected Safety of Children 
Cover-ups Wrongly Blaming Gays - -

“What the Pope Knew” 
Gary Tuchman, 
September 25, 2010, 
CNN & CNN International 
(Investigative documentary)
Related links:

Tortured For Being Gay
by Andrew Sullivan, 
October 9, 2010
The Atlantic

This story in the NYT this morning obviously speaks for itself. The plight of gay teens and youths, despite so much advances in the culture, for so many remain an unimaginable nightmare. The truth is not, I suspect, that there is a sudden new wave of this; the truth is that we have not been so aware of it before, or that shame on the part of victims, has kept some of this from the light of day. The five well-publicized suicides of the last month do not represent a rise, which is why I've tried before on this blog to mention The Trevor Project, an organization devoted to helping to save suicidal gay teens and children... -------Photo GWB

For too long, gay people have been described by too many on the right as a threat to the family, society and decency. Those words have consequences. This is especially true of religious leaders. When even the Pope describes us as "intrinsically disordered" and directed to an "objective moral evil", when Republicans call us a threat to family life, when NOM runs ads of a "storm coming", I hope they understand what these words do to the psyches and souls of the young and impressionable, and to those who need a mere signal to take up arms and attack us.

When you do these things to the least of my brethren, you do them to me, said Jesus. I pray that those who say they follow him would sometimes remember those words when it comes to the rhetoric that gay children and teens cannot help but hear...
Read complete article:
Gay bullying 
Catholic responsibilities 
by David Gibson, 
October 8, 2010

A striking aspect of the focus by many bishops on the battle against gay marriage, such as the DVD campaign by Minnesota’s Archbishop John Nienstedt, discussed below, is how out of synch it is with the tragic realities of bullying against gay youths, brought home so forcefully by the deaths of Tyler Clementi and many other teens.

Bishops who have been concerned about gay marriage have also been fighting against anti-bullying laws that include sexual orientation (along with religion and race, e.g.) as a targeted category, which studies show it often is. They argue that including sexual orientation to protect youths from harassment is the slippery slope to gay marriage and other gay rights.

I have a story at today about some serious soul-searching by Christians, especially those of the conservative stripe, about their language and approach on gays inlight of the rash of suicides and bullying that has come to light.
Read more:

"Most religious denominations continue 
condemn homosexuality as sinful 
provide a rationale 
marginalizing LGB people.”
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) Photo

Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth

Social Environment  
...Morrow (2004) points out that “GLBT adolescents must cope with developing a sexual minority identity in the midst of negative comments, jokes, and often the threat of violence because of their sexual orientation and/or transgender identity” (p. 91-92) and that, given the pervasive homophobia in our culture and in the families of LGBT youth, “the internalization of homophobic and heterosexist messages begins very early—often before GLBT youth fully realize their sexual orientation and gender identity” (p. 92). Morrow also says that positive role models for LGBT youth are hard to find. 

Herek and colleagues (2007) describe a framework to understand the social environment for sexual minorities. The framework integrates the sociological idea of stigma with the psychological idea of prejudice. Through stigma, society discredits and invalidates homosexuality relative to heterosexuality. Institutions embodying stigma results in heterosexism, and heterosexual individuals internalizing stigma results in prejudice. The United States legal system has faced challenges by sexual minorities and sympathetic heterosexuals that have led to significant changes. However, the legal system continues to reinforce stigma through discriminatory laws and the absence of laws protecting sexual minorities from discrimination in employment, housing, and services. A minority of states had antidiscrimination laws as of 2005, and most of these only referred to employment and not to housing or services. Most religious denominations continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful and provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people... 
Read complete research:

Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth - Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk 
Mental Health America

Prepared by the 
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
for the Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Supported by Grant No. 1 U79 SM57392-02
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies, and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
Read more:

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Education Development Center, Inc.
55 Chapel Street
Newton MA 02458
877-GET-SPRC (438-7772)

Homophobia in the Church:
What Catholics Are Doing About It, and
What Still Needs to Be Done
By Michele Somerville, October 10, 2010
The Huffington Post

I attended a Roman Catholic baptism about two weeks ago. A crowd of young parents and others of all ages stood in semi-circle around the font. The atmosphere was reverent yet festive. Toddlers squirmed. The church was exquisite. Blades of late-morning light slid down through colored glass. The priest exuded hope and delight as he kicked off the rites. As the two parents approached the font to offer their child to the church, I began to tear up. My 11-year-old daughter Grace, not unaccustomed to my poet's penchant for being capsized by moments so tender, saw my waterworks start up, rolled her eyes as adolescents do, smiled, and handed me a tissue. As I often do when my emotions get the best of me in the presence of my children, I get all pedagogical on them. I whispered sidebars to Grace: "That's litany of the saints, it's beautiful when sung in Latin... And that the part about Satan and the empty promises -- it's technically an exorcism!" Photo

I didn't have to explain that it was no ordinary baptism we were witnessing. She knew it was extraordinary, because I had taught her. The two parents at the font were bravely (or so I believe) demonstrating their desire not to throw the baby out with the baptismal water. 

They were two gay dads asking a church governed by bullies to bless their child.

My daughter later asked how it was that gay people could have their children baptized in Catholic churches but not be married in them. Good question. I broke it down for her. I told her a far greater percentage of Catholics support gay marriage than support the Vatican. I characterized the failure of my church to offer gay Catholics marriage in the church as just that -- "a failure." And a sin. Photo - not the 2 dads in this article
Read complete article:

Pope Benedict to Beatify a Gay Saint?
 A Conservative Icon? Maybe Both
by David Gibson 
September 18, 2010
Politics Daily

…"It is not good for a Pope to live 20 years," Newman once wrote of the long-lived Pius IX. "It is an anomaly and bears no good fruit; he becomes a god, has no one to contradict him, does not know facts, and does cruel things without meaning it."

Such frank talk about the failings of the hierarchy tended to make Newman a champion of liberal Catholics -- a courageous man who wrote about the "development of doctrine" in the church at a time when the Vatican was projecting an image of unceasing continuity. He also disagreed strongly with the church's adoption of the doctrine of papal infallibility, and famously wrote that if pressed, he would drink "to Conscience first and the Pope afterwards." Photo 

…Complicating all the interpretations is the fact that Newman had an extraordinarily close relationship with another English Catholic, Father Ambrose St. John, who had died in 1875, leaving Newman bereft -- and giving today's gay Christians an icon of their own.

"I have ever thought no bereavement was equal to that of a husband's or a wife's, but I feel it difficult to believe that any can be greater, or any one's sorrow greater, than mine," Newman wrote at the time of his friend's death. "From the first he loved me with an intensity of love which was unaccountable." And elsewhere: "As far as this world was concerned I was his first and last."

there will exist 

well considered
yet fervent public conviction
that the
most deadly of all possible
is the mutilation of
child’s spirit.”

…whoever causes one 
these little ones 
believe in Me 
to stumble, 
would be better for him 
have a heavy millstone 
around his neck, 
to be drowned 
the depth of the sea. photo
Matthew 18:6

Important note:
Read complete report: 
Child Protection Service of the Archdiocese of Dublin 
No disrespect meant 
Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, 
the one and only concern 
the safety 
children. Photo

Kids Are Being Hurt!!!

facing the Roman Inquisition
painting by Cristiano Banti 
Holy Office of the Inquisition

Biblical quotes used to
Condemn Galileo

Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New International Version)
5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New American Standard Bible)
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again. 

1 Chronicles 16:30 (New International Version)
30 Tremble before him, all the earth! 
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
1 Chronicles 16:30 (New American Standard Bible)
30 Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved

Psalm 93:1 (New International Version)
The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; 
 the LORD is robed in majesty 
 and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Psalm 93:1 (New American Standard Bible)
1 The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved

Psalm 96:10 (New International Version)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." 
 The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; 
 he will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 96:10 (New American Standard Bible)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity." 

Psalm 104:5 (New International Version)
5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
Psalm 104:5 (New American Standard Bible)
He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.
Read more:

Homophobia hurts straight men, too
By Jonathan Zimmerman
October 6, 2010
The Christian Science Monitor
New York
In the 1986 movie Stand By Me, an adult protagonist – played by Richard Dreyfuss – looks back wistfully on the friendships he formed in his youth. “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve,” he muses. “Does anyone?”

For most American men, the sad answer is “no.” In surveys, men report that they rarely sustain intimate, long-standing friendships with other males after childhood. And the reason might surprise you: According to a large body of research, they’re afraid of being seen as gay…


He’s right, of course. But to fight intolerance against gay boys, we also need to acknowledge its toll on straights – and our entire culture. Homophobia hurts all of our boys, by driving a wedge between them. Sharing your deepest feelings with another man? That’s so . . . gay. Or so we’ve been taught…
Read more:

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