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Posts Tagged ‘Gay Pride Month’

While everyone is paying attention to Greece and Spain, Italy is teetering  on the brink.  Some pundits say that the real  fate of the Eurozone lies in Italy’s ability to weather the current economic winds. It occurred to me that I did not know whether the Vatican was part of the EU.  It is not, but, oddly, its currency is the Vatican Euro which is made in Rome.

With brand names like Prada, Ferrari, and Armani continuing to do well, Italy may come through just fine.  That is not why I raised the subject.  It is pretty clear to anyone who knows anything about the Vatican why that sovereign state would eschew EU membership.  Legendary accumulated wealth and perennially resurfacing Vatican Bank scandals hint at roiling financial and economic storms beneath the serene surface.  A two thousand year history of borderline incestuous relations with European royalty may have established much of the Vatican’s wealth, but a side effect might be the belief that the tiny city-state gets to dictate what happens politically in other countries.  When Vatican officials tried to bitch-slap American nuns recently, the nuns not only stood their ground, but, in an all-American huff, decided to take their message on the road.

Nuns, Rebuked by Rome, Plan Road Trip to Spotlight Social Issues

By
Published: June 5, 2012

In a spirited retort to the Vatican, a group of Roman Catholic nuns is planning a bus trip across nine states this month, stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Sister Simone Campbell is organizing a bus tour to draw attention to nuns’ work with the poor and to protest planned aid cuts.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

The bus’s decal.

The bus tour is a response to a blistering critique of American nuns released in April by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, which included the accusation that the nuns are outspoken on issues of social justice, but silent on other issues the church considers crucial: abortion and gay marriage.

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I am reminded of this incident.

5 Nuns in New Jersey Break Away Over Break With Tradition

By ROBERT HANLEY, Special to the New York Times
Published: October 08, 1988

Five cloistered nuns are protesting at their monastery here over the relaxation of rigid monastic lifestyles rooted in the 16th century.

Since Tuesday, the five have secluded themselves in the monastery’s second-floor infirmary, fearful they face eviction from the monastery because of their opposition to the recent introduction of a television, classical music and brighter lighting in the prayer chapel.

To the five sisters, these 20th-century society elements are distractions to their dedication to solitude, silence and daily contemplative prayer, and the abandonment of the reclusive principles of their order, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns, founded in 1562.

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A brilliant friend, mentor, and colleague of mine, a naturalized American able to see our culture through eyes more objective than our own and trained in anthropology,  and I were driving past that cloister a few years later.  “I wish I could have spoken to the Pope during that stand-off,” she said.  “He didn’t realize he was dealing with protestant nuns.”  Her larger thesis was that all Americans, regardless of the religious tradition in which we are raised, are essentially protestants.  It’s what we do.  We protest.  Our nation was born in protest and the founders enshrined that right in the very first amendment to our constitution.  That is the importance they lent to the role of protest in our infant culture.

Sister Simone Campbell and her bus mates along with Sister Margaret Farley (whom the Vatican officials appear to regard as a ring leader in all of this disruption to their traditional message of vilification for the practices of birth control and gay marital union) stand with the grand majority of Roman Catholic American nuns who have not missed the connections between these practices and the economic health of the greater society.  Gay marriage more than affords equal rights to gay couples.  It permits medical coverage,  pension and social security benefits to dependents of those marriages – benefits that parties to straight marriage accept without the blink of an eye – to which, in fact, they feel entitled.  Birth control permits reproductive responsibility in families that calculate their fiscal ability to support a family at $235,000 per child per year 0 – 17 years (not including post secondary education).

The nuns are very much part of the fabric of American life.  Their long tradition of working on the ground with children and families allows them insights that men isolated in Vatican enclaves cannot possibly appreciate.  The Nuns on the Bus are out to educate Americans – voting citizens (which Vatican officials are not) – as to the dangers inherent in the proposed Ryan budget.  Les eminences grises could learn a thing or two from them as well.  American nuns have been educating Americans for more than two hundred years.  We applaud this effort by our all-American protestant Catholic nuns.  Go Sisters!!!!!!

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Just got an email from Robby Mook saying that my DCCC membership has expired and all I need to do to renew it is contribute.

With the Federal Election Commission (FEC) deadline just days away, there has never been a more critical time to show your support for President Obama’s agenda….

Really, Robby?  And what agenda would that be?  The one that has yet to advocate for full civil rights for gay Americans? The one that extended unemployment benefits for 13 months but the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans for two years?  The one that, instead of fighting for the single payer option simply allowed it to be excised from the health care bill?  The one that still does not firmly, once and for all say that LGBT rights are human rights, and human rights are LGBT rights?  That among those rights is the right to serve one’s country, and to die for it,  as openly gay?  As who you are?

That agenda?

Dear Robby,

When the Democratic Party listens to its membership, I will renew my membership.

The party refused to provide a fair and transparent roll call vote in Denver in 2008, and the RBC  reassigned Hillary Clinton delegates to Barack Obama in a move that, if not illegal, was at least unethical.

I, as a registered Democrat resent the way the party treated me and my 18 million pro-Hillary cohorts.  My contributions since 2008 have gone and until further notice will continue to go to Hillary Clinton.

What will it take for me to make future contributions?  Put Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket where she belongs.

Regards,

S4H (my real name here)

Happy Pride Day, everybody!

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Last year, she blazed the trail for this administration by announcing benefits for same sex domestic partners of State Department employees  and, literally,  shook D.C. in doing so.  THIS year, as the Supreme Commander of Passport Rules, this is her gift for Gay Pride Month, and it is HUGE!  Ya gotta love her!  This is the second year in a row that she has delicately picked a hand grenade out the pocket of one of her rainbow of pantsuits and lobbed it.  Ace shortstops have dead-on aim!  Go Hillary!

New Policy on Gender Change in Passports Announced

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 9, 2010

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to use the occasion of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month to announce its new policy guidelines regarding gender change in passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.

Beginning June 10, when a passport applicant presents a certification from an attending medical physician that the applicant has undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition, the passport will reflect the new gender. The guidelines include detailed information about what information the certification must include. It is also possible to obtain a limited-validity passport if the physician’s statement shows the applicant is in the process of gender transition. No additional medical records are required. Sexual reassignment surgery is no longer a prerequisite for passport issuance. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad can also be amended with the new gender.

As with all passport applicants, passport issuing officers at embassies and consulates abroad and domestic passport agencies and centers will only ask appropriate questions to obtain information necessary to determine citizenship and identity.

The new policy and procedures are based on standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), recognized by the American Medical Association as the authority in this field.

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lgbt Hillary

About two weeks ago, first on Twitter, and later in official dispatches, we heard that Hillary had not only heard the requests from LGBT Foreign Service employees, but had researched the feasibility of granting their requests and had decided these requests should be honored. Several days later, I noticed a preponderance of Tweets proclaiming deep, passionate, love and loyalty for Hillary. When I backed into the accounts, these were posted by very nice looking young men. At first I wondered what had inspired this love-slam (well, not really, since I am always ready to love-slam Hillary – I just wondered how she had turned on all of these young guys all of a sudden). When finally I saw a similar post from two women, I realized that all this love was from the LGBT community and was due to her announcement from State.

Yesterday morning, Hillary released her statement: In Recognition of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month 2009.

Since last week, I have been pointing out to fellow PUMAs, Hillcrats, and assorted other POPs (Pissed Off People), that the way the LGBT community was responding to her, it seemed to me that we had not reached out ENOUGH to this community early on. Many expressed regrets for having supported Obama and wished they had known that Hillary had been the candidate of action. I proposed that we begin reaching out now, even though we cannot know the future, Hillary’s plans, or the prognosis for the current administration. I suggested that this is a powerful community that we did not have in the tent last year, should accept regardless of their past politics, and have ready to jump in should Hillary decide to ditch this administration and run again.

So it was in that spirit that having seen the very seductive header “Hillary Rocks the House” on Twitter, I clicked on the URL and visited the article of the same title at Gay Rights.Change.org last night.

Predictably, I found the notes of buyer’s remorse regarding Obama. I wrote a comment inviting them to join us all at Hillary’s Village. One comment, however, pointed out that even though Hillary had done so first, Obama later released a Gay Pride Month Proclamation, and see? He had done the right thing!

Well, you could say that, but only if you didn’t know or notice that this is a pattern. During the debates, Hillary even said that she was getting all the hard questions first (“I don’t MIND!” she responded adorably). Obama’s typical response to the same question was almost invariably, “Senator Clinton is right about that.” In addition, not having invited Nancy Reagan to a signing of the stem cell research bill, and having been called on it by a reporter who contacted Mrs. Reagan, he decided, after the fact to honor HER today. When Nicholas Sarkozy and he excluded the only living head of state who had served in uniform in WWII (to the consternation of EVERYONE who knows that history) to the D-Day Ceremonies in Normandy this week, Obama again, way too late, released through his Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, an assurance that he is “working” to get that addressed. It’s a pattern.

I replied to the misguided commenter, of course, but I wonder if the LGBT folks, and other marginalized groups that have been kicked to the curb by this administration understand that nothing will be done to advance their issues and agendas. NOTHING!

When I opened my email this morning I found a notice reminding me that June is also ASPCA Adopt-a-Shelter-Pet Month. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not making comparisons AT ALL but shelter pets and gays share this month and you would have to be living on Mars not to know that when Obama promised his girls a dog, originally that dog was supposed to be a shelter dog. Bo Obama, of course, as we all know, was a gift to the girls by Uncle Teddy Kennedy and came from Kennedy’s breeder. So the shelter pets also were kicked to the curb.

I chose this blog for posting this because this is where we defend the marginalized. Gay people are still marginalized. No Presidential Proclamation will change that. Only actions change things, not words! (UM, WHO is the person who acts?)

In 1969, gay people stood up and acted – courageously. Unfortunately, Obama is not going to be courageous in acting on their behalf any more than he has been for the shelter pets. Essentially, he is telling shelter pets, gay people, women, the Queen of England and all her subjects, as well as, lately, Angela Merkel to sit, stay, get under the porch (or back in your closet) and shut up.

It’s actions, not words. Obama will never help anybody if it is not in his self interest. For the record, the month of June has long been Gay Pride Month – long before “President Barack Obama” so proclaimed it yesterday. Ask Hillary. She marched in the parades.

Hillary Clinton

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By the way, you can help feed shelter pets for free, by simply clicking on the purple button on this page. Unlike the rest of us, these pets cannot speak up for themselves. You can even set up a daily reminder and do this every day. It costs nothing and takes a few seconds. Visit the Animal Rescue Site.

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