gay marriage

GOP and Marriage Equality

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The Supreme Court put an end to the marriage equality question and legalized it in all fifty states. In reply, the GOP Candidates for President collectively lost their heads. Scott Walker is calling for a Constitutional Amendment as well as saying the Supreme Court really didn’t have the power to do this. (Don’t any of these guys actually read the Constitution?) Bobby Jindal is calling to abolish the Court, while Mike Huckabee is calling for a revolution.

This is why I still can’t vote Republican. They are not the party of ideas. They are not the party of progress. They are the party of pandering. 60% of Republicans are against marriage equality, while 60% of the nation is for it. When that many people are against, what else can they say?

The sad part of this is that one of the far right, no new ideas candidates will become the GOP’S candidate for President. Any Democrat will look like a far left socialist in comparison. The GOP is the party of my youth. I loved Nixon and, had I been old enough, I would have supported Reagan. I admire Eisenhower and, next to Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt is my favorite President. But, men like them can never lead the Republicans again. They were men of strong convictions and intellect.  They valued learning. Now, we have Scott Walker who couldn’t make it through college and doesn’t understand how the Supreme Court has the right to knock down unconstitutional laws. This is who the GOP wants running the country?

The GOP’S tired Gays, Guns, and God bit has to go. Not just in Presidential Candidates, but throughout all their politicians. The way Congress has spent the last six years fighting President Obama on every issue is insane. Their policy of repeating the same tired vote to eliminate the ACA is insane. Their calls for even lower taxes of the wealthy and corporations is insane. They refer to Social Security as an entitlement like it’s a bad thing. Jeb Bush blames single moms for welfare and pretty much the GOP follows along, totally ignorant to the fact that welfare doesn’t work that way anymore and hasn’t in almost twenty years. Walker, that bastion of no intellect is gutting the education of the state of Wisconsin.

Should I go on?

What I don’t understand is how any reasonable, intelligent adult could support the Republicans. How could you look at the problems of today and still support this group of men from the past?

The thought of it is insane.

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Affordable Wedding Minister

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If you live in AZ – or, I guess any state where Susan Latimer operates – do yourself a favor and don’t do business with her. 

According to the article on Think Progress, Latimer worked for weeks with a lesbian couple, before realizing that they were gay and then refusing the business – citing religious reasons.  I have two issues with this:

1) You didn’t notice the people each had feminine names when you started?  You cancel after wasting weeks of their time?  You’re running a for-profit business, but you’re claiming religion?

2) Do you think Jesus would approve of your behavior?

I think Latimer should have asked right at the get go if this was a gay wedding and then she could’ve refused it.  I wouldn’t want a homophobe to perform my wedding.  To me, not asking, sounds very unprofessional.  There’s an out in the non-discrimination law that would have protected you.

BUT…

I don’t think Jesus Christ would want a minister to turn down the opportunity to bless the joining of two people in love.  Call me crazy, but He didn’t mention anything about gay people.  He did mention marriage, the part where you’re not supposed to get a divorce.  I wonder if Latimer refuses second marriages for divorce people?  That would be following a “religion”. 

She’s probably just making it up as she goes along, as most bigots do.

I want to make one last statement: I’m not saying that Latimer can’t run her business as she sees fit – go ahead and discriminate.  I just believe that if you’re going to do business with someone, you should know what kinds of morals and values they hold.  It is a consumer world and each of us should spend our money with companies and businesses that uphold our own values and ethics. 

If Latimer isn’t going to perform same sex marriages, I wouldn’t give her my money.  I’m making the suggestion that you don’t either.

$4,800.00

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Today is National Coming Out Day. I don’t celebrate it. I mean, who else is left for me to tell I’m a lesbian? My entire family knows, as do my friends, and my employer knew from day one – when I put a picture of Cheryl on my desk. Personally, I think this day should be National Stay Home Day. I think missing the 36 million gay Americans at work and school would make a larger impact, as we are everywhere.

Anyway, because of my feelings, I’ve decided to write about the $4,800.00 that will no longer be in my pocket once I cover Cheryl’s health insurance via my company’s domestic partnership policy. This is not money that pays for the insurance itself – this is the taxes taken straight from my paycheck because Cheryl and I cannot legally marry in our state and even if we could, the Federal Government won’t recognize it.

$4,800.00 may not sound like a lot of money, but think about the things we won’t be able to do with that money. $4,800.00 works out to $400 a month. That’s a car payment. $400 a month is ten tanks of gas. It’s ten visits to restaurants in Racine. It’s books and toys for our grandchildren. One month’s amount is a new smart phone.

Taxing my insurance coverage for Cheryl,  while not taxing a straight, married co-worker’s insurance coverage for their spouse isn’t right. It’s unfair taxation.

$4,800.00 a year will raise the total federal taxes on my income to over $12,000 a year. This is well above Mitt Romney’s tax rate of 14%.

I wonder how the people in charge can sleep at night by overtaxing American citizens. I know people who claim that I shouldn’t be a one issue voter, but they don’t get it. This isn’t just about receiving a legal document – this is about taking money out of my pocket unfairly and unjustly.

Gay Marriage: Not a Single Issue

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A good friend of mine posted on a Facebook status regarding gay marriage and voting that some people don’t just vote a single issue. Now, he’s a little misguided because I know plenty of people on the right that vote Republican solely because they’re anti-abortion. And, I know plenty of people who voted Democratic because they were against the war in Iraq. Quite frankly, I agree with my friend: one shouldn’t vote just one issue.

But, when you’re gay, gay marriage isn’t a single issue. It affects nearly every single issue out there for gays and lesbians.

Point 1: Taxes. Everyone complains about how much they pay in taxes.  If you’re a straight married couple with no kids, making what Cheryl and I make, you pay around $1000 less in Federal income taxes than Cheryl and I do. Between the two of us, we paid more than $10,000 in federal income taxes – roughly 16% of our joint income. This means we paid a higher percentage than Mitt Romney.
The Republican tax plan? It will cost us a lot more, while lowering taxes on people who all ready pay less than we do and, I’m ignoring the other items, like lowering taxes of the rich.
You want tax equality? Let the gays get married.

Point 2. Social Security. I earn a substantial amount more than Cheryl. Therefore, I pay more into Social Security than she does. If we were allowed to legally marry, she could apply for Social Security under my name. However; because we’re not legally married, she can’t.  She, also, won’t receive any death benefits if I happen to die first – unlike her legally married, straight counterparts.  In the land of equality, this stinks. A man can marry a woman, stay married for ten years and divorce her and she can file for his Social Security. That same man can marry another woman, stay married for ten years and wife #2 gets a piece of his Social Security pie. His benefits are never reduced. 

Point 3. Healthcare. Taxes. If I take my employer provided healthcare benefits for Cheryl, like millions of straight married couples do all over the country, I will pay income taxes on the employer cost of said healthcare. You want to fix healthcare in this nation? Start by eliminating the domestic partner taxes on healthcare.

See, I’m not asking for special rights. I am demanding equality. The right wing yammers on and on about fairness and freedom, but it’s just talk. They don’t believe in equality. 

Further, there are more issues than just these three that is affected by one’s marital status. Gay marriage may not be important to straight people, but it is literally the most important issue to gay people. It affects everything about our lives.

If you care one iota for your gay friends and family, you’ll vote Democratic this fall. Until we’re all equal, none of us are equal.

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Happy National Coming Out Day!

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Today is National Coming Out Day.  This is the day when gay people are encouraged to come out to someone.  I do that everyday, as most gay people should.  When I started my new job, I put Cheryl’s picture up on my desk.  As my new co-workers would stop by, a few would ask about the picture.  I’d just tell them that she’s my wife.

Tammy Baldwin once said (and I’m paraphrasing) that if you want to live in a world where you can put a picture of your wife on your desk, put a picture of your wife on your desk and you live in that world.  In other words, come out, come out wherever you are.

Some straight people don’t understand the big deal.  They lie and tell you that their sexuality isn’t public and what’s the big deal.  What they don’t understand is that their sexuality is very much public.  They go into work and complain about their wife or brag about their kids – they “announce” that they are gay.

It’s funny or ironic.  Two of my current co-workers, whom I like very much, think that I am very prideful because I had no problem mentioning my wife.  Yet one of them is married and he doesn’t see that it isn’t prideful, he does the samething.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice guy; he just doesn’t understand.

We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.  We can only get there if we come out.  Take a chance.

There is one more thing:  Why don’t we seriously get together and all stay home from work or school next year?  Instead of National Coming Out Day, we could have National Stay In Day.  I believe that it would do three things:

  1. It would show how many of us there are.
  2. and show how the straights couldn’t live without us.
  3. Watch all the homophobes show up for work, so no one would think they were gay!

So, National Stay In Day – who’s with me?

Little Boy Meets Gay Couple

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This little boy, Calen, meets a gay couple for the very first time.  His reaction is priceless and brought tears to my eyes.  “It means you guys love each other.”

Too bad the adults in this world don’t have the love and acceptance that this little guy has.