Thanks for the note guys. You know what...this is randome (and please and admins do not take it the wrong way because I am fine with things the way they are), but do you notice how even on this malesurvivor.org board there are two separate forums (one for male survivors and another for gay survivors--almost as though one would perhps not be sensitive [or on the flipside too sensitive] to the other's issues). It's all around us, and while I wouldn't recommend again crying over it (since this board has been very welcoming I think), I just realized how complacent we have gotten over time. The problem is that this time if we are too complacent, politicians can permanently decide the fate of our relationships (as they cloak it in religiousity--which I guess goes back to my point on another post a while ago to support our religious supporters [particularly those who are now speaking with us] as it will more powerfully counteract the voices of extremists).
PS Here are some interesting articles...
EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (AP) Religious leaders of several Rhode Island communities are speaking out in support of gay marriage, hopeful their voices will spur a larger movement backing the same-sex unions.
Members of the Rhode Island Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice said at a news conference Tuesday that religious doctrine should not be used to deny rights.
The organization, which has about 70 members from six Unitarian Universalist churches in the state, was joined by leaders of Methodist, Episcopal and Reform Jewish congregations.
The meeting was held the same day President Bush called for a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Religious leaders at the event said that denying same-sex couples marriage rights amounts to ''shameful'' discrimination.
The Rev. Dr. William Trench, of the United Methodist Church in East Greenwich, said his support for gay marriage is based on his religious beliefs.
Marriage, he said, ''is a promise made before God and the community to love one another forever.''
The speakers at the news conference urged legislators not to oppose religious grounds.
''Each religious tradition has its own interpretation and understanding of texts it considers sacred or foundational,'' said the Rev. William Zelazny, a district executive at the Unitarian Universalist Association. ''That is well and good for religious practice. But those interpretations should not be used to deny rights or to promote discrimination in the civil arena.''
Countering the Family Values Monopoly
By Rabbi David Ellenson
In his State of the Union address, President Bush signaled his intent to make "family values" a centerpiece of the 2004 presidential campaign.
His belief that "the sanctity of the family" needs to be defended from the "threat" that gay and lesbian couples ostensibly pose to heterosexual family units is hardly surprising. After all, when asked about same-sex unions after a court decision that affirmed the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, the president commented, "We are all sinners."
The very language the president employed then indicates that his religious views play a significant role in the public-policy position he has adopted on this matter, and the role that religious fundamentalism has played in setting the terms for this debate in the public square is unquestionably considerable. In taking the stance he did, President Bush displayed the impact that the Traditional Values Coalition and allied conservative religious groups — including Jewish ones — that have long been at the forefront of the fight against the advancement of rights and options for gays and lesbians in our society has had upon him. I regret that this is so and I feel obliged to speak out lest religious literalists claim a monopoly in speaking on behalf of religion on issues concerning gay and lesbian rights in our country.
These religious literalists justify their refusal to accord full rights to gays and lesbians by pointing to Leviticus 18:22, which condemns male homosexual intercourse as an "abomination," and there is little doubt that the influence of this biblical verse has been decisive in shaping the attitudes of many in our society toward this question of gay and lesbian rights — including the president. Yet, such a reading of this text represents the most literal interpretation possible of this passage. This reading also completely removes this>