Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Googlebombs away

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Action Alert: Let Utah See Brokeback Mountain

crossposted @ refinish69,My Left Wing, Dkos,Booman Tribune,AustinKos

From: Michael Kaminer PR

Ironweed Films, the DVD-of-the-month club using movies to rally audiences
around progressive social and political issues, launched an online
petition (www.ironweedfilms.com/brokeback) today urging Larry Miller to
put Brokeback Mountain back on the schedule of his theater in Sandy, Utah.

Miller's theater unexpectedly pulled Brokeback Mountain from its schedule
this past weekend. (See "Utah Theater Cancels Brokeback Mountain")

For more information about Ironweed Films, visit
www.ironweedfilms.com/pressroom or contact Patrick Kowalczyk
(patrick@mkpr.com) at 212.627.8098

Sign the Petition to Let Brokeback Mountain Play!

The Megaplex theatre in Sandy, Utah has pulled the pathbreaking film
Brokeback Mountain from its screens. The decision by the Megaplex, which
is owned by Larry Miller, who also owns the Utah Jazz basketball team,
could signal the beginning of a trend to try to turn people away from this
powerful and important film.

At Ironweed Films our mission is to help films like Brokeback Mountain -
genre-breaking films that are masterpieces - get seen. We hope you'll join
us by signing our petition to Larry Miller to let Brokeback play.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New designs at Doing My Part For The Left

I haven't been posting much on my blog or any blogs for that matter but I have been busy designing away as more news about the Bush Regime has been revealed.

First was the news break about Bush approving wiretaps without warrants. So much for due process of the law in America any more.

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Then we receive the news that it is only incoming calls he is listening to. Does anyone believe this? I know I don't. Bush has lied so much to the American Public I do not think he knows what is the truth and what is a lie anymore.

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Liar in Chief

I truly think Bush sold out America and everything America stands for a long time ago. He does not believe in Freedom for anyone unless they are the privileged rich who support him.

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Bush Rummage Sale

We all know Bush is the first President to ever serve two terms without being elected to even one.

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George W. Bush

For these and other great liberal designs, visit Doing My Part for The Left. The home of official John Courage, Barry Welsh, & Mary Beth Harrell campaign gear.

P.S. If you know any candidates who need gear designed, send them my way.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS Day

(cross posted @ My Left Wing,refinish69,Booman Tribune,Daily Kos)

December 1st is the day to honor the memory of all the people we have lost to AIDS and say a prayer in our hearts for those living HIV & AIDS. The world has lost so many men, women, and children to this horrific disease.

This is the 17th World AIDS Day. I remember attending a meeting to organize a remembrance 17 years ago in an apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina. If anyone had told me I would still be attending or helping with World AIDS Day events 17 years later, I would have called them a liar but here I am. I refuse to rant or rave about the stupidity that has caused this disease to continue and worsen for so many years. Today is not the day for that. However, I will share some stories from my life.

I have lost over 1,000 people I call friend to this disease. I will not list all the names but they are burned into my heart and soul. I will tell you about a few special people who touched my life, my heart and my soul.

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The first person I lost to AIDS was David Pendergras. He was one of the most beautiful men I have ever met. I had a huge crush on David that finally became one of the best friendships I have ever had. David was the brother my brother could never be to me. We would spend hours talking about everything from our latest boy friend, clothes, music, movies, books, plays, and even family. It was nothing for us to sit up all night talking, laughing and watching old movies. I still miss his smile and wacky out sense of humor. One tome when we were out shopping with my Mom, David screams from across the store “Would you come on Miss Thing. We are ready to go.” I was mortified. We were in Raleigh, North Carolina and I had only come out to my mom the previous year. To my surprise, my mom laughed and hugged David. I think he actually helped her understand me and what it meant to be a gay male. Neither David nor I were nelly in anyway but did love to cut up once in awhile. I still talk to David and tell him my dreams, fears, and aspirations and he is still listening and cracking jokes. David, I love you and I miss you.

In July of 1999, I lost two incredible people in 10 days time. Keith Mcelenny had been a friend for 8 years. I had met him and his lover Carl when I was dating a mutual friend and bartending part time at a country western bar in San Francisco. Keith was one of the gentlest souls I have ever known. He was an artist, a writer, a furniture builder and designer. Keith and I would get lost in the bookstores while our respective lovers would fuss and complain. I loved attending plays, movies and concerts with Keith & Carl and talking about them afterwards. For many years, any holiday was spent either at their home or with them at my home. Dinner parties were a common occurrence and I always knew the food would be wonderful and would help with my own contributions. The last two times I ever attended church were for Keith. He was inducted as a deacon to the MCC church he and Carl belonged to and he asked me to attend. Unknown to me, I was asked to participate in the lying on of hands part of the ceremony. I tried to refuse as I am not a practicing church member of any kind and he and the minister said I had a Christian heart and the service would not be complete without me. The next time I attended was for his memorial service. I had promised Keith in the hospital that I would cater his memorial to make sure it was nice and not just thrown together. Keith’s memorial was delayed for several days since his Minister and the majority of the congregation of the church was at an MCC World Conference. I was honored to do this for him and still miss him terribly. He will always hold a special place in my heart and mind.

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The other person I lost that awful July was my Lover Don. What can I say about Don? He was light of my world. Here was the one man that was special enough for me to date, live with and love more than 6 months. He was someone I wanted to grow old with and laugh about our past blunders, but that was not to be. When I met Don, he had been HIV positive for 15 years. That did not mean a thing to me. I was in love from the first night we spoke. I am not saying everything was perfect. No relationship is. We were total opposites in almost everything. He loved bloody action movies and gambling. I am a comedy or chick flick guy. In his entire life, he had never seen a play, a classical concert or even a jazz concert. He laughingly said that the only things we had in common were that we were both gay, loved dogs, and loved each other. He had this sleepy little smile that could melt my heart and make me forget any little dispute. He would plan special occasions for me that would simply blow my mind. He was probably one of the most romantic men I have ever met. It was nothing for him to plan a special night on the town or an incredible dinner at home with flowers and candles all over the house. He made me feel special and unique. Don died on the Thursday before Keith’s memorial. He died at our home with our two dogs, his cat and me. One week after Keith’s memorial, I threw a party for Don. I cooked all of his favorite treats and invited his friends and mine. There was a poker table set up in one room, music and conversation in the living room. I decorated the house with every type of flower I knew he loved.

Don will always be a part of me. He touched my heart & soul as no other human being ever has. I think of him always and still talk to him and listen for his answers. He occupies my dreams when I am troubled and has even helped me find solutions. I wish anyone in love 10 years for every 6 months that Don and I had together. It was the best 5.5 years of my life.

Take some time today to remember the loved ones you have lost and to say a kind word to those you know who are living with HIV and AIDS. Wear a Red Ribbon and explain the significance to all that ask.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Texas State Board of Education is full of Bigots just like the Ledge

It seems a damn shame that the elected officials in Texas think it is more important to promote Bigotry and Hatred instead of taking care of the School Children. The State Board of Education has decided they would rather stop working with the National groups than help promote tolerance in the schools.

Equality Texas - Press Release

Austin, TX - Ignoring Texas taxpayers' values and their official responsibilities, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) voted Thursday to withdraw from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) in order to pursue an out-of-step radical agenda.

The NASBE is the only national group that helps strengthen state board leadership in education policymaking. The SBOE voted to give up Texas' seat in America's boardroom for education because they could not get along.

Putting the board's opinion before Texas school children, SBOE member Terri Leo stated, "They're (NASBE) taking policy decisions that I believe the majority of our board members here don't agree with." Leo was referring to a NASBE seminar on bullying and violence prevention that included a presentation about students being bullied because of their sexual orientation.

In another act of failed leadership, the Texas SBOE followed the example of Governor Perry and Speaker Tom Craddick and just quit on Texas children because they cannot get along or find an easy solution.

"Making our schools safe environments for learning should be the goal of all school boards, all school districts, and all school administrators", said Chuck Smith, Equality Texas Deputy Director. "Making our schools safe environments for learning is everyone's agenda", Smith said.

"It is a reality that students are harassed and bullied based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. It is also a reality that students are harassed and bullied based on other characteristics, such as physical appearance, weight and socioeconomic status. If we truly care about making our schools a safe learning environment, then any and all characteristics that are the source of harassment and bullying should be included in safe schools policy."

"Responsible leaders know how to find consensus and solutions when our children are at stake," Smith said.

Monday, November 14, 2005

From Gay & Lesbian Angels to Anti-bush

The creative juices are still flowing. With a victory in Maine and several other states, we still have to fight the Bigots everywhere else. The loss in Texas was not unexpected but it still does not lessen the fact that we need to educate America.

I am trying to start a National Pink Triangle movement. This first symbol of the GLBT Community is one with a painful history which can not be forgotten.

We Will Not Go Quietly

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Gay Angel

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Lesbian Angel

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And lets not forget the Biggest Bigot of them all.

Bush Uses America

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Check out these and other fun designs at Doing My Part For The Left

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Birthday Reflections from a Tired Equal Rights Activist

November 12th was my birthday. I am 47 years OLD and feel every damn year, month, day, hour, minute and second of it. I have been working in Politics and Equal Rights since I was 8 years old and sometimes I just want to turn it over to others and forget it. I was really feeling hopeless after the crushing defeat earlier this week in Texas.

Well, I have had my mini-breakdown and am back. Still not really happy, but I will be damned if I am giving up. I think back on how many things have changed in 39 years and I am so thankful. In my own small ways, I have helped change laws and attitudes. There are anti- discrimination clauses at many companies where I have worked, many have offered extended dependents benefits packages, and I am now working to get gender identity added to the non-discrimination clause where I currently work. I have helped elect many wonderful candidates who have stood firm in their beliefs of Equal Rights for all. I change people’s opinion about issues one at a time as I speak out. Bigotry is something that will never disappear completely but it can be narrowed down to the extreme bigots who will never accept anyone different. I can dream of perfection. I can ask for it, but in my heart I know the battle will always be there in one form or another.

This battle has been one I have fought for the majority of my life. I am not willing to walk away. I live in a metropolitan area where I am accepted and life is easier than for those in smaller communities. I can not move to BFE, Texas to make a point, but I can keep working to organize, educate, and elect good candidates to help those who can not be as vocal as I am. I can also nurture and guide in my own way the young activists who are appearing at each event. Just sharing the history of the struggle with the younger generation from a personal perspective, helps more than I think any book they will ever read. I also suggest books about the struggle, which give other views and fabulous stories from the great names through the years.

Yes, I am OLD, tired, and even disheartened but I am far from done. In this last campaign in Texas I have met some extraordinary people who have a passion in their hearts and souls which help keep the fire of freedom burning in mine. I look forward to continuing the struggle and working with my new allies for a long time.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Thoughts on Low Voter Turn Out & Not Voting

As I have said before, I am not surprised but I am disappointed about Tuesday’s election results. 17.89% of Texans voted on the Marriage Amendment. This is the highest voter turn out in the history of Amendment only elections in Texas. The GLBT was told they were second class citizens by a 70% margin. People try to tell me that the majority of Texans don’t agree with the proposition but this was not an election to get people to the polls. Well, that is total bullshit!

Amendment 2 was reported in every newspaper, news channel, radio talk show, and church pulpit for the last 3 or 4 months. The GLBT community has been talking about this Hate Amendment since it was introduced as a Joint House Bill in the 79th Legislature. The blogs as well as the editorial sections of the newspapers have been talking about it constantly. I know I am one of the bloggers.

Early voting started October 24th and went through November 5th and then Election Day was November 8th. Anyone who wanted to vote had plenty of time to do so.

If a person did not bother to get off their lazy ass and vote against discrimination, then they voted for it by proxy. I truly pity the person who is stupid enough to tell me they forgot to vote. I do not know what my reaction will be but I will let you know once I am out of jail because I have a feeling that is where I will wind up. This lack of caring by voters and Texans makes me madder than the damn results themselves. 82.11% of Registered Voters in Texas do not care about Civil Rights and believe that writing discrimination into the Texas Bill of Rights is not important enough to get off their fat asses to stop. No college football or the latest gun is more damn important to them.

Voter apathy is nauseating to me. I have been voting since I was 18 years old. I might have missed a few minor local elections but not many and have come to realize that even the local elections are not as minor as some people think. I have never missed a Mayor’s race, Governor’s race, or Legislature or Congressional race or State Initiative race in my life.

This sadly reminds me of the people in Germany who thought Hitler was a joke until it was too damn late and they were being led to the camps. As Rev. Peter Johnson said “If they come for you in the morning, they will be coming for me in the evening.” If you did not bother to vote or try and stop this discrimination from happening, you helped it come about and will reap the benefits of the bigotry someday. I am not looking forward to wearing a pink triangle like the first victims of the Holocaust but I see the day coming and have decided to get a jump on it. I will start wearing my Pink Triangle button again and am asking every GLBT community person to do the same. Wear it everywhere and explain the history and meaning. We have to stop this madness in Texas and in America.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Not the Results We Wanted…

I can say I am not really surprised, but I am disappointed beyond belief. The majority of Texans think I am a second class citizen and that writing discrimination into the Texas Bill of Rights is a good thing. This does not say much for the state or for the people. Travis County, as usual, is the one spot of sanity in the state and voted overwhelmingly against the amendment.

Yes, the struggle will continue. There will be court battles and the amendment will probably make it to the Supreme Court before it is all over and hopefully be thrown out. Who knows maybe even the Texas Supreme Court will realize how wrong this amendment really is and how much harm it does to the state, but I doubt it.

I am also mad as hell about this. The National Democratic Party gave no help just as they ignored us in the 2004-election cycle in Texas. The Texas State Democratic Party did absolutely not one goddamn thing to help. Oh wait, they put a post on their web site the week of the damn election. MoveOn waited until two weeks before the election to ask Texas members whether they should do anything. This just means they did nothing except send emails the last week. These same groups will ask the GLBT community to give our time, money, and special talents to assist them in every election cycle and with every damn issue they are trying to push forward. Yet, when we needed them, they had no time for us and could have cared fucking less what happened to the community or our rights.

I know I will still help get Democrats elected. It is the best chance I have of getting someone in office that might help when push comes to shove. I will be hard pressed to do anything for any for the groups I listed. They let Texas down. They let Democracy down. They damn sure lost my respect. So if anyone from the DNC, The Texas Democratic Party or MoveOn read this, please know you lost one supporter and hard damn worker and I am sure there are a lot more who are just as fucking mad as I am.

There were some good things that happened during this fight. I really do believe our base of allies has expanded. I have met some incredible people who are devoted to Equal Rights for Everyone. We will keep expanding this base and also working on other issues that are important to Texas. The support and love from across the country has been incredible. I thank everyone who voted against this hate amendment. I also thank everyone who did anything to help. The volunteers and staff worked as hard as they could and did a great job. Some day we will be celebrating Equal Rights for All Texans, but I doubt I will live long enough to see it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Yes, Love Exists… We Need To Honor Not Outlaw It

Today is Election Day in the Texas and Love is on the ballot. If you are opposed to Love, then vote yes for Amendment 2. If you are opposed to Family Values that include all Texas Families, vote yes on Amendment 2. If you believe that Bigotry and Intolerance should be written into the Texas Bill of Rights, vote yes on Amendment 2.

As a human being that believes in Equality for all People, I am asking you to VOTE NO on Amendment 2. This is Amendment is about Bigotry and Hatred and has no place in the Texas Bill of Rights. It does nothing to protect families and will only harm them. I could go into all the legal questions it brings up but you can read that on many different web sites. Instead I will tell you some personal stories to help you see why this is wrong.

When my Lover got sick, a lawyer friend helped me draw up all the paper work he thought we would need to protect ourselves, for me to be able to make medical decisions and dispose of Don’s remains when he died. He explained that if I had paid for the services the bill would have run about 5,000 dollars. This was 5 years ago. He then went on to explain that we needed to stay in a major city because most hospitals would honor the paper work. He gave me his cell phone number; office emergency line and home number just in case something happened when we were traveling. He explained that some hospitals with conservative administrations could still try and block me from the intensive care unit and might not be willing to follow my orders even though I had medical power of attorney. I was advised to have a copy of the paper work with me at all times. I had a copy in the house, my desk at work and also in the trunk of my car. There was no house or investments to protect. All of this paper work was needed so Don could die with dignity and I could be by his side.

Luckily for Don & I, his final days were in the Phoenix area. When I walked into the hospital with all the paper work the two head nurses for intensive care said they didn’t need the paper work cause they could see the love in my eyes.

Here are some of the stories that did not work out as well. I had some friend who had been together for 25 years. When Mike died, his family fought the will that left John- his lover- the house and all his investments. They won. The jury decided that Mike and John’s Love meant nothing and that family relationships had more weight. Mike’s family who had not spoken to him in 10 years got the house and everything.
Jan and Betty had been together for 12 years when Betty was killed in a car wreck. Their two adopted children were devastated, as was Jan. Two months later, Betty’s family took the children and refused to let Jan see them. This was allowed cause only Betty’s name was on the adoption papers. Once again, the court decided that blood meant more than love.

This has happened to countless couples across the nation. I could go on with story after story of the horror and heartache caused by the courts even when couples have spent thousands on legal documents to try and protect their families. If this Amendment passes, it will add more strength to courts of hate in Texas. We need to defeat this and then start working towards Equal Rights for All Texans.

If you believe in Equal Rights, Vote NO on Amendment 2. If you believe in Families, Vote NO on Amendment 2. If you believe in Love, Vote NO on Amendment 2. Then call or email everyone you know and ask them to do the same.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Senfronia is not only my Hero. She is a Goddess!

Today we gathered at the south steps of the Texas State Capital to speak out against Amendment 2.  The crowd started out sparse but grew to at least 1000 people by the end.  There was music, singing, some impromptu dancing and lots of good will…except for one nut group that showed up in support of the amendment. They number all of 15 deluded idiots. Whenever they tried to show their signs, groups of people would stand in front of them holding our signs and blocking them.

The main speaker of the day was Rep. Senfronia Thompson.  Her speech on the floor of the legislature has been spread across the Internet so many times it is almost legend as well it should be.  Here are some of the highlights from today’s speech.

“ I was shocked to see The Ku Klux Klan and the spearhead for this hate Amendment.  That explains this bigotry.”

“ Instead of a constitutional amendment about gay marriage why not spend your time working to get an amendment for equal education for all Texas children.  An amendment to outlaw adultery. An amendment to out law domestic violence or better yet one to outlaw bigotry.  Bigotry is something we can do without.”

She spoke of the early days of the Civil Rights Movement and how things use to be in Texas when she was younger.  She handled the one heckler from the opposition like a true pro and he finally gave up.

We can win this fight.  We just need everyone to vote and then call everyone they know to make sure they have either already voted or will on November 8th.

I know I have written about this a lot. I also know that this fight is not only about GLBT rights.  It is about Equal Rights for all. I want to thank the people who have worked so hard and still are towards defeating this bigotry and ask yet again for any help anyone can give.  

I will close with a poem I wrote this moring and wore on a shirt with my late Lover's picture.

Our Love was a Pure Love

It was a Gift from Heaven

Yes, Love Exist

Our Love was a Strong Love

It Sustained Us

Yes, Love Exist

Our Love was a Miracle

It Survived Bigotry & Intolerance

Yes, Love Exist

Our Love was Magical

It was no Threat

Yes, Love Exist

S. Whichard

Saturday, November 05, 2005

We Shall Gather at the River

Today in Austin we did just that to speak out against the K. K. K.’s endorsement of Governor Perry and Constitutional Amendment 2.
We marched down the 1st Street Bridge and grouped at the end about 75 feet away from where the Klan with their faces covered spewed their line of hatred and bigotry.

The rally started with some singing by the crowd. Most of the songs the young people did not know. So us old folks had to do the best we could. We started out with a few hundred people and by the time the rally was over there were more than 1,000 people standing in the middle of the bridge singing “We Shall Overcome”. A 12-year-old girl who, along with her mother was there to show that even straight people think this amendment is wrong led us in the closing song.

There were several speakers. Glen Maxey spoke of growing up in a small town in Texas where there were no role models and how many things have changed. Marti Bier spoke of the work the College Alliance has done to organize college students across the state and how even the young republicans have worked with them to defeat this trash.

The highlight of the day was hearing Rev. Peter Johnson. A leader in the civil rights movement, who worked along side Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke out against this amendment. I have heard speeches that Rev. Johnson has given in the past and was thrilled to be able to hear him again. I will share some of the most memorable quotes.

When asked by other ministers how he can work for gay rights and what Bible is he using, his answer is “ THE HOLY BIBLE! It teaches us to love not hate, to forgive, not judge.”

He pledged to work with us till there was “Freedom for Everyone in America. If they come for you in the morning, they will be coming for me that night most likely.”

He spoke of attending Rosa Parks’ funeral and having worked with her in the past. “ Rosa Parks will not rest in her grave while there is injustice in the world. She will not rest in her grave while Gays are being abused and mistreated in the world. Rosa Parks will not rest in her grave while young men and women die in Iraq. Rosa Parks will not rest while there are homeless people wondering the streets of any city. Rosa Parks will not rest in her grave until there is Freedom and Equality for all God’s Children.”

I cheered till I was hoarse. I cried so much there were tear tracks on my face and loving strangers were walking up and offering me their tissues and bandanna to try my tears. I hugged; I laughed and promised to do everything in my power to keep working for Equality for everyone in the world.

I want to close this my sharing the lyrics to a song that inspires me every time I hear it. It was written in memory of Matthew Shepherd, a young gay man brutally beaten to death for being different.

“ Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found. Was blind but know I see. Once was lost but now am found. Was blind but now…

You were the brightest angel heaven had ever seen. You walked in with a story to tell and 10,000 tongues to scream. And you said. Doesn’t your heart beat the same as mine? Haven’t I told you a thousand times? Isn’t the air in my lungs the same air that you breathe?

So who cares whose arms I’m all wrapped up in. Who cares whose eyes I see myself in. Who cares who I dream of. Who cares who I love?

Heaven, help me for I am lost. What a price for love’s deep cost. Here I am standing strong and I am free.

And didn’t we share the same sunrise and do we all sleep in the same moonlight and tell me isn’t the blood in my veins the same blood you bleed.

So who cares whose arms I’m all wrapped up in. Who cares whose eyes I see myself in. Who cares who I dream of. Who cares who I love?

When I die. When they lay my body down. The peace that I will find that’s the peace that brings you all around. Brings us all around
Tell me, doesn’t my mother cry like everyone, My father grieve for his lonely son. Isn’t my name wrote in brighter because
So who cares whose arms I’m all wrapped up in. Who cares whose eyes I see myself in. Who cares who I dream of. And know it doesn’t matter who I dream of cause in the end all that matters that I was loved - that I am loved. Love has no favorites. Love has no favorites. Love has no favorites.”

Amazing Grace/What Matters by Randi Driscoll

Okay Time for Some Old Fashion Begging

(cross posted at MLW,Dkos,Booman,Austin Info,refinish69. Please feel free to copy and post anywhere it might help.)

I have been posting continuously about the November 8th election and early voting in Texas. We are doing everything in our power to stop Constitutional Amendment 2 from being passed. It is a hate amendment and is only being used to divide the state and promote bigotry.

Early voting returns, as of November 3rd, only show 4.10% of Texans voting out of 28 counties. This is unacceptable. Granted there is one county where 15.58% have voted. I wish I could say it was Travis County but it isn’t. It was Gray County. Travis has had 8.34%. We need everyone who is progressive, liberal, left or pissed off at The Ledge to get out and vote against this amendment. I want everyone who knows anyone in Texas to call, email, fax or instant message and beg them to get out and vote on November 8th.

The highest vote on an amendment on election is 12% in Texas. This is a hot issue and you can believe every bible-thumping minister will be preaching about it this Sunday. We have to counter their hate, intolerance and ignorance. I don’t care if you support legal gay marriage. Gay Marriage is not legal in Texas and it will take at least 30 or more years before it happens even if we defeat this amendment. This amendment also does away with civil unions, domestic partnerships, and may even outlaw common law marriage. I just want your vote against bigotry. I want your vote for equality. I want your vote for protecting The Texas Constitution’s bill of rights.

This is about so much more than Marriage. If this hate amendment passes, the next thing to happen will be the passing of laws to take away GLBT rights for adoption, foster care, and it will jeopardize domestic partner benefits being offered by the corporate world. It will make passing hate crime laws harder. It will make our lives more vulnerable to attacks. If we are labeled as second class citizens, do you really think the police, judges, or The Ledge will defend us?

If you want to make calls to people in Texas you can visit No Nonsense in November and sign up and make calls to any area in Texas. If they have already been called, their names will be out of the system. The script is there and it is a live system. Even 20 calls will help.

I am begging you to please call anyone you know in Texas and get them to the polls on November 8th. We have to win this battle. If we do, it could set the tone for 2006 and beyond. We can make history here folks but we need your help.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Take A Stand Now To Keep Your Rights Intact

By Gerry Gamel
Editor Mason County News

Early voting continues through Friday, November 4th in the Texas Constitutional Amendment election. The actual election day will be on Tuesday, November 8th.

Such elections traditionally have a very low voter turnout. Most folks just don't want to make the effort to study each of the issues involved, and to then head to the polls to cast their ballot. This year, several folks are predicting a higher than normal turnout, mostly because of Proposition 2 on the ballot. If you haven't heard already, that is the amendment to prohibit gay marriage, or any arrangement similar to marriage.

I've written my opinion of this piece of trash before, but felt compelled to do so once more because of the dangerous precedent I feel it sets for our wayward lawmakers. The proposition states, "The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

Texas already passed a "Defense of Marriage Act" which prohibits gay marriage, so this amendment is nothing more than political grandstanding on a hot-button issue. Passing such an amendment is redundant when the law is already on the books.

Additionally, passage of the amendment would make Texas one of the states that specifically writes exclusion of a group of people from equal protection of the law. That's not a distinction any of us should proudly embrace.

Supporters of the amendment keep proclaiming that they need to "protect marriage," and the best way to do that, in their mind, is to make sure gays can't get married. In Massachusetts, the only state in the union where gay marriages are completely legal, heterosexual marriages have not suffered. In fact, Massachusetts has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. In Texas, where amendment advocates want to protect marriage, we have one of the highest divorce rates in the country! Perhaps if we want to protect the institution of marriage, we should start with the heterosexual population first and explain to them that adultery, spousal abuse, alcoholism and emotional immaturity are the greatest threats to matrimony!

Many people feel that by casting a vote for Proposition 2, they are making a moral statement about their opposition to homosexuality. I worry what happens if these same people decide to start making moral statements about Judaism, Islam, blacks or Hispanics. If the Constitution of the State of Texas is rewritten to specifically target homosexuals, and to thus give some people a feeling of moral superiority, why not take it the next logical step and outlaw the practice of religions with which we do not agree! Why not continue and prohibit specific races of people from marrying, thus ensuring that only one race, and one religion endures!

Do I think that the Legislature of the State of Texas made a mistake in passing this proposition? No! A mistake indicates that they didn't know what they were doing and that they accidentally wrote legislation, took a vote, and passed it along to the voters of the great State of Texas to cast ballots. That's a lot of "whoops." It wasn't a mistake, it was political grandstanding at it most flagrant, and it's time the people of Texas stopped allowing our elected officials to get away with it.

Whether you vote early or wait till November 8, vote NO on Proposition 2 and send a message back to Austin that the legislature was supposed to be working on education funding reform, not peering into bedrooms and selectively passing legislation that affects thousands of families across the Lone Star State.

Vote NO on Proposition 2 and continue to embrace whatever moral position you have on homosexuality, without inviting the state into our personal lives more than they already are.

Vote NO on Proposition 2 and tend to your own marriages. With one of the highest divorce rates in the nation, maybe we need to start looking into a mirror to find our solutions rather than looking to the legislature!

Finally, vote NO on Proposition 2 and do something truly moral by preparing a meal for someone who has no food. Get your family up EVERY Sunday and get into the pews at church so that you can learn more about what God really does want you to do. Get your children into the Sunday school classrooms, even if they complain and ask to sleep in, for their own good. Do something truly moral and look inward at your own life before trying to find a way to elevate yourself morally above others. After all, such pride, in the eyes of God, is also a sin.

It’s all just my opinion, but it’s what I wish would happen.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

URGENT:We can't win this without you!

We’re almost there folks!
·1 Two million voters have been called
·2 Thousands of homes have been leafletted
·3 Hundreds of House Parties have been held
·4 Rallies and vigils have been held across Texas
·5 Press coverage has been phenomenal

We are within spitting distance of defeating this Amendment and we need to make one last push to reach voters. We’re asking you to make one more donation. Click to donate

We need to make one million more phone calls next Monday.
Your donation of:
·1 $1000 will call 20,000 voters
·2 $500 will call 10,000 voters
·3 $100 will call 2,000 voters
·4 $50 will call 1,000 voter

We appreciate that you’ve already given, but even a few dollars could make the difference!

Click here to make as large a donation as you can afford.

We are so close! Help make Texas the state that stopped the hate.

Thanks for all you have done. The response from Texans from Amarillo to Tyler has been nothing short of amazing. There are a lot of good, fair-minded folks out there who have worked to defeat this Amendment. Thank you for being one of them.

Early Voting ends Friday, Nov. 4th
Election Day – Tuesday, Nov. 8th

A win in Texas will make political history.
A Victory will set the dialogue for ALL elections in 2006!