Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Fall Out at Oral Roberts University Is Increasing

Bob Felton at Civil Commotion has a new post ( that indicates the fall out [and fun for some of us watching it unfold] is increasing at Oral Roberts University. I suspect as this mess goes forward there will be LOTS of dirt coming out. It is also instructive that three of the university regents are also televangelists now under scrutiny by the Senate Finance Committee in respect to improper uses of non-profit funds for lavish lifestyles. True, I am perhaps biased, but I believe most of these folks are crooks hiding behind the shroud of religion in their quest for money and power. Pretending to preach the Gospels of Christ are merely a smoke screen. Here are some highlights:
The Plaintiffs . . . have asked the court for permission to expand the suit to include Oral Roberts Ministries and its Board of Directors, arguing that the ministry and university funds are commingled and, effectively, comprise a single entity. Additionally, subpoenas have been issued for the pilot of the university jet, the private investigator that took all those photos of Lindsay Roberts and her little buddy1, and the staffer who oversees work at the guardshack at the family compound. The university declined to comment.
Here’s what she [a former nanny] said she found [in the Roberts' closet]:

275 pairs of shoes for Lindsay Roberts, arranged by color on five shoe shelves taking up an entire wall. Richard Roberts had nearly 120 pairs of shoes, including 18 pairs of golf shoes of different colors. “It looked like a shoe store,” she said.

165 suits for Richard Roberts, of all different colors and patterns, were hanging in the closet. There were 454 ties.

Two “huge cases” of jewelry belonging to Lindsay Roberts.

In the bedroom was an entire dresser of unopened men’s dress shirts, in addition to the 50 hanging, pressed dress shirts in the closet. “Rows and rows” of shirts, blouses, dresses and other clothing hung on Lindsay’s side of the closet, Culpepper said, but the woman’s shoe collection stuck out the most.
It surely does not seem to jive with Jesus' directive to sell all that you have and give to the poor. Lindsay Roberts must be channelling Imelda Marcos.

Recession Denial

Bob Herbert has a op-ed column in the New York Times ( which enunciates what I have been discussing in a number of recent posts. Namely, that the U. S. economy is headed for real trouble and no one seems to want to face the reality. Pretending a problem is not in fact happening does not make it go away. All of the "job growth" and other smoke trotted out by the Chimperator's minions do not change the facts. Here are some highlights:

If it looks like a recession and feels like a recession ...“Quite frankly,” said Senator Charles Schumer, peering over his glasses at the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, “I think we are at a moment of economic crisis, stemming from four key areas: falling housing prices, lack of confidence in creditworthiness, the weak dollar and high oil prices.”

While Mr. Bernanke and others are waiting for the official diagnosis (a decline in the gross domestic product for two successive quarters), the disease is spreading and has been spreading for some time. The evidence is all around us. Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland told Mr. Bernanke that many members of Congress are holding forums in their districts “to help people who are coming to our doors, literally with tears in their eyes, and trying to figure out how they’re going to manage a foreclosure that’s right around the corner.”

The housing meltdown is getting the attention, but there’s so much more. Bankruptcies and homelessness are on the rise. The job market has been weak for years. The auto industry is in trouble. The cost of food, gasoline and home heating oil are soaring at a time when millions of Americans are managing to make it from one month to another solely by the grace of their credit cards.

The country has been in denial for years about the economic reality facing American families. That grim reality has been masked by the flimflammery of official statistics (job growth good, inflation low) and the muscular magic of the American way of debt: mortgages on top of mortgages, pyramiding student loans and an opiatelike addiction to credit cards at rates that used to get people locked up for loan-sharking.

And the most popular measure of inflation, the Consumer Price Index, does not include the cost of energy or food, “the two most significant aspects of the increased cost of living for the American people.”

The elite honchos in Washington and their courtiers in the news media are all but completely out of touch with the daily struggle of working families. Thirty-seven million Americans live in poverty and close to 60 million others are just a notch above the official poverty line. An illness, an auto accident, the loss of a job — almost anything can knock them off their rickety economic perch.

We hear over and over that consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the gross domestic product, but we seldom hear about the frightening number of Americans who are trying desperately to maintain a working-class or middle-class style of life while descending into a sinkhole of debt.

Yet for the GOP, the most serious issues continue to remain illegal immigrants (many of whom do labor American workers refuse to do), gay marriage and employment non-discrimination, and trying to start another war in the Middle East based on "cooked" information. Why the Democrats aren't jumping on this situation much more is dumbfounding.

American Ostriches and Bimbos

Andrew Sullivan has a post ( in which he quotes a reader's response and her view as to why so much of the American public is asleep when it comes to realizing the terrible things that have occurred under Bush/Cheney and which are continuing to occur. I recommend you read the full quote - it so accurately describes many people that I know or used to know in suburbia (especially the PTA soccer mom set). I cannot understand the mindset. Even my 80 year old mother gets what has happened under this evil administration. How do we wake them up?? It is important that we do so. Here are some highlights:

But both of us have to realize what they're [the Democrats] up against: a nation of voters just mom. She's a lovely woman, Andrew. I love her to death. Sweet, kind, generous--she's got it all. But whenever I try to talk to her about torture, warrantless wiretapping, the Military Commissions Act, and the rest she just tunes out. Not only has she never heard of any of this stuff, but when I bring it to her attention it's as if she simply cannot believe any of it. She doesn't get angry or anything--she's not a "my country right or wrong" type. It's more of a "these go to eleven" sort of thing: she just can't get it into her head that these awful things are happening. There are millions and millions and millions of voters just like her in this respect.
They have no clue about the things that so rile you and me, and when these matters are brought to their attention they find it easier to believe that the person who's bringing them up is crazy than that they might actually be a problem. Yes, the Democrats need to grow balls. But the fault also lies with the media and, though it pains me to say it, with the moms--or the ones like mine, anyway.
It drives me crazy that people are blind to what is happening. Are they stupid, intellectually lazy or what? I just do not understand it. So much depends on waking these folks up.

More Saturday Male Beauty

Christianist Lies About ENDA

In my op-ed on (, I predicted that the Christianists would be lying through their teeth about ENDA to mislead the "sheeple" as Pam Spaulding accurately calls them. Sure enough, Matt Barber at Concerned [Bitches] Women for America has already begun. Here's Barber's comment (NOTE: in my view, Mr. Barber would not know how to tell the truth if his life depended on it since he is such a pathological liar):
ENDA contains an extremely weak religious exemption which might partially protect some religious organizations but would leave many others — such as Bible bookstores and many Christian schools — entirely unprotected. It would additionally crush individual business owners’ guaranteed First Amendment rights.
“For any religious exemption to pass constitutional muster,” said Barber, “it would have to apply to the individual business owner. The First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion. This applies to all individual citizens, not just to a church, religious organization or corporation. ENDA would unconstitutionally force business owners to abandon their faith at the workplace door and adopt a view of sexual morality which runs directly counter to central tenets of every major world religion and thousands of years of history."
Mr. Barber conveniently omits the fact that ENDA applies ONLY to employers with more than 15 employees - a standard I suspect that few small bible bookstores would met. But, never mind. Why let the truth get in the way of your knowingly disingenuous rant. Sadly, I doubt the Main Stream Media talking heads and anchors will challenge folks like Barber on these points since too many "journalists" (1) are too uninformed themselves to ask competent questions and (2) are always letting these liars run their mouths unchallenged.
For a good listing of reactions to ENDA from various groups, see Pam Spaulding's blog here:

Saturday Male Beauty

Kennedy to Introduce Senate Version of ENDA this Session

Senator Edward Kennedy has indicated that he will introduce a Senate version of ENDA this session. I believe that it is important to keep the momentum going and put the Chimperator on the spot. Polls show that a majority of Americas support employment protections for gays. Some months back, I was a guest via conference call on a call-in TV talk shown in Martinsville, Virginia (hardly a bright spot in the liberal universe, believe me) on the issue of employment discrimination against gays in connection with a client case. Amazing, the callers almost unanimously supported gay employs being protected from firing due to their sexual orientation. Therefore, I believe it is important to force Chimperator Bush to demonstrate once again that he (and the wingnuts in the GOP) are way out side of the mainstream. Here are highlights from Senator Kennedy's statement (
In the Senate, I will work to move the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this Congress. The bill that the House passed is being held at the desk and I’m working with leadership to move this bill forward as quickly as possible.

This nation was founded on the principle of equal justice for all. That noble goal represents the best in America – that everyone should be treated fairly and should have the chance to benefit from the many opportunities of this country. The House action brings us closer to that goal.
Forty-three years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At that time, some in our country were violently opposed to outlawing racial discrimination, and it was very difficult for Congress to reach a consensus. But the best in America, and the best in the Senate, prevailed. My first major speech in this body as a freshman Senator was on the Civil Rights Act. I said then that I “firmly believe a sense of fairness and goodwill also exists in the minds and hearts” of Americans, and that laws creating the conditions for equality will help that spirit of fairness win out over prejudice. I still believe that today.
Many hard-working Americans live every day with the knowledge that, no matter what their talents and abilities, they can be denied a job simply because of who they are. Many young students grow up knowing that no matter how hard they study, the doors of opportunity will be locked by prejudice and bigotry when they enter the workplace.
That is what the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is all about -- equal job opportunities for all Americans. By extending the protection of Title VII to those who are victimized because of their sexual orientation, we are moving closer to that fundamental goal. No one should be denied a job simply because of who they are.

Florida Republican Guilty In Washroom Sex Case

This was too good to pass up. One more GOP closet case goes down, convicted by a jury of his peers. To say that Bob Allen is a stupid ass doesn't even begin to describe the matter. I continue to be amazed how it's the loudest homophobes who are just dying to have some gay sex. While I feel sorry for his family members, this guy deserves to be humiliated given his anti-gay voting record. I especially like the excuse that he solicited gay sex because he was afraid of blacks: I was afraid of the black men - - so I wanted to suck c**k? What the F***! Here are highlights from (

(Tampa, Florida) State Rep. Bob Allen (R) has been convicted of offering an undercover male police officer cash for sex. Allen, a longtime foe of LGBT rights in Florida, will be sentenced next Thursday. He could be facing 60 days in the county jail and a $500. fine. Republicans in the legislature said the conviction will allow them to move forward with plans to remove Allen from office.

Following the verdict his attorney accused the prosecution of misconduct and said he will seek a new trial. Allen was busted in July during a sting at a men's washroom at Veteran's Memorial Park in Titusville, Florida. In taped statements made by Allen to police following his arrest and released by the force Allen admits to soliciting the male officer but claims that it was the result of being nervous by the high number of black men in the park.

Ironically, Allen was the Police Union's 2007 Lawmaker of the Year. In the last session of the Florida legislature he sponsored a failed bill that would have tightened the state's prohibition on public sex. He also has been a supporter of amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage and has opposed a bill to curb bullying of gay students.

Dreary Morning - Updated

I know that we need the rain desperately, but a dark, gray, steady rain sort of day does NOT make me feel bright eyed and motivated. Worse yet, Bela, the household cat is apparently dying. He's had kidney problems for a while and had one miraculous rebound, but seems to have gone into free fall over night. Not sure what to do - he's Raymond's cat, actually and we have been talking via phone about what to do. Bela is like a dog in a cat's body, responds when called and seeks affection unlike so many aloof cats. It is so hard to see him waning away. I have him with me at the office since I could not bear to leave him alone at the house.
Mixers was packed last night - for a time there was a line at the door waiting for others to leave since the place was at maximum capacity. I surely hope they are successful - and not just because it's within walking distance for me. Not surprisingly, there were a number of opening night issues that will be worked out. Overall, it is a great addition to the local entertainment options available. PLEASE NOTE DAVID's ATTACHED COMMENT FROM MIXERS. Also, I failed to mention that the food was EXCELLENT.
During the day I will be drafting a stock purchase agreement and some other materials for clients. As previously indicated, I am going to get back to my chronological coming out story tomorrow, now that nothing I might post can be used against me. I will also try to answer a number of questions that people have posed to me on the issue of children and other things.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A Thank You to You All

I want to thank all of you readers who have been so supportive of me throughout my divorce nightmare. You have no idea how much it has meant to me or how much it has helped. Between your comments, e-mails and phone calls it has made such a immeasurable difference. One fellow blogger once asked in an e-mail to me whether I thought this blogosphere of friendships is "real." I can attest that it is - most assuredly so. I called her in fact just to say, yes I do really exist. :)

I also want to thank my neighbor, Erica, publicly for the tickets to Cirque Dreams last night. I definitely needed a distraction last night, to say the least. Little did I know we'd have box seats as if we were someone important. As for the show, it was great - definitely some very, very talented eye candy.

I also want to thank my friends Martin and Christopher (I posted about their wedding in Canada back in early July) who have been like family to me throughout the ordeal. They have truly shown me that we can create our own families and relationships that are of value beyond measure. I am going to their place shortly (no doubt for some much needed alcohol) and then we are going to Mixers which is finally opening after numerous delays and set backs in the rehab of its old warehouse into a multi-venue club - the City of Norfolk says it wants rehab and revitalization, but then does everything imaginable to impede it. Mixers is conveniently located two blocks from my house.
Again, many thanks to each and everyone of you among my blogosphere family and friends.

More Friday Male Beauty

Genetics Has A Role In Determining Sexual Orientation In Men, Further Evidence

As the Box Turtle Bulletin is reporting (, Canadian scientists have uncovered new evidence which shows genetics has a role to play in determining whether an individual is homosexual or heterosexual. The research was conducted by Dr. Sandra Witelson, a neuroscientist in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, and colleagues at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto who studied the brains of healthy, right-handed, 18- to 35-year-old homosexual and heterosexual men using structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). However, in recent years there has been a regular stream of studies, all of which seem to support the notion that sexual orientation is heavily influenced by non-voluntary determinants, most of which appear biological in nature. Here are someehighlights:
Previous studies have established that left-handedness appears to a greater degree in the male homosexual population than in the male heterosexual population (it also appears among Presidents). Studies have also linked handedness with increased size of an area of the brain, the corpus callosum, particularly the isthmus. We hypothesized that isthmal area would be greater in homosexual men, even among right handers. Twelve homosexual and ten heterosexual healthy young men, all consistently right-handed, underwent a research-designed magnetic resonance imaging scan. We found that the isthmal area was larger in the homosexual group, adding to the body of findings of structural brain differences between homosexual and heterosexual men. This led researcher to think that right-handed gay men were less right-handed (”less marked functional asymmetry”) than their straight counterparts.

A logistic regression analysis to predict sexual orientation category correctly classified 21 of the 22 men (96% correct classification) based on area of the callosal isthmus, a left-hand performance measure, water level test score, and a measure of abstraction ability. Our findings indicate that neuroanatomical structure and cognition are associated with sexual orientation in men and support the hypothesis of a neurobiological basis in the origin of sexual orientation.
I truly look forward to the day when it is conclusively proven that sexual orientation involves no choice whatsoever and the lying Christianists can be called to account for their deliberate, hate-filled lies.

The Chimperator's Economic Miracle - Credit Card Debt a $915 Billion Disaster-in-Waiting for Banks

I know that at times I sound the pessimist, but I continue to believe that the U. S. economy is headed towards some very rough times. As if the housing market melt down ins't enough to worry about, there's also the credit card bomb that is waiting to go off (
Think the estimated subprime debt load carried by the big international banks is big, at $1 trillion? How about this: Americans now owe nearly as much – a record $915 billion – on their credit cards alone. And defaults and delinquencies in the credit card sector are piling up – which means big banks are on the hook, again. More sand in the gears for the global economy. Credit card companies wrote off 4.58 percent in payments between January and May, almost a third more than in the same period in 2006, according to Moody's Investors Service. As a result, lenders such as Citigroup, Bank of America, and American Express, among others already reeling from the subprime mortgage disaster, are being further weakened.
Third quarter numbers for banks were the worst since 2001. First Citigroup took a 57 percent hit in earnings. The decline was attributed, in large part, to consumer-credit problems. Anticipating additional defaults, they stashed away $2.24 billion in loan-loss reserves. Other major banks also took a beating and are also preparing for the expected credit card delinquencies and defaults.
Falling home prices and rising gasoline costs also add to bankruptcy woes. U.S. home prices fell 3.2 percent in the second quarter, the sharpest decline since 1987, according to Standard & Poor's. As home prices fall, homeowners have a harder time getting cash by refinancing high-rate mortgages. The high cost of gas, often purchased with credit cards, doesn't help either.
Fears are now rising that U.S. consumer credit card problems could ripple out into the global credit market, starting in Europe. Deutsche Bank, for example, is now "…in a heightened state of alert to monitor a potential domino effect," says the bank's U.S. analyst, Michael Mayo.
We may be approaching a "perfect storm" in the financial realm, but what are the Chimperator and the GOP presidential candidates worried about? Gay marriage, immigration and kissing the butts of the Christianists! Go figure.

Friday Male Beauty

Divorce is Final

Finally, more than six (6) years after coming out to my wife, the divorce is final. While I lost much, the outcome was less horrific than it could have been, and a final agreement was negotiated after firing my attorney. It is strange that I - a non-litigator and non-divorce attorney – got a better result than my supposedly experienced attorney. I do feel that the motion to reconsider based on the judge’s perceived bias that I filed myself – my attorney would not do it – opened the door and provided the room for a negotiated result.

The irony is that a similar result – without $30,000 in attorney’s fees and immeasurable heartache – could have been reached at least a year ago but for the homophobic Regent Law graduate attorney my wife first hired. That woman took obvious delight in tormenting me over my sexual orientation. I can still see her self-satisfied smirks as she tried to badger me about being gay (I hope she has children and all of them a total nellies/dykes). All she did was poison matters and run up her fees to the ex-wife. In short, she looked after her own billable hours but not her client’s ultimate best interest. I guess I should not be surprised given her Regent background – talk about religion and “family values” and line your own pocket first and foremost regardless of whether your client is well served.

From this experience, the moral to divorcing couples should be: STAY AWAY FROM THE ATTORNEYS!!! It will eat up assets, make the ordeal so much uglier, and most likely not enhance either party’s ultimate position financially. Given the fact that one must practice law today so as to avoid a malpractice claim later for alleged lack of vigorous representation, the matter will get vicious. It is guaranteed. Once the attorneys get involved, if only so as to cover their butts, they will go for the jugular and the case will get nasty. I told this to my ex-wife before the divorce suit started and she would not listen to me (I believe an idiot former neighbor – who continues to stay in an abusive marriage no less - got her ear). Yet it all played out as predicted. If you cannot cut a deal between yourself and the ex, go to mediation, but do NOT resort to litigation counsel.

I say this too because of the collateral damage the nasty lawsuit will create: children get caught up in it and what should be an honorable separation of ways just because awful. I believe that anyone coming out is doing so basically because they simply cannot play the role and live someone else’s life any longer. Their mental health and sanity are at stake. It does NOT mean they have animosity to the former spouse or wish them ill. Before all the divorce nastiness, I never wished my ex-wife ill will. I wanted her to find happiness. I just could not continue on with the lie. It had nothing to do with her. It was about me - and me only.

I have rambled, but do hope that those who are debating what to do or how to do it can perhaps avoid some of the mess I have lived through for the last 14 months.

My Op-Ed on Virginia News

My friend Morris is the editor of the libertarian news page Per his request, I have an op-ed feaured today on why ENDA's passage is needed. The op-ed is here ( and reads as follows:
Why The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is Necessary by Michael Hamar, Attorney At Law
Yesterday, the U. S. House of Representatives passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”) by a 235 to 184 margin. A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the U. S. Senate before year end. While President Bush has made noises about vetoing the bill if it is passed by Congress, support for the bill is important. True, there are those who will be actively spreading disinformation about the ENDA’s impact:
First, it is important to understand that ENDA will NOT impact “mom and pop” operations with fewer than 15 employees.
Secondly, there is a blanket exemption for religious organizations. Therefore, anyone who contends that these types of employers will be affected is, pardon my blunt language, a liar.
Most of this false information will sadly come from self-styled “Christian” groups. Other opponents will contend that one’s sexual orientation is a choice. That claim is also false and is not supported by any REPUTABLE medical or mental health organization. The reality is that everyday around the majority of states in this country, Virginia, included, gay individuals can be and are regularly fired from their jobs based solely on the basis of their sexual orientation.

This happens due to the prejudice and bias of employers themselves or that of other employees who seek to have them fired. The end result is the same: an individual who was properly doing his/her job is suddenly unemployed due to discrimination against them for who they are. In whatever form ENDA passes – and its passage is critical for gay communities in states like Virginia – it would provide federal protections to employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation. For gay individuals, passage would bring a level of job security previously unknown.

In Virginia, so many individuals remain closeted at work for fear of losing their job. For employers, passage would mean that prospective employees would not be fearful of accepting employment in Virginia and sacrificing protections they might enjoy in other states with state non-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation as a protected category.

ENDA would make Virginia and Hampton Roads more competitive in attracting the best and brightest workers. Passage of ENDA is a win-win for gay employees and gay and gay friendly owned employers.

Responsible, hard working citizens should not fear job loss solely because their sexual orientation does not conform to someone else’s religious beliefs. All gay individuals and gay owned business, together with gay friendly businesses and fair minded individuals, should let their elected officials (including the President) know that they support the passage of ENDA.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Gay-Straight Alliance happy to be a part of school's homecoming

Every now and then something in this area will happen that really surprises me - in a good way. Hence my surprise at coming upon this story in today's Virginian Pilot ( concerning a local GSA in Virginia Beach. You got to know some of the wingnuts over at Regent University are going bat shit!! Here are some highlights:

Marching band members beat drums. The color guard tossed flags, and girls wearing sparkling dresses and crowns chatted. Amid the commotion, members of Bayside High School's Gay-Straight Alliance prepared to march in the annual homecoming parade. "Let's go ahead and get the banners unfurled," teacher Veronica Salcedo instructed the small group. When Salcedo began her teaching career five years ago, she couldn't imagine having the alliance, much less one that would be included in homecoming festivities.

Now she co-sponsors a thriving student group that's a social outlet for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students, as well as their heterosexual allies. At least two other Beach high schools have similar organizations. With Bayside's homecoming parade set to begin that Saturday morning, three students and a teenage friend from Chesapeake held up banners for the group.

"JUSTICE CANNOT BE FOR ONE SIDE ALONE BUT MUST BE FOR BOTH," read one sign, quoting Eleanor Roosevelt. Junior Heather Bozarth, 16, couldn't stop smiling. "I am just excited about everything," she said. At the cue, the group marched down Haygood Road, shouting "GSA!" as revelers waved and cheered from the sidewalk. Bayside Gay-Straight Alliance members were behind the band but led all other student organizations.

When Shannon Martin, 17, is among fellow members of Tallwood' s Gays and Straights Allied for Tolerance, or G-SAT, she doesn't have to worry about being bullied, she said. Shannon, a lesbian, remembers showing up at school one day wearing jeans decorated with painted-on rainbows. Another girl shoved her and told her "it" wasn't wanted at Tallwood.

The club is one gathering where the senior feels she belongs. "It's a safe place in our school where you can come, and we accept you for who you are," said Shannon, the group 's president. For her best friend, Amber Phillips, the club offers an opportunity to educate peers. Amber, 17, said she has been teased for her bisexuality since middle school.

Best of all, the club has created a culture of acceptance at Bayside, said Salcedo and fellow GSA co-sponsor Kimberly Barboe. "People don't really give me a hard time" for being a GSA member, said junior Ashleigh Hunt, 16. "I think Bayside is the most open school." Teachers and fellow schoolmates are accustomed to hearing the club's announcements over the school's loud speaker. Also, many nonmembers aren't afraid to attend alliance events, including open-mike sessions and yoga classes. "I think we're taking the taboo away," Barboe said. "It's not something you have to be quiet about anymore."

Maybe there is hope for Virginia yet.

More Thursday Male Beauty

Our Disingenuous Enemies

As suspected, the Christianist money mills are having a cow over the passage of ENDA. Here's an example of the crap being put out by Family Research Council:

Not A Civil Right

A new pamphlet from FRC clarifies certain misconceptions about the meaning of "discrimination" (some forms of which can't -and shouldn't- be eliminated) and of "civil rights" (distinguishing those which limit government power from those which limit the rights of others). It also explains why homosexual conduct is not comparable to other characteristics usually protected by civil rights laws ("race, color, religion, sex, or national origin"). Protection against private "discrimination" has historically been offered only for characteristics that are inborn, involuntary, immutable, innocuous, and/or in the Constitution-yet none of these describe homosexual behavior.

Hmm, funny how religious affiliation is not inborn, involuntary or immutable, and can be changed. In fact it often is - look at Barack Obama who converted as an adult. Using FRC's argument, all protections against discrimination based on religion need to go. They are such hypocrites and liars! Moreover, if they want to talk about misconceptions, how about ending the misconception that FRC and organizations like it are "Christian." They are anything but that. Pharisees, yes. Christian, no.

Friends and Wonderful Words of Support

Knowing that I am stressed to the max and a wreck emotionally, my next door neighbor gave me tickets for the Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, playing tonight at the Ferguson Center for the Arts on the Peninsula. My friends Martin and Christopher will be going with me. Thank you Erica!

On top of that, I just received another e-mail wishing me well from a member of my blogosphere family. It touched me and I wanted to share it, so here it is:

Michael: To quote Winston Churchill:

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

And one of my favorite quotes (and perhaps closer to the mark for you just now?):

“It is never too late to become what you might have been.” – George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) 1819-1880

All of us will be in that courtroom with you tomorrow, my friend. Much love

Sen. John Warner blasts Va. GOP

This story from the Richmond Times Dispatch ( is very interesting and I believe sums up the problem with the "Christian Taliban" controled Republican Party of Virginia. Fortunately, I do NOT expect RVP to get the message and, hopefully, the Party will suffer more loses in future elections until the Party returns to its former values. Here are a few highlights:

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va. sharply criticized the Virginia GOP yesterday as rigid and intolerant of moderation. "The rigidity of this outfit is going to keep taking it down until they hit bottom. And I don't know when that will be," Warner said of Tuesday's election results. "And I find it quite distressing." The election resulted in important gains for Democrats. The fifth-term senator said he was saddened but not surprised. The late political adviser Lee Atwater, a friend of Warner, espoused a "big-tent" philosophy of inclusiveness for the GOP, Warner said. But the Republican Party of Virginia has "just strayed away from that concept and become intolerant of those members that express even a modest amount of moderation."

Warner, 80, a moderate-to-conservative Republican, is not running for re-election next year. He did not appear on the campaign trail for state legislative candidates. He made some endorsements and contributions, a Warner aide said. Warner deferred comment yesterday when asked his opinion of the presumed candidacy of Gilmore to succeed him. Gilmore has asked to call on him, Warner said, and "I've decided to wait until he comes up to visit."

Personally, I cannot think of two politicians more incompatible in their approaches than Gilmore and Warner. If Gilmore is the candidate against Mark Warner in 2008, I predict a Gilmore massacre. Even if that happens, I doubt the Christian Talibanistas will figure it out.

Thursday Male Beauty

Personal Thoughts on ENDA

I must admit that I was a little teary eyed when I posted about ENDA passing the U. S. House of Representatives last night. Nearly no week goes by when I do not get an inquiry from someone who has been fired or fears being fired in Virginia due to their sexual orientation. Job discrimination and Don't Ask, Don't Tell are all part of the Far Right's agenda to keep LGBT individuals stigmatized and marginalized. This type of legalized discrimination certainly has helped hurt me in my divorce case. I greatly believe that had I left the marriage for another women, my treatment would be FAR different. Instead, I am faced with an atmosphere where the "faggot" should be punished - because the law says they are not equal.
I believe that it is because of the impact that equal employment protection will in time have on the public mindset towards gays that has motivated the Christianist and GOP opposition. Once it is no longer legally possible to discriminate against gays, a gradual change in overall attitude will follow. Our enemies know this. Hence the hysteria to stop ENDA. I like this comment that Andrew Sullivan noted on his blog which sums it up (
The Republicans - exempting 35 of them - did their best to link employment non-discrimination to marriage rights, expressing their usual spite toward those gay couples who have dared to commit to one another in law and love, by a legislative distraction. But they failed in the end. And most of us are used to the abuse by now. We do not need their affirmation to love one another. But some do still need some framework of protection in order to work without fear - especially in those states where gay couples have been targeted as public threats to the family.
It is truly sad when citizens find themselves "used to abuse" in a society that claims to stand for freedom and equality.

Another Sleepless Night and Rambling Thoughts

I am convinced that I will probably get little or no sleep between now and the divorce hearing tomorrow morning. Try as I might, I cannot help but find my mind dwelling on it, especially lying in bed during the quiet of the night. The feeling is less abject fear than a dull foreboding-wondering how much nastier can it get. If the version of the order sought by opposing counsel goes through, my retirement IRA will be gone and what's left of my credit will be destroyed too. I will definitely be the "disposable male."
Thus, it was nice to log on early this morning and find numerous messages of support and good wishes from many readers - some from the other side of the globe. Lately, I get in to the office long ahead of my staff because I cannot stand to lie awake in bed for hours nor do I want to hang around at home and potentially wake the roommates who have no need for being up in the wee hours. My therapist was right on the benefits of doing a blog. I have "met" great people and have greatly enjoyed the sharing of ideas and perspectives. It also eliminates a sense of being alone. Not that I am physically alone, but that I can vent and "talk" about things that would probably bore or exhaust friends in a face to face discussion. I never want to be thought of as being "needy."
I also suspect that this blog is being monitored by my opponent. If I am not going out, not killing time watching TV in the evening, and want to blog at night, in the early morning, or even briefly at lunch instead, one would think that such would be allowable. But no!!! I spend in general 12 hours a day at work or more. But, as I have indicated, I perceive the opposing mindset to be that Michael deserves nothing and no happiness. It's ONLY about satisfying others who have no obligation to reciprocate.
I truly believe that what I describe is increasing the norm in straight marriages. True, there are some that are wonderful. But when I look at the families I knew in my old "perfect" upscale neighborhood, these marriages appear to have been the exception to the norm. Once the chaos of raising kids and all the related activities and obligations were over, so many marriages ended. Or at least the fact that they were not happy and fulfilling became clear to the participants from what I have garnered. Yet, the Christianists blame gays for threatening the "sanctity of marriage."
I believe the bigger threat is the marginalization that goes on of the individual spouses, particularly the husbands who are expected to (1) make money so everyone lives nicely, (2) act as the disciplinarian generally, so that mom can be the "good mommy," and (3) never receive anything for themselves. Work you ass off all your life and then die. Suburban America is not a pretty place and, to quote my therapist, most of the participants are "sleep walkers" going through the motions of a life.
That so many LGBT individuals do NOT want to fit within that horrible, socially dictated norm and want something different is what scares the Christianists the most. Or so I believe.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

ENDA passes US House: 235-184

This just in from John Aravosis at America Blog (

Anyone who didn't feel a sense of history watching this debate today. Well, I just feel sad for you. Today was a chance to educate America, and 200 Democrats, and 35 Republicans, rose to the occasion. You just couldn't watch this debate and not feel a sense of pride, and of change. It doesn't matter if it's only one House. My God, we've never had one House on a federal gay civil rights bill. Now we do.
The Republicans tried to block a vote and argued that a bill to outlaw job discrimination against gays will cause gay marriage. So their amendment was to send the bill back to committee to clarify that the job discrimination bill doesn't legalize gay marriage. In response to that bull shit, Barney Frank made the following response:
Rep. Frank: “I want to address the motion to delay. Mr. Speaker, we say here that we don't take things personally, and usually that’s true. Members, Mr. Speaker, will have to forgive me — I take it personally. 35 years ago, I filed a bill that tried to get rid of discrimination based on sexual orientation. As we sit here today, there are millions of Americans in states where this is not the law. By the way, 19 states have such a law. In no case has it led to that decision. The Massachusetts law passed in 1989, that did not lead to the decision in 2004, unrelated. But here’s the deal: I used to be someone subject to this prejudice. And through luck, circumstance, I got to be a big shot. I’m now above that prejudice. But I feel an obligation, to 15-year-olds dreading to go to school because of the torments, to people they’ll lose their job in a gas station if someone finds out who they love. I feel an obligation to use the status I have been lucky enough to get, to help them. And I want to ask my colleagues here, Mr. Speaker, on a personal basis, please don’t fall for this sham. Don’t send me out of here having failed to help those people.”
No matter what happens in the U. S. Senate or if the Chimperator attempts to veto the bill if it passes the Senate, history has been made today. I am sure the vile, hate filled Christianist are in a frenzy. To that I say GOOD. This nation is not a theocracy and hopefully never will be despite their vicious efforts.

Current Thoughts

I find myself a nervous wreck faced with another day of hearings in my divorce case on Friday morning. There will be various motions argued and the ex-wife's attorney will seek to have an final order entered that would leave me with basically nothing. Thirty years of work and it may all be gone. All because I could no longer live a lie so that others could have their comforts, while my happiness never seemed to even cross her/their mind. In retrospect, I was the living, walking ATM machine. Other than that, I was disposable - as I suspect many husbands are in the minds of their wives. At least that is my candid assessment of many couples I knew in "perfect" suburbia. Would that I had recognized it many years sooner. However, from all I have been through, I know that the world will not end no matter the outcome on Friday. And if nothing else, I will have the satisfaction of being true to myself and knowing that I am living as God made me (sorry if I offend any atheists). Christianists may be horrified, but I think living a lie is the greatest blasphemy one can commit.
I began this blog in earnest back in early April, 2007. Partly for therapy and partly as a basis for perhaps doing a book about my experiences that might prove beneficial to others. It was partly my therapist's idea (of course the wife's attorney tried to argue in court that I should be working more and not wasting time blogging). There surely is no one size fits all guidebook for coming out, particularly when you undertake the process later in life. My therapist though the endeavor would help me and maybe others. In this regard, I made this statement about six months ago concerning my motivations:
While there has been huge progress in gay rights since the time I first realized I was different and had same sex-attraction, I believe that there are still many, many men of my generation in particular among others, who are still in the closet and suffering the torment I experienced. It is my hope that my story will help these individuals and others to (1) realize they are not alone, (2) stop the self-hate we so often suffer and the suppression of their own uniqueness, and (3) have the courage to be who God made them to be. The more of us that can make the transition, the sooner sexual orientation will become a non-issue for all but the most extreme homophobic wing nuts, who in my view have a special place reserved for them in Hell.
I still stand by that view. I hope that some of my financial misfortunes that I have described will not discourage others from making the decision to be genuine and authentic. It is easy? No, not hardly. Is it worth it? Yes, definitely. It is impossible to describe the relief of finally accepting yourself as you are and being happy who YOU are. Not what your things and possessions are, but who YOU are. Even if the most draconian order is entered on Friday, my wife will be the loser. She and her attorney will not think so, no doubt. But I will be me and happy at last as to who I am. She will remain the bitter, revenge driven person who I hardly even recognize from the person I once thought I knew.
My biggest wish is that in time my children will understand why I had to do what I did. It was literally come out and face who I was, or die. I simply could not do it any longer. I strongly suspect that the ex in retrospect would have preferred that I had died (maybe she still holds that hope). Her creature comforts would have been less disrupted, after all. From what I hear from individuals in my former neighborhood, she rags on and on about me - making me out to be the selfish one. Yet, I was supposed to be miserable for ever so that her comfortable life could go on uninterrupted. Which is more selfish?
If my children learn anything from this saga, I hope it is that one should NEVER, EVER live their life solely to try to please others or be "what is expected." It may seem the easier road in some ways, but there is a terrible price attached. For me, it was a suffocation and loss of self. Always the actor on the stage, never a live character myself. I tried to please my father for years and never felt I lived up to the standards he set. Thankfully, he accepted my coming out and we found closure - decades too late, but better than never at all.

Final Wednesday Male Beauty

And If Housing Isn't Bad Enough - Surge in Oil Prices Not Just Speculation

Add to the cheery news on the housing market front this from the Washington Times ( and it is NOT a pretty picture facing the GOP going into the 2008 election - even if our gas prices continue to remain well under prices in other parts of the world. If the Democrats have any sense at all, they had best start standing up to the GOP and stressing the mess the economy is in after 7 years of GOP rule. I suspect the soccer moms will be pissed when it costs them $160 to fill up their Suburban. Here are some highlights:

Oil prices verging on $100 a barrel are the result of skimpy supplies colliding with strong growth in China, the United States and the rest of the world, and not just the work of speculators, the nation's chief energy forecaster concluded yesterday. That means gasoline prices could top a record $3.20 a gallon by the end of the year and $4 a gallon by spring, analysts say, creating a monumental energy crunch for consumers who also are facing double-digit increases in their home heating bills this winter. Regular gas prices passed back through the $3 barrier yesterday.
"A supply-side crunch in the period to 2015, involving an abrupt escalation in oil prices, cannot be ruled out," the international agency said in a report released today. The agency particularly faults the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for failing to make the massive investments in oil exploration and drilling needed to keep up with soaring demand for energy around the world.

When Will the Housing Slump End?

As I have been saying repeatedly, I believe that things in the housing market - and therefore the larger economy - are going to get much worse before any improvement begins to set in. Newsweek is reporting a similar view in this article ( Here are some highlights:

At the height of the boom, author and former Wall Streeter John Talbott warned of the crisis to come. Unfortunately, his latest predictions aren't promising. Talbott is a former Goldman Sachs banker and economic consultant. He's also the author of two books that more or less foretold the pain homeowners are now experiencing. "When I turn on the news, it's as if they're reading out of my books, but in real time," says Talbott, who in 2003 wrote "The Coming Crash in the Housing Market: 10 Things You Can Do Now to Protect Your Most Valuable Investment."
Talbott began writing that book, he told me last week, after hearing that a friend—a teacher in San Diego who earned $45,000 a year—had just refinanced his condominium and borrowed $255,000 against its rising value. From his days as a Wall Street financier, Talbott questioned whether someone with that income could handle such a large mortgage. His friend's experience led him to begin exploring how home prices had risen and lending practices had changed over the last few years. Most of all, he concluded that homes were overvalued.
Near the back of "Sell Now!" is a chart listing the metro areas Talbott believes are most likely to decline sharply. I read the chart with particular interest: my own home is located partway between Boston (no. 19, where Talbott believes home values are destined to fall 49 percent) and Worcester, Mass. (no. 26, with a predicted fall of 44 percent). If Talbott's predictions are accurate, my neighbors and I are in for a world of hurt.
Talbott believes we're still near the beginning of a five-to-seven-year cycle in which home values will fall back to the levels of 1997, when banks and mortgage lenders began letting so many Americans take out so many kooky home loans, which were the primary fuel for the boom. He also expresses surprise that the continuing stream of bad news from the housing market hasn't taken more of a toll on the stock market. Over time, it will.
Recently a congressional subcommittee predicted that the subprime mortgage crisis will result in 2 million foreclosures over the next few years. Talbott wonders if people really understand the magnitude of the suffering that will cause. "When people talk about 2 or 3 million people losing their homes, that makes Hurricane Katrina look like small potatoes," he says. "[And] this is spread out over the whole country."
If Talbott is even remotely correct, the financial pain is going to be extreme and many homeowners will find themselves with mortgage debt far above the value of their homes. Obviously, consumer confidence will go through the floor as that trend sets in.

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Australia's Howard Gov't Offers Small Olive Branch to Gays - Howard Must Think Gays Are Stupid is reporting ( that the Government in Australia of John Howard - yes, Magic Bellybutton's favorite man - is now, after doing all it could do to deny rights to gays, promising some crumbs to the LGBT vote if re-elected. Why anyone would possibly believe Howard (who surely is Australia's answer to the Chimperator) is hard to understand. Here are highlights from the story:

(Sydney, Australia) Facing likely defeat at the polls the upcoming election the coalition government of Prime Minister John Howard is now looking at the LGBT vote. In a surprise move the government said that if re-elected it would give same-sex couples the same rights to pensions as married couples have. But Wednesday's announcement was greeted largely with distain as little more than an election ploy to make the government appear more moderate. Earlier this year cabinet conservatives quashed a move to introduce a bill to provide limited rights to couples and left any decision on when or if the bill would see the light day to Howard personally. (story)

The new plan would not repeal a 2004 law passed by Howard's government limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. Nor would it give official recognition to gay couples under a registry or through civil partnerships. In February for the second time Howard's government quashed an attempt by the Australian Capital Territory to enact civil union legislation. (story) The government said that it violated the gay marriage ban. Last year after Howard's government trashed the first ACT bill the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission began an investigation into inequities faced by same-sex couples. The commission held hearings across the country. (story)

Commissioners heard from dozens of gay couples in hearings across the country of how partners have been cut out of wills because they have not legal status, how children in same-sex relationships are harmed, and how federal pension law hurts one partner when the other dies. In its report to the government in June the Commission made more than 50 recommendations and urged the passing laws guaranteeing rights for same-sex couples. The opposition Labor Party, ahead in public opinion polls to win the election, already has said it would approve the commission's full report.

Pat Robertson endorses Rudy Giuliani for president

The local Virginian Pilot is reporting ( that Pat Robertson is endorsing Rudy Giuliani for President. This is a noticeable break with James "Daddy" Dobson who has heretofore said "No Way, No How" to Giuliani It will be interesting to see if Dobson shifts his support to Giuliani since in my view, Dobson is more concerned with power and influence than any real Christian message (particularly since Dobson puts out so many flat out lies on many topics, ex-gay programs included). Here are story highlights:

Evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson endorsed Republican Rudy Giuliani for president Wednesday, citing the ex-New York City mayor’s leadership during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Robertson said Giuliani was “a proven leader who is not afraid of what lies ahead and who will cast a hopeful vision for all Americans.” Conspicuously absent from Robertson’s endorsement was any acknowledgement of Giuliani’s support for abortion and gay rights, which are anathema to evangelicals’ core political agenda.

For Giuliani, who is not an evangelical, Robertson’s endorsement brings tremendous political benefits, said Larry J. Sabato, who directs the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “What this does for Giuliani is to say to evangelical Christians that he may not be perfect – but he’s acceptable. And that is very important, because Giuliani cannot win the nomination without a decent slice of evangelicals,” Sabato said.

Apart from judicial appointments, Robertson’s endorsement avoided any mention of the social issues conservative Christians call family values. Instead, Robertson said protecting America from “the bloodlust of Islamic terrorists” was the top issue facing the nation. “Our second goal should be the control of massive government waste and crushing federal deficits,” he said.

The following is Andrew Sullivan's take on the endorsement with which I agree (

Since the Bush right insists that Robertson is completely irrelevant to the current GOP, I have no idea why they are fixated by his endorsement of Giuliani. For me, however, it seals the deal. Robertson blamed Americans for causing 9/11. He is a charlatan and a religious phony. He has enriched himself at the expense of millions of gullible Christians who did not understand that this man's sole principle is his own power and wealth. It doesn't surprise me that he sees eye to eye with Giuliani. They are very similar characters. But he does represent what may be becoming the consensus among Christianists: that the war on Islamic terrorism is the prime issue; and that the way to tackle it is by increasing military aggression, bombing or occupying Muslim countries, preserving Israel solely to hasten the Apocalypse, and entrenching torture as a pillar of American national security policy. The fusion of Giuliani's authoritarianism with Robertson's Christianism is indeed one future path for the GOP. It is enlightening to me to witness two very similar politicians sink their differences to forge that new, fascistic direction.

Here's one local comment on the story from a Pilot reader:

I do not know why anyone would ever want Pat Robertson's endorsement! Guiliani must not watch that show. I was baffled when I saw those two together on TV. I think Pat Robertson lost all credibility and respect a long time ago. It is painful to know that so many faithful people still look to Robertson for prayer and healing and send him money. It hurts, as a Christian. I know that the man is a meddling, gossiping fake. His faith is fake. He is full of hate and spite and deceit and greed and pride. He will smear anyone who threatens to expose his wrongdoing. Pat Robertson uses prayer and healing as a money-making tool and it makes me sick. I do not know who I will be voting for, but it will NOT be Guiliani, not now, no way.

Wednesday Male Beauty

Realtors see more rental property in unsteady market

As further evidence of the housing market melt down locally, the Virginian Pilot ( reporting that more people are trying to rent homes that will not sell (I have a former employee who moved out of state and has been unable to sell their home for over a year even after numerous price reductions - it's a gorgeous house in a great neighborhood, but no one is buying). Needless to say, the adverse financial impacts are spreading as realtors are seeing their incomes go into free fall, mortgage companies are laying off people right and left, title agencies and settlement companies are closing, and all the retail purchase triggered bu home purchases are dwindling. Welcome to the Chimperator's great economy. Here are some story highlights:
Will Kirby and his San Diego home emerged unscathed by the California fires. Now the Navy helicopter pilot will see if he fares as smoothly in the Hampton Roads housing market. He's rented out his Norfolk house - a four-bedroom, three-bathroom Colonial on Burleigh Avenue near Wards Corner - since he was transferred to California in 2005. His tenants will move out this month. The place has been listed for nearly three weeks. Kirby has already knocked the rent down $50, to $1,300. He's braced to go lower.
"There are an awful lot more rentals on the market," said Laura Wenslaff, the principal broker and owner of Home Rental Realty in Virginia Beach, "and they're not renting as fast as they normally would." The local real estate industry has no overall figures, but Realtors confirm a significant upsurge in house rentals. And the "for rent" signs are popping up in upscale neighborhoods, such as Bay Colony and Witchduck Point in Virginia Beach, that usually aren't fertile field for rentals.

It's at least partly driven by the sluggish housing market: Some homeowners, looking in vain for buyers for months, switch to renters. Others, seeking to offset their mortgage quickly, go straight for renters until the market rebounds. "I've been in the business for 23 years, and these are the most rental vacancies that I've had," said John Hanson, principal broker of Hanson & Associates Inc. Realtors in Virginia Beach.
Some of them have been on the market for at least two months," she said. "A few years ago, I don't know if we ever ran into the vacancy problem."The higher-priced rentals are the toughest to market, said Jackie Ellis Dunbar, an associate broker with Re/Max Allegiance in Virginia Beach. "Over $2,000, it sits and sits and sits," she said. Of course, Realtors acknowledge "for rent" signs can cause fears that an area is going downhill.

Democrats Seize Control of Virginia Senate - Gay Basher Loses

It is wonderful news that the Democrats have regained control of the Virginia Senate. This should be a huge help on the next re-districting mapping and also should help blunt more Christianist inspired legislation from being enacted.

Also of note was that - in addition to Nick Rerras whose defeat I commented up last night - was that several GOP candidates who had resorted to last minute gay bashing attempts were defeated. One sweet victory was George Barker's win over Jay O,Brien who had sent out fliers attacking Barker for being pro-gay and wanting to inject sex-sex information into elementary school classes (not a true statement, of course, but nonetheless supported by the Republican Party of Virginia). Another defeated Republican was Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (pictured above), wife of GOP Congressman Thomas M. Davis, III, who threw $400,000 into her campaign.

Democrats also have a chance to pick up another Senate seat in Fairfax. With only absentee ballots left to be counted, Sen. Ken T. Cuccinelli II (R) - a vile homophobe - held a 69-vote lead over Democrat Janet S. Oleszek.

Here are some highlights from the Washington Post's coverage (

Democrats wrested control of the Senate from the Republicans in yesterday's legislative elections, picking up the four seats they needed to give them a majority of at least 21 to 19 and end a decade of GOP dominance in the chamber. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) claimed victory in a celebration at Tysons Corner. The Republicans retained control of the House, but the Democrats also gained seats there. The party's surge will help the governor advance much of his agenda during his last two years in office, including investing more in education, health and the environment.

Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said the gains in the Senate will be significant for Northern Virginia residents "because virtually every senator up here becomes a committee chairman. That's huge." Saslaw, who will probably be majority leader, also becomes chairman of commerce and labor, for instance. "There will be a heavy urban focus," he said in an interview, referring to the Senate under new leadership. But he also sought to strike a centrist note, saying: "The state Senate has always governed from the center. That's what we do."

For most of the year, Republicans have been worried President Bush's unpopularity could become a drag on their candidates. Several Democratic candidates, particularly in Northern Virginia, sought to make their race in part a referendum on GOP policies in Washington. The message appeared to be particularly effective in Hampton Roads, where Democrats won two seats over conservative Republicans. In the Senate contests, Democrat Ralph S. Northam beat incumbent Sen. D. Nick Rerras (R) in the Norfolk area. John C. Miller (D) beat Patricia B. "Tricia" Stall (R) in the other Tidewater race.

Oleszek and Barker argued that Cuccinelli and O'Brien, who are among the most conservative members of the Senate, were out of the step with Fairfax County residents' views on social issues.

Hopefully, this shift away from the GOP will continue into 2008 and result in Virginia supporting the Democrat candidate for president for the first time in decades.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Needed Democrat Wins in Virginia General Assembly Elections

The big story will be what happens in some of the Northern Virginia races, but at least locally, there have been two upsets in favor of the Democrats. First, it appears that Democrat Joe Bouchard defeated Republican Chris Stolle in the 83rd House District race (my parents' former District). Here are some clips from the Virginian Pilot coverage:
Bouchard will succeed Del. Leo Wardup, R-Virginia Beach, who did not seek another term. Stolle is the younger brother of state Sen. Ken Stolle of Virginia Beach. He defeated Carolyn Weems, a member of the Virginia Beach School Board, in the Republican primary in June. The campaign quickly became nasty. Bouchard and Stolle wound up spending more than $1 million total, mostly on mailers and TV ads attacking each other.
Yep, $1 million on a House of Delegate seat - previously unheard of and a sign of how hared the GOP is trying to not lose control of the legislature.
Next, in other VERY good news, it appears that GOP Christianist nut-job Nick Rerras is going down to defeat. Rerras was the only legislator who voted in the past NOT to require clergy to report suspected cases of sexual abuse of children. (Needless to say, he was also no friend of LGBT rights)Here are some highlights:
Democratic challenger Ralph Northam defeated Republican incumbent Nick Rerras on Tuesday in the state Senate 6th District race. Rerras, 50, has been in the Senate since 1999. Norfolk native, he is an independent business development consultant who has a bachelor's degree from Philadelphia Biblical University. Northam, 48, is a neurologist at the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, and an assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He is a native of Nassawadox. He has a bachelor's degree from Virginia Military Institute and a medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Third, Democratic challenger Bobby Mathieson defeated Republican incumbent John Welch on Tuesday in the 21st House District race. Welch conceded to Mathieson shortly before 8:30 p.m. Welch, 46, a chiropractor, has been a member of the House of Delegates since 2001. For years, Virginia Beach has been 100% GOP represented in the General Assembly. These Democrat victories say alot about the changing fortunes of the GOP.
Hopefully, Northern Virginia will deliver other needed Democrat victories.