Saturday, July 14, 2007

More Saturday Male Beauty

A Father's Gift - Follow Up

Back in May, I posted about how much it meant for me to be accepted by my dad when I came out (a photo of him a few years back is posted at left). I recently shared that post with my siblings and my mom. I was touched by what my mother and one of my sisters said in e-mails to me.
First excerpts from the e-mail from my mom, who will be 80 in the fall (she still cracks me up at times):
"Dear Michael, I am not quite sure what a blog is, but I do know you must have been happy with your Dad's response to you and Raymond. You were his son and that was all that mattered! . . .I started to go to an exercise group in the swimming pool Mon.,Wed.,&Fri with some of the ladies. I have to make myself go. . ."

The "ladies" are other widowed residents of her complex in Charlottesville, Virginia, the youngest of whom is probably 76.
From my sister, who in her younger years battled wills with my dad all the time on almost every issue:

"Michael, I found this very touching and Daddy really was an exceptional man. It took me a long time to realize it, but he mellowed so much in his older age and I really miss him. His illness really made him see what was important in life. I hope you guys are doing well. . . . "

Like my sister, I really miss my dad. For gays coming out of the closet, I hope their parents will surprise them and take my dad's approach. For my kids, once the divorce is final and the flow of poison from the mother hopefully lets up, I hope they can re-evaluate me as my sister did with my dad.

Saturday Male Beauty

Virginia's Senator John Warner Remains a Class Act

While I do not always agree with his decisions, Senator John Warner (R-Va), whom I have met and talked with a number of times and heard speak numerous times, but he remains one of the few old-school members of the GOP that is left. He has never been a hate monger, is not anti-gay, and has on occasion openly defied the GOP to uphold his ideals. In fact, his push for a third party run by Marshall Coleman largely stopped the charismatic, but wing nutted Oliver North (who I likewise refused to back) from winning Virginia's other U. S. Senate seat some years back. Yesterday, Warner again put his conscience ahead of party loyalty:
Two senior Republican senators, including Virginia’s John Warner, filed legislation Friday demanding that President Bush develop detailed plans to begin removing or repositioning American troops in Iraq.

The 18-page proposal by Warner and Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar says Bush must prepare plans for alternative strategies by mid-October and should be prepared to begin implementing them by year’s end. It stops short of ordering a U.S. withdrawal, mandated in legislation pushed through the House on Thursday but virtually certain to die in the Senate.

Instead, it declares that Bush’s goal of a unified, peaceful, democratic Iraq “is not likely to be achieved in the near future” and that “American military and diplomatic strategy … must adjust to the reality.”

Drafted as an amendment to a massive defense-policy bill now on the Senate floor, the Warner-Lugar proposal underscored growing unease among congressional Republicans with Bush’s war leadership. It was offered just one day after a defiant Bush ripped legislative efforts to end the war.
What is defining in my mind is Warner's statement as to why he joined Lugar in taking this action:
My views are matters of conscience,” he said in a written statement, “and reflect what I believe to be in the best interests of the country and our men and women in uniform and their families. … It is my sincere hope that this amendment provides a basis for bipartisan consensus.”
Would that the GOP still was dominated by individuals like John Warner. I might even still be a member of the GOP. The full Virginian Pilot story is here:

Le quatorze juillet (le jour de la prise de la Bastille)

Happy Bastille Day to all my readers in France - by last count this blogs has had 450 visits from readers in France.

Au premier anniversaire de la chute de la Bastille, des délégués de toutes les régions de France ont proclamé leur allégeance à une seule communauté nationale pendant la Fête de la Fédération à Paris - c'était ainsi la première fois dans l'histoire qu'un peuple avait réclamé le droit à l'autodétermination.

Freepers Continually Questioning Tucker Carlson's Sexual Orientation

Pam Spauling's blog, Pam's House Blend, had a post (;jsessionid=5F9E55CE67844D5199A1F2330FDCD39E?diaryId=2309) taking Tucker Carlson to task for comments that he made recently about Obama's masculinity. Even more entertaining was a link to Free Republic where the various posted comments basically accuse Tucker of being gay ( I find all this questioning of Tucker's true sexual orientation most amusing, since Tucker certainly has taken his share of snide shots at the LGBT community, even when it comes to housing for gay seniors as reported two years ago in the Southern Voice:

I hope Tucker is enjoying all the attention and commentary. His apologists, of course, say that he's married with two kids. DUH!!!! HELLO!!! I was married and have three kids and I didn't wear bow ties!! By that standard I MUST be straighter than Tucker.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Anti-Gay Activists' Lost Grip on Reality re Hate Crimes Bill

People for the American Way report that yesterday, a collection of extremist right-wing groups, including the African American right-wing think tank Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND) and Repent America, along with former Navy chaplain and fringe-right folk hero Gordon Klingenschmitt, held a press conference at the U.S. Capitol to protest Senate hate crimes legislation. The event continued the right-wing’s on-going effort to falsely portray an upcoming Senate bill that would add sexual orientation, gender, and disability to the existing federal hate crime law, as an attack on Christianity.

BOND’s Jesse Lee Peterson puts the legislation into perspective:

“If Christians don’t wake up to what is happening, they will look around one day and realize that they cannot even mention the name of God or disagree with homosexuality.”

Klingenschmitt then more specifically describes the threat:

“If this bill passes, they will come into our churches, they will grab your sermon notes, they will go after your congregation if any pastor preaches against the sin of homosexuality and then a nut in the crowd later goes out and commits a crime. They will accuse him as a codefendant and charge him with a hate speech crime.”

Of course there’s no such thing as a “hate speech crime” in this bill or the existing federal hate crimes law, which targets only violent crimes that cause people bodily harm. In fact, the “Hate Crimes Prevention Act” already passed by the House includes explicit language protecting the First Amendment rights that Klingenschmitt and his colleagues claim are being threatened. But hey, they are Christianists, so why let the trouth get in your way??

Final Friday Male Beauty

HRC/LOGO presidential forum to include Gravel

I am glad that HRC is waking up and allowing more candidates to participate in the presidential debate on gay issues. I likewise agree that the moderators and questioners should be expanded:
Los Angeles, CA -- The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Logo, a division of Viacom Inc.'s (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks, today made additional announcements about the presidential candidate forum on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues to take place in Los Angeles on August 9. After enthusiastic community response, former Senator Mike Gravel has been invited to participate. Confirmed candidates now include, in alphabetical order, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL). The format of the program will also be extended to 90 minutes to ensure in-depth conversations with each candidate. Discussions are continuing with a variety of journalists and a moderator for the forum will be announced in the near future.
I agree with Pam at Pam's House Blend that I am still not pleased with the format of the event -- none of the candidates will interact with each other, they will be questioned sequentially -- but more candidates are in, the forum will be 90 minutes, and there will be journalists on the panel. Plus, unlike Pam, I can get Logo - even in Norfolk.

Male Beauty from the Past - RIP Kerwin Mathews

Some sad and unexpected news: actor Kerwin Mathews, probably best known as playing the leading men of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and The 3 Worlds of Gulliver, has passed away at age 81 in his home in San Francisco.

The unexpected part comes from the fact that I had absolutely no idea that the handsome action hero was gay. Apparently, he (like nearly all gay actors of his day) did not feel that being an out gay man in Hollywood would reconcile with his career ambitions. Mathews is survived by his partner of 46 years, Tom Nicoll.
In 1963, Mathews played Johann Strauss Jr. in the Disney television production The Waltz King. I remeber even at the tender age of 11 that I thought he was beautiful.

Ruling Could Have Serious Impact On Partner Benefits is reporting a Massachusetts federal court ruling that could, if upheld on appeal, allow employers to circumvent stricter state law legislation:

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination had ruled that Jason Webster was the victim of bias based on his sexuality but U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro ruled the commission had no authority to investigate the case. Tauro, in his written ruling, said that federal law trumps the tougher Massachusetts anti-bias statute. Sexuality is not covered under federal law.

Because Boston-based Partners pays employees’ medical bills itself instead of purchasing outside health insurance it falls under the federal employee benefits law known as ERISA Tauro ruled. He said that ERISA plans are governed by federal anti-bias law, not state statutes. States, he ruled, cannot "tell plans [under ERISA] who can and must be beneficiaries. If courts allowed such results, differing state laws could quickly make it difficult to administer a fair, uniform plan."
Webster had the support of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the law firm that won the 2004 Massachusetts decision legalizing gay marriage, in his lawsuit. "The present action could have profound repercussions for all lesbians and gay men who are employed and in committed relationships whether married or not," said GLAD attorney Nima Eshghi. "We don’t believe [the federal law] should give employers a free pass to avoid state anti-discrimination laws."

More Friday Male Beauty

New Studies Expose Government Lies About Medical Pot

While I am not endorsing the use of illegal drugs, why am I not surprised that the US Government has been lying about the use of medical marijuana? For years it has seemed to me that a disproportionate amount of effort and funding has been wasted on prosecuting and jailing people for minor drug offenses involving marijuana. I mean, if Scotter Libby doesn't have to do time, why do young adults caught with minuscule amounts of marijuana? Here's highlights of a story on new medical research results:

When Connecticut's Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed legislation last month that would have allowed citizens with debilitating medical conditions to use medical cannabis under their doctor's supervision, she alleged that there was no proof of pot's therapeutic effectiveness and that legal alternatives are available by prescription. Now, a just-released clinical trial by researchers at Columbia University in New York is making the governor's statements ring hollow.

On June 21, just 24 hours after Gov. Rell's veto, the online database for the National Library of Medicine posted an a forthcoming study from the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes that reports, "Smoked marijuana … has a clear medical benefit in HIV-positive [patients] by increasing food intake and improving mood and objective and subjective sleep measures."

Clinicians further reported that smoking higher-strength marijuana -- that's the 3.9 percent pot for this study's purposes -- subjectively improved patients' sleep better than oral THC. Perhaps more important, authors reported that HIV patients made far fewer requests for over-the-counter 'rescue' medications while using cannabis. Scientists reported that most of these requests were to treat subjects' gastrointestinal complaints (nausea, diarrhea and upset stomach) -- conditions that have long been reported by patients to be alleviated with medical pot.

The full story appears here:

Friday Male Beauty

Knights of Columbus Hypocrisy

Speaking of hypocrites, the Catholic News Agency is reporting ( that the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus is fussing and fuming over some of its members who serve in the Massachusetts Legislature who failed to vote in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage:

New Haven, Jul 9, 2007 / 10:50 am (CNA).- The Knights of Columbus was disappointed to learn that 16 of its members, who hold political office in the Massachusetts Legislature, voted against the same-sex marriage amendment in June.

The June 14 vote, which decided whether same-sex marriage would be put on the 2008 ballot, got only 45 votes — five votes shy of the 50-vote requirement.

"It is certainly embarrassing to the order and to every Knight out there who is firm in his support of traditional marriage and the right to life," Pat Korten, vice-president for communications for the Knights, told

A Knights member must be 18 and a practicing Catholic “who is recognized as such by the local Church where he goes or the ordinary of the diocese," said Korten. It is up to the diocese or the Church hierarchy to decide whether these lawmakers are no longer Catholic, Korten told "We as laymen do not presume to decide whether other laymen are Catholics or not," he said.

When this article came to my attention, I posted a comment on the CAN website about the story that has yet to be approved – and I suspect that my comment never will be – that discussed the hypocrisy of the Knight of Columbus.

As readers of this blog may know, I am a former Catholic and a former Knight of Columbus (I was a charter member for Council 10804 in Virginia Beach, served as a council officer for three years, and reached the 4th Degree level). Thus I am VERY well acquainted with the Knights and the vision of their founder: to provide a fraternal organization for Catholics who were at the time excluded from most fraternal organizations and to provide insurance and the protection for the widows AND CHILDREN of member Knights.

Over the last 125 years, the K of C has done much good work. HOWEVER, when the sex abuse scandal exploded in the Boston Archdiocese in 2001 and then spread across the country, forcing a number of dioceses into bankruptcy, the current leadership of the Knights of Columbus showed their moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy and betrayal of the K of C’s founder’s purposes. Instead of demanding the punishment and removal of bishops and cardinals who had been actively involved in the cover up and casual transfer of sexual predators from one unsuspecting parish to the next, the Supreme Council – and many, many rank and file Knights – marched in lock step with these corrupt members of the Catholic hierarchy. To this day, they act as pitiful lap dogs for the Catholic hierarchy and grovel before them like Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid drinkers at Jonestown.

Even more sickeningly, even after news reports and court proceedings revealed that Thomas V. Daily (by then Bishop of Brooklyn and pictured above) had been one of the “soldiers” who was involved in visiting and intimidating families of abuse victims to remain silent, the Supreme Council leadership allowed Daily to remain as Supreme Chaplin for the Order for another TWO YEARS. Worse yet, Daily was allowed to write disingenuous columns based on his past conduct in the monthly magazine, Columbus, sent to all member knights.

A few voices did call for a house cleaning of those involved. In August 2003, the National Catholic Reporter demanded that Daily among other former Boston auxiliary bishops, to resign for the way they handled the sex abuse scandals in their dioceses See the editorial: ( The call followed a stinging report by Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly. That report detailed six decades of Boston archdiocesan malfeasance related to priests who molested minors. It offered a blistering critique of former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law's 18-year tenure, while placing much of the blame for the catastrophe on deputies who were later promoted to run dioceses of their own. These included Daily.

Did the Knights of Columbus or Vatican take any similar action? Oh, no. The Knights just continued to kiss the frequently wide asses of the very same bishops and cardinals. So much for the Knights of Columbus protecting families and living by Christ’s message. To this day Bishop Daily is a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and a member of the boards of the Society of St. James the Apostle in Boston and the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities in Washington.
So much for any accountability among the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps the Knights and the Church in general should worry less about gay marriage and focus on putting their own organizations in order. Both currently fail to live up to the goals and values of their respective founders. In addition to my coming out, it was the utter moral bankruptcy of the leadership of the Catholic Church and the leaders of the Knights of Columbus caused me to leave both the Knights and the Catholic Church.
P. S. I am faxing a copy of this post to the Supreme Council for a response.

GOP Pundit Outed In DC Madam Scandal

The members of the Party of "family values," just keep on documenting their own hypocrisy and mopal bankruptcy. remember Jack Burkman got exposed by a couple of girls on MySpace for trying to solicit them for sex? (See: Now, this strategist and pundit for the GOP has been further exposed as a fraud:
The phone number for GOP political operative/conservative pundit, John (Jack) M. Burkman Jr. - Principal J.M. Burkman & Associates, Arlington, VA - appears in the database of phone records of the ‘DC Madam.’ From the phone logs: 2006-01-15 18:44 1.00

These folks - who apparently just cannot keep their pants zipped up - make gays look down right sexually repressed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Thursday Male Beauty

Iran begins executions for adultery and other violations

Per the International Hearald Tribune online (, Iran is preparing more executions of those who fail to live up to the Islamo-facsist's theocratic rules:

TEHRAN: The Iranian government confirmed Tuesday that a man was executed by stoning last week for committing adultery, and said that 20 more men would be executed in the coming days on morality violations.
He said the 20 additional executions were for such things as "rape, insulting religious sanctities and laws, and homosexuality." Most executions in Iran are hangings, often in public and at the scenes of the alleged crimes.

The police arrested about 1,000 people in May during a so-called morality crackdown. Jamshidi said 15 more men were being tried on similar charges and could receive death sentences.
Clearly, Islamic fanatics are a threat to the West and to many average Muslims and need to be stopped. Crimes of "insulting religious sanctities" basically allows these fanatics to accuse almost anyone. When I see this type of news story, it makes me think what could happen in this country if the Christianists are not likewise stopped. I suspect Daddy Dobson and his Christianist compatriots would not shed a tear to see gays publicly executed in this country.

More Thursday Male Beauty

Lady Bird Johnson Dead at 94

I know I am dating myself, but I always thought Lady Bird Johnson was a class act. I did not like here husband's Vietnam policies for obvious reasons and only missed having to enlist in the military by virtue of a high lottery number (269). Some of my friends were not so lucky - one drew a 2, but fortunately survived. Two other friends (brothers in fact) from my summers in the Adirondacks did not and committed suicide after returning from Vietnam. They just never got over the horror and mental torment they experienced. Here's portions of the Washington Post story on the other LBJ:
Lady Bird Johnson, 94, a first lady whose quiet ambition and determination allowed her to play an influential role in her husband's remarkable political career and to carve out an identity of her own as an advocate for beautifying the national landscape, died yesterday at her home in Austin.

Mrs. Johnson, who also was a successful businesswoman and philanthropist, had been in failing health for several years. She suffered a stroke in 1993 and was legally blind because of macular degeneration. She spent six days last month in an Austin hospital, where she was treated for a low-grade fever. "She just slipped away," family spokeswoman Elizabeth Christian said.

Thursday Male Beauty from the Past

I've always like Errol Flynn's movies. Like John Wayne, he basically played himself in every movie - only the costumes and plot varied.

More GOP Sex Busts - This Time for Gay Sex Solicitation

At least David Vitter is not alone in the media spot light. Now Bob Allen, a member of the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Co-Chairman of the John McCain campaign, has been arrested on charges of soliciting a male undercover police officer. The following are highlights from the Orlando Sentinel's story (,0,7769658.story?coll=orl-news-utility-lake):

Allen, R-Merritt Island, was booked into the Brevard County jail in Sharpes on a charge of solicitation to commit prostitution, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in the county jail and a $500 fine.
Titusville police were at Veteran's Memorial Park on East Broad Street on a burglary detail when they noticed an unshaven man acting suspicious, going in and out of the restroom three times, said Lt. Todd Hutchinson.
An undercover officer decided to go into one of the bathroom stalls, Hutchinson said. Moments later, Allen knocked on the stall door and offered to perform oral sex on the officer for $20, according to the police spokesman.The officer identified himself and took Allen into custody. Hutchinson said the officers had no idea the suspect was a state lawmaker.
Allen, 48, who chairs the House Committee on Energy, is married and has one child. He also is a former Little League volunteer and has donated time to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
Well, well. Yet another example of the actual practices of the "Party of Family Values." I feel sorry for Allen's wife and child, but what really kills me is that Allen blew his political career - no pun intended (not) - for a $20 blow job. Is the guy an idiot or what??

Media Field Day on Senator Vitter's Attraction to Call Girls

I have to say that I do enjoy seeing a politician who is an utter hypocrite exposed for what he really is. A casein point, of course id Senator David Vitter (R-La) who not only has admitted use of the services of the DC Madam, but apparently frequented some of New Orleans brothels as well. This is a clip from one of numerous stories all over the media:
Sen. David Vitter, who acknowledged having contacted a Washington escort service, made the admission after being called by Hustler magazine, whose investigative reporter says the sex magazine is targeting "moral hypocrites."

Less than three hours after the inquiry, the Louisiana Republican sent the Associated Press a statement Monday evening confirming that he had been in contact with Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the indicted escort-service owner dubbed the D.C. Madam. Washington reporter Dan Moldea, who is working with Hustler owner Larry Flynt, is collaborating with Palfrey on a book proposal and said yesterday that he found Vitter's number in her phone records late last week.
Larry Flynt is reportedly working on 20 other leads involving high political officials, so the fun may only be just beginning. Here are some other links to the Vitter coverage:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Psychologists Association to Review Stance on Gay Reparative Therapy

Expect the Christianist nut jobs to go absolutely crazy over this issue. If the APA formally condemns all reparative therapy as dangerous and basically malpractice per se, it will do several things: (1) it will make it more difficult politically for Daddy Dobson and company to try to claim being gay is a choice and that gays can change, (2) it will make it more difficult for licensed psychologists to participate in ex-gay programs without putting their licenses at risk, and (3) it will help set up ex-gay programs like Exodus for potential lawsuits by individuals who were harmed by the bogus programs and/or families of those who commit suicide as a result of the ex-gay programs.

Wayne Besen and I have talked frequently of a successful malpractice/tort type lawsuit against these charlatan ex-gay programs as being the best way to shut down the Christianists from using these programs to further their anti-gay political agenda and as a source of making money. Here's highlights of the My Way News story:

NEW YORK (AP) - The American Psychological Association is embarking on the first review of its 10-year-old policy on counseling gays and lesbians, a step that gay-rights activists hope will end with a denunciation of any attempt by therapists to change sexual orientation.

Such efforts - often called reparative therapy or conversion therapy - are considered futile and harmful by many gay-rights activists. Conservative groups defend the right to offer such treatment, and say people with their viewpoint have been excluded from the review panel. A six-member task force set up by the APA has its first meeting beginning next Tuesday.

The current APA policy, adopted in 1997, opposes any counseling that treats homosexuality as a mental illness, but does not explicitly denounce reparative therapy. The APA has decided to review the policy at a time when gay-rights groups are increasingly critical of such treatment and groups that support it.

Already, scores of conservative religious leaders and counselors, representing such groups as the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family, have written a joint letter to the APA, expressing concern that the task force's proposals would not properly accommodate gays and lesbians whose religious beliefs condemn gay sex.

The complete story on the APA review and the whining by the Christianists can be found here: More information on the APA's current positions on sexual orientation can be found on the APA web site here:

Clinton, Edwards and Obama agree to participate in historic debate on LGBT issues

As PageOneQ is reporting, the agreement of three presidential candidates is a first time event in this country. No doubt the fundies will be foaming at the mouth and say all sorts of things about these candidates appearing on Logo. Here are the highlights:

Three leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for president will appear at a live, televised forum according to a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign. Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and former Senator John Edwards have agreed to appear at the event focusing on lesbian and gay issues. The event will be broadcast on LOGO, a cable TV station owned by Viacom. The station is a division of MTV Networks.

The event will take place August 9th at 9pm EST and will be broadcast live on television and via streaming video on line at LOGOonline. It will be hosted by co-panelists HRC president Joe Solmonese and musician Melissa Etheridge.

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Here's one for you Pobble.

Thank You - 10,000 Plus Visitors

I am truly amazed at the number of visits this blog - now over 10,000 from 97 countries. I truly never expected so many visitors. I started this blog largely as a form of therapy for myself where I could talk about my thoughts and experiences, particularly my coming out process which was such an upheaval in my life and involved many dark days where at times suicide seemed the best option. Through the help of friends, accepting family members, a couple good therapists, and a loyal partner, I made the transition to a self-accepting gay man.

I hope my posts on my many years in the closet and my coming out experience (which I plan on discussing further once my divorce is final) have been helpful to some and perhaps informative to others who never were in the closet and/or tried to be what they thought church/family/society expected the way I did for so long. I also plan to continue my commentary on life, politics, religion and current events, just to vent my aggravation if nothing else.
I am also truly grateful for the great bloggers I have been privileged to interact with and get to know through cyberspace as it were. The thoughts, concepts and analysis you put forth individually and collectively is amazing. You know who you are and I hope we can continue our discourse on thoughts and issues.

Wednesday Male Beauty

In response to reader comments, I plan on posting some non twink beautiful men. At 40+, Brad Pitt is still beautiful.

UPS Update

Here's UPS's response to my post. I stand corrected.

First, UPS does provide benefits to domestic partners. As a matter of corporate policy, UPS currently offers same sex benefits to all non-union employees -- management as well as administrative workers. This includes all such employees in NJ, even though the state has failed to recognize gay partner as married spouses. Beyond health care, UPS also offers benefits such as medical leave, pension rights, funeral leave and other that are beyond what's required.

In the case of drivers, the situation is different because those workers are part of a union. Any changes have to be part of acollective bargaining process. Or it violates the NLRB regulations. The current contract expires in 2008.

Absent a law that specifically categorizes same sex partners as married spouses such as in Mass., UPS cannot unilaterally change a union contract to offer same sex benefits.

UPS has already brought this up with the union for their consideration. And UPS was successful in getting UPS Pilots to agree to same sex benefits during its last contract talks.Hopefully the same will happen with the Teamsters.

Lynnette McIntire, UPS PR

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Final Tuesday Male Beauty

Pope: Other Christians Not True Churches

If expanding the use of the old latin mass was not enough proof that Benedict XVI thinks we are back in the 1400's, his new pronouncement should eliminate all doubt:

LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.

Benedict approved a document from his old offices at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that restates church teaching on relations with other Christians. It was the second time in a week the pope has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that modernized the church.

On Saturday, Benedict revisited another key aspect of Vatican II by reviving the old Latin Mass. Traditional Catholics cheered the move, but more liberal ones called it a step back from Vatican II.

The document said Orthodox churches were indeed "churches" because they have apostolic succession and that they enjoyed "many elements of sanctification and of truth." But it said they lack something because they do not recognize the primacy of the pope - a defect, or a "wound" that harmed them, it said.

The full news story can be found on MyWayNews:

Persecuted Gays Seek Refuge in U.S.- Foreigners' Abuse Increasingly Seen as Grounds for Asylum

Wow, Daddy Dobson at Focus on the Fascists (pictured at left) and his fellow Christianists are going to risk possible strokes over this story in the Washington Post. Here are a couple of highlights:

Harassment and abuse of gay men and lesbians is becoming increasingly accepted as grounds for legal asylum in the United States, even at a time of conservative judicial activism, fear about HIV/AIDS transmission and increased scrutiny of asylum seekers. The government does not disclose a breakdown of reasons for granting asylum petitions, but legal advocacy groups in several major U.S. cities said they have won dozens of cases.

Homosexuality, once a de facto condition for barring foreigners from entering the country, is now officially recognized by the U.S. government as a category that might subject individuals to persecution in their homeland, just as if they were political dissidents in a dictatorship or religious minority members in a theocracy.
One reason is that applicants face multiple burdens of proof. They must demonstrate that they were abused or harassed by authorities, not merely by angry relatives or drunken hooligans, or that the authorities failed to protect them. They must also prove that they were abused because they are homosexual -- and thus prove that they are, in fact, gay.
Hopefully, a major election disaster for the GOP in 2008 will prevent the USA from becoming a dictatorship or theocracy. Otherwise, these applicants might be wiser to consider apply to Canada for asylum. In fact, if Canada applies the same standards as cited above, based on my own experiences in Virginia, I might already qualify for asylum in Canada. See the complete story here:

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Bush Nominee’s Abnormal Views

The main editorial in today's New York Times ( urges the U. S. Senate to vote "No" on Chimperator Bush's nominee for Surgeon General. I have highlighted the strong homophobia of the nominee in prior posts and think him totally unqualified due to his Christianist views. Portions of the Times editorial are as follows:

The Senate Health Committee will have to dig beneath the surface on Thursday to consider the nomination of Dr. James Holsinger to be surgeon general. Dr. Holsinger has high-level experience as a health administrator, but there are disturbing indications that he is prejudiced against homosexuals.

His strongest statement on homosexuality can be found in a murky, loosely reasoned paper that he wrote for a church committee in 1991. Titled “Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality,” the paper purported to be a scientific and medical review. It argued that gay sex was abnormal on anatomical and physiological grounds and unhealthy, in that anal sex can lead to rectal injuries and sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Holsinger did not brand the large number of heterosexual women who engage in anal sex as abnormal, failed to acknowledge the huge burden of disease spread heterosexually and implied that women are more likely than men to avoid injuries with generous lubrication.

The Bush administration says the white paper reflected the scientific understanding of the time, but it reads like a veneer of science cloaking an aversion to homosexuality. The committee should examine whether Dr. Holsinger cherry-picked the literature or represented it objectively. Most important, it must determine whether Dr. Holsinger holds these benighted views today. The Senate should not confirm a surgeon general who considers practicing homosexuals abnormal and diseased.

While I applaud the Time's postion against Holsinger, Michelangelo Signorile ( and John Aravosis ( have both taken the Times to task for using the term "practicing homosexuals" and for good reason. As Signorile states:

"Just by using that term, the editorial undermines the very point it is trying to make. Holsinger has been attacked for supporting a church that reportedly believes in "ex-gay" therapies and he clearly believes that people can be "indoctrinated" into homosexuality. Describing homosexuality as something you can "practice" until you get it right sure goes a long way toward helping Holsinger's cause."

News Series on Suicide

The Virginian Pilot ( is running a series of stories on suicide and suicde prevention. Today is the third day of the series. Obviously, the information related in the articles is important and hopefully will lead to both a better understanding by the general public and save lives. Unfortunately, so far the series has been utterly silent on the issue of suicide by gay youth, no doubt due to the generally conservative nature of the area. Of course, the very nature of this area probably increases the likelihood of young gays killing themselves.

Never being one to bite my toungue, I e-mailed the reporter and posted the following comment on the comments page:

Studies have shown that young gay males, while accounting for only 3-10% of the population, depending what figure one relies upon, account for more than half of male youth suicide problems. Unfortunately, mainstream suicidologists generally continue to ignore this aspect of the problem. Not surprisingly, much of the motivation by these suicides stems from religiously instilled self-hate and often an all too real fear of rejection by family and/or society. As mentioned in the article, many of these suicides are not reported as such out of deference to families. Despite this death toll, far too many religious leaders continue the anti-gay rhetoric and/or make false promises of "change," thereby increasing the attraction of suicide.

I invite others to post comments or e-mail the reporter at to underscore the glaring hole in the reporting to date. The photo posted is of an actual suicde victim. His story can be found here:

Tuesday Male Beauty

"Family Values" Senator's Number on "DC Madam" Phone List

David Vitter, one of those "family values" members of the GOP who supported the Federal Marriage Amendment due to the Christianist fabricated need to protect the sanctity of marriage, apparently doesn't honor the sanctity of marriage in his own life. The Washington Post reports today that Vitter has confessed to his less than Godly conduct:

"Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized last night after his telephone number appeared in the phone records of the woman dubbed the "D.C. Madam," making him the first member of Congress to become ensnared in the high-profile case.

The statement containing Vitter's apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004.

Not surprisingly, Vitter has put out one of the typical meally mouth apology statements all so typical of these hypocrites:

"Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling," Vitter continued. "Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."

I feel sincere sorrow for Vitter's family, but none for this anti-gay hypocrite.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Final Monday Male Beauty

Brad Pitt and Archbishop Desmond Tutu Talk Gay Rights in Vanity Fair's Africa Issue

In the July issue of Vanity Fair [Vanity Fair, July 2007, p. 97-98], Brad Pitt (who I admit, I once had such a crush on) interviews South Africa's Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. During the interview, Pitt and Tutu discuss gay rights. Here's a portion of the interview:

Brad Pitt: So certainly discrimination has no place in Christianity. There's a big argument going on in America right now, on gay rights and equality.

Desmond Tutu: For me, I couldn't ever keep quiet. I came from a situation where for a very long time people were discriminated against, made to suffer for something about which they could do nothing--their ethnicity. We were made to suffer because we were not white. Then, for a very long time in our church, we didn't ordain women, and we were penalizing a huge section of humanity for something about which they could do nothing--their gender. And I'm glad that now the church has changed all that. I'm glad that apartheid has ended. I could not for any part of me be able to keep quiet, because people were being penalized, ostracized, treated as if they were less than human, because of something they could do nothing to change--their sexual orientation. For me, I can't imagine the Lord that I worship, this Jesus Christ, actually concurring with the persecution of a minority that is already being persecuted. The Jesus who I worship is a Jesus who was forever on the side of those who were being clobbered, and he got into trouble precisely because of that. Our church, the Anglican Church, is experiencing a very, very serious crisis. It is all to do with human sexuality. I think God is weeping. He is weeping that we should be spending so much energy, time, resources on this subject at a time when the world is aching.

Brad Pitt: I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you for saying that.

It saddens me that so many others in the Anglican Church and other denominations (including my own church) do not have the Christrian vision of Desmond Tutu. I too agree that Jesus would never condone discrimination against God's children for merely being who He amde them to be.

Example of Gay Species Wisdom

Having just nominated the Gay Species for a Thinking Blogger Award, I happened to come across a comment he left on another bloggers site that illustrates why I included him among my nominees. It also bears upon my last post on finding the perfect lover and communication issues. I hope he does not mind that I have quoted his comment. Here's Gay Species at his best:

[T]the freedom to express one’s self is critical to a relationship of any kind. When physical intimacy, couples with emotional and rational intimacy, we are extremely vulnerable to each other, and it’s often known as “love.” But vulnerability, while the heart and core of love, also makes our “worth” more exposed to the slightest criticism. If some idiot tells you you’re an asshole, who cares? But if a Beloved mentions even the slightest flaw, it can often become mountainous. Then resentment, blame, alienation, and a whole slew of adverse consequences can ensue — usually over a relatively insignificant matter.

If it needs to be stated — and sometimes it does — one of the couple could state that “no subject is taboo in our relationship,” and “any subject raised is subject to discussion without necessarily drawing a conclusion.” Plus, one might add, “any decision or conclusion, if any, might be revised in the future, if either of us gains a different perspective.” Sometimes, just stating the OBVIOUS, just mentioning it, is sufficient to de-toxify a discussion from becoming a polemic.
A subsidiary strategy, esp. among beloveds, is to avoid using the word, “you,” except in a sentence where it is only the direct object, never the subject of a sentence. For ease, we often say things that have no injury implied, but because it starts, “remember when YOU . . .?” one tends to become defensive, even if not judgment or judgmentalism is to follow. Stating the same proposition in the first-person singular, “I was wondering if you remember when . . . ?” Just by shifting to the first-person and avoiding the second-person manner of speaking, tends to “depersonalize” basic observations with or without implied judgments.

For example: “I happen to think a couple that works through matters, rather than avoids them, achieves a deeper level of satisfaction. I know it feels that way to me. So, when we have a conflict, I feel we have not reached an acceptable understanding for either one of us, but especially for me. Could we agree to address issues of significance in a ‘depersonal” way, such as I am now, so that I will express it from only my point of view, and you will express an issue from your point of view. Then we can examine each other’s point of view with respect for each other maintained, without attacking each other’s person? I love the person, but its a point of view I want to address.” (Substitute, behavior, or negligence, etc.)

What tends to happen in deeply emotional relationships, is the language of “everyday” becomes super-charged with “reading between the lines,” “double entendre,” or “inferences without validity.” We all do it. Our empathy and love for the other heightens our sensitivity to what they say, and often charges it with meaning (implied, inferred) that may not even be there. One does not want to “deaden” the sensitivity, since that is the reason the relationship exists. So, we “deaden” some of the language. We try to “de-personalize” it without making it “impersonal.”
By speaking in the first-person or third-person subject, it does “de-personalize” without “impersonalizing.” So, the sentiments, feelings, objections, etc., are about the real issue and not about the “person” himself. Now, one often infers, “well, you don’t like A, I do A, therefore you don’t like me,” which is a faulty inference, but we do it all the time. By depersonalizing our language, we tend to avoid these faulty inferences.
We want to retain the sensitivity, just not the faulty inferences, drawn from hyper-sensitivity. “Yes, it’s true I don’t like A, but I still love you. Could you do B instead, or how about C? That way I would be pleased, because I value it.” No judgment of the other is stated in the preceding sentence, but it accomplishes the say thing as, “would you stop doing A.” It is not dissimulation, it’s just a different linguistic strategy that fosters communication without prejudging the conclusion, much less judging the person.

Having suggested all this, there may be times when strong judgments are appropriate. But then reserve them for those unusual times. Thus, when one uses these strong judgments, the force of them will be in “how you feel, what you feel,” and not another judgmentalism in an endless list of personal attacks.

Once we realize that our Beloved is not “everyday” in the sense of everyone else, because his “worth” is worth more than anyone else, and we understand he wants his worth to be that extraordinary worthwhile that we want to prize it, we discover “ordinary” discourse is no more appropriate with a beloved than ordinary anything else with our Beloved.

Just as every other aspect of our Beloved is worth more than the worth of everyday, even the worth of our dearest friends, the last — and I mean the last — thing any one should undermine is the other’s worth, even, and especially, if unintended. We just “assume,” and we should not. Assume only that HIS worth to him, in order for HIM to offer worth to YOU, is dependent on how YOU talk to him as WORTHY of each of you. Once one attacks, directly or indirectly, intended or unintended, the other’s WORTH, one is hurting both one’s self and the other, by diminishing HIS value to himself, from which HE offers himself to YOU something of WORTH YOU prize as WORTHY of only HIM and WORTHY of you. Ergo, “everyday” language, the expedient language, is not always the appropriate language for such SPECIAL people in SPECIAL situations already SENSITIVE to the other, perhaps, even hopefully, ACCENTUATED, because YOU are WORTH enough to him for him to CARE exceedingly about what YOU say.

All of which is WORTH using a different language using a different point of view to “de-personalize” the words, but to keep the communication open and intimately “personal.” Keep always in mind: Any time you criticize your beloved you are criticizing his WORTH in HIS eyes to YOU. (If I could bold that last line, I would.) And because he’s WORTH more than joe blow, HE is already sensitive, as are YOU, to any comment that DEVALUES him for you. Don’t lose those VALUES, just replace the emphasis off the LOVED, onto something more “objectified,” more de-personalized, so HE is not the target, but something ABOUT him may be discussed and reviewed in context of YOU.

Hope this helps. It may seem a bit artificial, even feel strained to do, but when someone is that WORTHWHILE, it changes the whole dynamic. If he’s no longer “ordinary,” ordinary language will never do either.

More Monday Male Beauty

Thinking Blogger Award Nominees

In follow up to my nomination for the Thinking Blogger’s Award by Jim at “Though Lovers Be Lost,” I wanted to post my own nominees for the award. It was a difficult choice since (a) I read a lot of blogs that make me think, and (b) some of my favorite blogs that I read daily have been previously nominated. Thus, after thinking it through, my nominees are as follows:

(1) Stephen at Gay Species ( who can always find cracks and crevices in my comments and arguments large enough to accommodate a tractor trailer. Moreover, his command of the English language is remarkable.

(2) Don at Dondon009 ( who, while agreeing with many of my positions on issues, yet finds many interesting twists or varied applications.

(3) Bob Felton at Civil Commotion ( who does a masterful job of reviewing issues concerning Religion, Law, and Politics, not to mention great quotes from the founding fathers of the USA and other historic figures.

(4) Bloggernista ( which engages in the public debates swirling around politics, culture, media, music, film, television, art and homosexuality.

(5) Pobble at Boston Pooble ( who provides me with feminine insights and commentary and likes my ideas of “male beauty.”

Anyone not mentioned, please do not take offense. I simply had too many folks in the running and only five slots. For the nominees, the rules are as follows:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote
(here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

UPS denies gay partner benefits

I have been contemplating the service my firm uses for overnight delivery services. It appears that UPS just took itself off of the list of possible replacement carriers.

A company that provides health care coverage to married gay couples in Massachusetts has denied the same benefits to a couple who entered a civil union in New Jersey. United Parcel Service's decision to deny coverage to a Toms River couple boils down to a single word: New Jersey law does not call them "spouses."

"We were supposed to be treated equally. We should be treated equally," said Heather Aurand, who was denied health care coverage by UPS, which employs Aurand's civil union partner, Gabriael "Nickie" Brazier. In its letter denying coverage, UPS said it does provide health benefits to its employees' spouses, including spouses of the same sex who are married in Massachusetts. But it said New Jersey's decision to recognize same-sex relationships as civil unions rather than marriages tied its hands.

UPS's explanation is pretty lame inasmuch as even here in Virginia - hardly a gay friendly state, a number of corporations provided gays with domestic partnership benefits. Sounds to me like UPS is merely trying to save money. See the full story at:

Monday Male Beauty

Wanted: Openly Gay Lawyers

This article in the Miami Herald on openly gay attorneys is encouraging ( Unfortunately, if Miami is near the center of the gay solar system, the Norfolk area must rank somewhere areound the former planet Pluto. Hopefully, HRBOR will help change this situation as more and more of the business public comes to learn that there is a sizable gay population in the area and that many of us have money and are business owners. Here are a few highlights:
Many gay and lesbian lawyers today are out of the closet, ready to assist clients who have same-sex partners and children. And large law firms have caught on, too, that top-notch gay staff attorneys can bring in big gay business.

The number of openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lawyers increased by more than 50 percent from 2002 to 2006, reports the National Association for Law Placement. The nonprofit group, which uses data from about 700 large U.S. law firms, reported 1,733 openly gay lawyers in 2006, up from about 1,100 four years earlier. Openly gay lawyers represent 1.8 percent of associates and 1.1 percent of partners.
Some lawyers still prefer not to publicly identify as gay. One prominent Miami attorney -- out socially in the gay community -- declined to be named in this article. ''Not comfortable. Sorry,'' he wrote by e-mail.

And some say the legal community is actually behind other sectors of corporate America when it comes to recruiting gays. ''It's trying to catch up, but it's behind the rest of the corporate world,'' said Steven Kozlowski, who practices business and entertainment law. ``It's traditionally a conservative profession. It's the last stronghold -- unless you count the military as a profession.''

Large law firms in other parts of the country have begun recruiting openly gay and lesbian attorneys, to diversify the firms and help bring in gay dollars. For the past five years or so, there has been ''an ongoing demand of clients'' that the legal profession employ talented minorities, including gay people, said Peter Prieto, executive partner of Holland & Knight's Miami office.
I guess as one of this area's few, if not only, totally out attorneys, I am "ahead of the curve."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Final Sunday Male Beauty

Wedding Congratulations

Two of my very best friends in Norfolk were married yesterday in Ontario, Canada. Christopher and Martin are both clients and friends. They are wonderful, talented guys and are a wonderful example of a committed gay couple. I wish them only the best in everything and many years together filled with much happiness. Christopher is a dedicated and knowledgeable realtor and Martin is a talented, innovative architect. Anyone needing either a Norfolk area realtor or an architect should contact these guys.