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London busses in the debate on same-sex marriage

stonewall UK bus ad campaign

one of Stonewall’s ads for the recent campaign

The public dialogue around same-gender marriage has gotten a lot uglier in London recently. As reported in PinkNews, a group of religious organizations have launched an advertising campaign in direct contradiction to Stonewall‘s broad exposure “Get Over It” bus ads (see accompanying image). The opposition ads feature in bold white and black text on a red background, “NOT GAY! EX-GAY, POST-GAY AND PROUD. GET OVER IT!”

The organization sponsoring the anti-equality ads states (quote from the article on PinkNews):

While it “recognise[sic] the rights of individuals to identify as gay”, it says “married men and women unhappy with their homosexuality should be supported in developing their heterosexual potential, where this is the appropriate life choice for them”.

Posted in Socio-politics.

Lavender marriages in Vietnam

photo from a wedding in Vietnam

There is an interesting article on VietNamNet Bridge on women who discover that their husbands are gay after marriage. Evidence and popular perception indicate that this is happening considerably less often in the United States, but it’s instructive to see conditions in other places in the world where homosexuality is much less openly acknowledged, leading to tragic disappointments and frustrations in marriages that are doomed to unhappiness and failure.

According to the research, most gays do not want to reveal their secret to avoid social discrimination. They still get married and have children. Their secret is mainly detected by their relatives.

A 34-year-old gay in Hanoi said: “I knew I’m a gay at the age of 22. My family knew that secret but they forced me to get married. I could still have sex with my wife and we had babies. But my wife is the first and will be the last woman in my life. I do not have sex with my wife often. I have to seek other gays to satisfy my instinct.”

It is a tragedy for gays whose families force them to get married. A 30-year-old gay in Hanoi said he could not change his nature.

Read the rest of the article, “Your husbands are gays!

Posted in Socio-politics.

Sean Maher

Great article on Sean Maher, who played Simon Tam on Firefly and worked for many years in Hollywood closeted. Excerpted:

But being in the closet tormented Maher. “It was so exhausting, and I was so miserable,” Maher says. “I didn’t really have any life other than work and this façade I was putting on. So I kept my friends from college [where he was out] separate from my work friends, and that was very confusing. I just kept going on and on painting this picture of somebody I wasn’t. I didn’t have time for a personal relationship anyway. And you just don’t realize that it’s eating away at your soul.

Having a family is what ultimately what made Maher want to be honest about his sexuality. “I have these beautiful children and this extraordinary family,” Maher says, “and to think in any way shape or form that that’s wrong or that there’s shame in that or that there’s something to hide actually turns my stomach.” Maher kept thinking about what daughter Sophia would say when she realized he was closeted professionally. “What would she think if I said, ‘Oh honey, you can’t come with me to work because they don’t know I have an adopted daughter and they don’t know that I’m gay.’ My children and our family, I’ve really never been as proud of anything in my life. I couldn’t be happier at this point in my life, and I feel like we’ve created this pretty extraordinary family.”

Just please don’t read the comments.

Posted in Arts and Literature, Personal Stories.

Consequences of Anti-Gay Rhetoric in Schools

Let’s not let someone with these sorts of policies get one step closer to the White House.

Later the policy was changed to require school staff to remain neutral on issues of homosexuality if they should come up in class, a change that critics said fostered confusion among teachers and contributed to their inability to address bullying and harassment, or to even ask reasonable questions about some of the issues the kids were struggling with, like sexual orientation. Both policies were put into place at the behest of conservative religious activists who have been among Bachmann’s biggest supporters in the district. They include the Minnesota Family Council (MFC), and its local affiliate, the Parents Action League, which has lobbied to put discredited “reparative therapy” materials in schools.

That’s the sort of counseling reportedly practiced by Bachmann & Associates, the mental health clinics run by Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus. The clinics reportedly counsel people on how to “pray away the gay” to become straight. Before entering politics, Bachmann served as the education advisor to the MFC-affiliated Minnesota Family Institute, a relationship she has continued. This spring, she headlined a fundraising dinner for MFC, along with Newt Gingrich.

Read the rest of the article, The Teen Suicide Epidemic in Michele Bachmann’s District.

Posted in Socio-politics.

Thank you Steve Simon

Eloquent speech on the house floor in support of same-sex marriage by Steve Simon D., Minnesota House of Representatives.


If it’s true, that sexual orientation is innate, God-given, then what does it mean to the moral force of your argument, and I guess to put it in the vernacular, what I would ask is, how many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether or not God actually wants them around?” [applause] How many gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether the living of their lives the way they wish as long as they don’t harm others is a Godly, and Holy, and happy and glorious thing. I’ve answered that for myself. I don’t think that everyone has answered that for themselves necessarily in this room, but I’m comfortable with a society and a tradition that bends towards justice, and fairness, and wholeness, and openness and compassion, and I do think, as others have said before me more eloquently, that that’s where the arc of history is bending as well.

Posted in Socio-politics.