Sunday, December 25, 2011

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays!

Whatever you celebrate, I hope it is wonderful for you.

And for all the straight wives out there, may 2012 be a better year for you.  Keep your head held high, try to maintain a positive attitude, plug into the resources available to you and move forward in your new life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

From Australian Marriage Equality.

Shocking, huh?  (insert sarcasm here)



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reader Question

I had an email from a reader who told me about her gay husband situation.  While circumstances may vary, we all share the same hurt and betrayal and that sickening feeling of disbelief.  We ask ourselves how we didn't see this before.  We boil with anger.  We may try to bargain with the gay spouse, asking him to change or even with God, asking Him to make the spouse straight.  Or we may turn away and shake an angry fist at God for allowing it to happen.

Many of us have children by our gay spouses, and the issue of children just muddies water that's already cloudy.  The reader I referenced earlier posed the following question to me after disclosing that her daughter had journaled about seeing her father kissing an older man but won't go to counseling or talk with her further.

"...how did you feel about your son keeping the secret of his dads porn stash from you...hence, more years were stolen from you than was necessary."

 I was never angry at my son for not revealing he'd found out his dad's secret.  He was just a teenager, and that's not a subject you broach with either parent.  He found himself in an untenable position and he did what he thought was best.

The anger I have is directed directly at my ex-husband -- anger for lying to me, anger for putting his son in that untenable position, anger for lying again about the reasons for our divorce, anger for making his family believe I'm the bad guy in all this, anger, anger, anger.

This frequent, and sometimes all-consuming, anger is the topic of many of my therapy sessions.  Many people say I should just forget it, forgive him and get over it.  My answer to that?

BULLSHIT!

I cannot simply forgive what I consider the ultimate betrayal.  I cannot simply forgive lying to my children.  I cannot simply forgive putting my son in that untenable position and possibly negatively affecting any relationships either of my sons may have.  Our marriage was the foundation of their childhood, and now they know it was just a lie.

Please do not comment and tell me that as a Christian I should forgive unconditionally.  I cannot do that.  It would give him a bye for his lies and cheating. 

This, too, is something my therapist and I have talked about many times.  And she, who is also a Christian, is in complete agreement with my stance.  Forgiveness without an apology ain't gonna happen.  What I HAVE done is accept that my ex will never apologize and  never accept responsiblity for his behavior.  And with that acceptance has come a dose of peace.

So back to the reader's question...  I feel so bad for my son that he had to be put in that position, that he had to know for over half his life that his dad was gay (I pray he never knew anything about his dad's sexploits), that he had to watch his mother move from her home and head out into the world as a single person.

But I hope that he's proud of me for the stronger woman I've become.  I strive to be an example of Christian living for him and his brother and also for my grandchild.  I want her to look at her grandmother and think, "My grandma is a class act."









 
 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DADT

Thankfully, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the U.S. military is gone. It's over and done with. Now I don't expect that every gay soldier will come out immediately, but it's surely a good start for everyone. Gay and lesbian soldiers don't have to hide anymore. They can be who they are -- who God made them. And for that, I'm truly glad.

But Kiri Blakely, a writer for the Forbes website, had a very good post about another aspect of DADT. Here's her article:


Now that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been repealed in the military, gay servicemen and servicewomen can no longer be discharged because of their sexual orientation. This allows them to tell friends, family, and colleagues about their orientation—should they choose to do so. Some already have.

One American soldier stationed in Germany, who had previously only videotaped himself from the neck down for an anonymous video log, has come out -- out to his father, mother, comrades—even his girlfriend.

His father told him: “I will always love you. This doesn’t change our relationship.” (No word on what the girlfriend had to say.)

Unfortunately, not all men and women are following his lead. Many people still choose the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy in their personal life. Take this ad, posted tonight on Craigslist’s Men for Men section (and slightly toned down here): “GF [girlfriend] left town and I’m looking for a hot safe time. Very discreet and masculine white bi guy looking to *** with a similar bud. Totally *** up and open, safety and discretion are key.”

Here’s another, very typical, one: “Married good looking hot stud here looking for some fun while in town.”

I hate to break it to these guys but there is no “safe time” or “fun” for the women who love them, trust them, are planning their futures with them, and possibly are home taking care of their house and children. It’s not “safe” and “fun” for those women emotionally, financially, psychologically, and not even physically. There are venereal diseases that can be spread even with the use of a condom—including the Human papillomavirus or HPV.

I would also say to these men, if they don’t want to think of their wives and girlfriends, to think about themselves. Why are you doing this? What kind of life do you want for yourself, constantly living in the shadows of lies and suffering the fear of being discovered? Even if she doesn’t discover it, which she probably will, why do you want to live a double life?

Millions of women and men who find themselves in mixed-orientation marriages and relationships have turned to networks like Straight Spouse Network and Straight Wives for emotional support. I can tell you firsthand that these men and women, and their children, are devastated when they discover their significant other was lying to them and cheating on them.

I understand that you may be scared, or ashamed, or humiliated, or simply not want to be gay. But at least, in that case, be single!

Or, you can be brave. Just like that soldier who came out today.
Kiri is a straight spouse too, so she's writing from experience. Actually, she has a book about her experience -- Can't Think Straight: A Mixed-Up Memoir of Love. I think many of us can relate.

So to all the married guys on the downlow, BE BRAVE. Stop with the lies and do the right thing by your wife.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

She Doesn't Know

If this wasn't so true, it might be funny. I didn't know either. Is it a coincidence that a song about men on the downlow has that bass-heavy club beat?

She Doesn't Know by Hussy Cowboy


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dr. Drew's Take

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/09/05/exp.drew.gay.politicians.hln?hpt=hp_mid

I can't imbed the video.  You'll just have to click on it and watch it at the CNN site.

There's some very interesting stuff here.

These men dictate laws and change people's lives.  They lead secret lives, condemn gays and lesbians yet are gay themselves.  It's time they started suffering from their own poor legislation like the rest of the GLBT community, don't you think?


Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Remembrance 9-11-2001

So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

Martin Luther King,  August 28, 1963


9/11 Memorial Pool at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City

Thursday, September 8, 2011

And the Bible Tells Me So

This fabulous clip from the TV show "The West Wing" illustrates beautifully how fundamentalists pick and choose which verses of the Bible to adhere to. The quite obvious nod to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, whose Ph.D. is in physiology, not psychology is priceless.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Here we go again

From the Huffington Post


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Puerto Rico lawmaker has resigned following reports that explicit photos of him surfaced on an iPhone application for gays and bisexuals, the head of the U.S. territory's Senate announced Sunday.

Sen. Roberto Arango, a Republican who represents the capital of San Juan for the island's governing party, presented his letter of resignation after a weekend meeting, Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz said.

Schatz did not release the lawmaker's letter, but said the circumstances that led to the resignation "are very lamentable."

Local news media published photos from the application showing a man's nude upper body with a cell phone obscuring his face. Another photo showed a rear view of a nude man on his hands and knees. Another showed a fuzzy image of a face that seemed to match Arango's.

Arango has neither confirmed nor denied suggestions by local media that the photos might be of him and apparently was not asked if he had posted them. During a recent interview with WAPA TV in Puerto Rico, the senator said he has taken pictures of himself with a cell phone to document his recent weight loss.

"I really don't remember having taken those pictures of myself, but it doesn't mean I didn't take them," he told the station. "I really don't remember."

Arango did not return calls Sunday.

A graduate of Louisiana State University and a food importer before turning to politics, he was chairman of a business council for the national Republican Party and municipal director of the Republican Party in Puerto Rico, according to his Web page for Puerto Rico's Senate.

Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of the gay rights group Puerto Rico for Everyone, said Arango voted in favor of Resolution 99, a proposal that would block any attempt to permit same-sex marriages in the U.S. territory. He also helped block a measure to ban sexual discrimination in the workplace and opposed adoption rights for gays.

"This isn't a moment to kick someone when he's down, but I have to denounce Sen. Roberto Arango's complicity with a fundamentalist agenda that promotes the exclusion and marginalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," Serrano said Sunday.

Local news media said that the pictures first appeared on an iPhone application for gays and bisexuals and that they themselves later received copies from unidentified sources.

In recent days, Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuno had said that if the man was indeed a legislator, he should resign. That echoed the sentiments of other lawmakers, including local House Speaker Jenniffer Gonzalez.

You'd think these lawmakers would learn that a ticket on the hypocrisy train is a very costly one. It's usually one-way and goes straight to hell.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Don't Bi It

From the NY Times

No Surprise for Bisexual Men: Report Indicates They Exist
By DAVID TULLER
Published: August 22, 2011


In an unusual scientific about-face, researchers at Northwestern University have found evidence that at least some men who identify themselves as bisexual are, in fact, sexually aroused by both women and men.

The finding is not likely to surprise bisexuals, who have long asserted that attraction often is not limited to one sex. But for many years the question of bisexuality has bedeviled scientists. A widely publicized study published in 2005, also by researchers at Northwestern, reported that “with respect to sexual arousal and attraction, it remains to be shown that male bisexuality exists.”

That conclusion outraged bisexual men and women, who said it appeared to support a stereotype of bisexual men as closeted homosexuals.

In the new study, published online in the journal Biological Psychology, the researchers relied on more stringent criteria for selecting participants. To improve their chances of finding men aroused by women as well as men, the researchers recruited subjects from online venues specifically catering to bisexuals.

They also required participants to have had sexual experiences with at least two people of each sex and a romantic relationship of at least three months with at least one person of each sex.

Men in the 2005 study, on the other hand, were recruited through advertisements in gay-oriented and alternative publications and were identified as heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual based on responses to a standard questionnaire.

In both studies, men watched videos of male and female same-sex intimacy while genital sensors monitored their erectile responses. While the first study reported that the bisexuals generally resembled homosexuals in their responses, the new one finds that bisexual men responded to both the male and female videos, while gay and straight men in the study did not.

Both studies also found that bisexuals reported subjective arousal to both sexes, notwithstanding their genital responses. “Someone who is bisexual might say, ‘Well, duh!’” said Allen Rosenthal, the lead author of the new Northwestern study and a doctoral student in psychology at the university. “But this will be validating to a lot of bisexual men who had heard about the earlier work and felt that scientists weren’t getting them.”

The Northwestern study is the second one published this year to report a distinctive pattern of sexual arousal among bisexual men.

In March, a study in Archives of Sexual Behavior reported the results of a different approach to the question. As in the Northwestern study, the researchers showed participants erotic videos of two men and two women and monitored genital as well as subjective arousal. But they also included scenes of a man having sex with both a woman and another man, on the theory that these might appeal to bisexual men.

The researchers — Jerome Cerny, a retired psychology professor at Indiana State University, and Erick Janssen, a senior scientist at the Kinsey Institute — found that bisexual men were more likely than heterosexuals or gay men to experience both genital and subjective arousal while watching these videos.

Dr. Lisa Diamond, a psychology professor at the University of Utah and an expert on sexual orientation, said that the two new studies, taken together, represented a significant step toward demonstrating that bisexual men do have specific arousal patterns.

“I’ve interviewed a lot of individuals about how invalidating it is when their own family members think they’re confused or going through a stage or in denial,” she said. “These converging lines of evidence, using different methods and stimuli, give us the scientific confidence to say this is something real.”

The new studies are relatively small in size, making it hard to draw generalities, especially since bisexual men may have varying levels of sexual, romantic and emotional attraction to partners of either sex. And of course the studies reveal nothing about patterns of arousal among bisexual women. The Northwestern study included 100 men, closely split among bisexuals, heterosexuals and homosexuals. The study in Archives of Sexual Behavior included 59 participants, among them 13 bisexuals.

The new Northwestern study was financed in part by the American Institute of Bisexuality, a group that promotes research and education regarding bisexuality. Still, advocates expressed mixed feelings about the research.

Jim Larsen, 53, a chairman of the Bisexual Organizing Project, a Minnesota-based advocacy group, said the findings could help bisexuals still struggling to accept themselves.

“It’s great that they’ve come out with affirmation that bisexuality exists,” he said. “Having said that, they’re proving what we in the community already know. It’s insulting. I think it’s unfortunate that anyone doubts an individual who says, ‘This is what I am and who I am.’”

Ellyn Ruthstrom, president of the Bisexual Resource Center in Boston, echoed Mr. Larsen’s discomfort.

“This unfortunately reduces sexuality and relationships to just sexual stimulation,” Ms. Ruthstrom said. “Researchers want to fit bi attraction into a little box — you have to be exactly the same, attracted to men and women, and you’re bisexual. That’s nonsense. What I love is that people express their bisexuality in so many different ways.”

Despite her cautious praise of the new research, Dr. Diamond also noted that the kind of sexual arousal tested in the studies is only one element of sexual orientation and identity. And simply interpreting results about sexual arousal is complicated, because monitoring genital response to erotic images in a laboratory setting cannot replicate an actual human interaction, she added.

“Sexual arousal is a very complicated thing,” she said. “The real phenomenon in day-to-day life is extraordinarily messy and multifactorial.”

I still say it's just a layover on the way to gay town. For a while my ex claimed to be bisexual but if he was, wouldn't he have been equally attracted to me too? He did have a threesome with a couple, but it was only to get at the husband, not because he was that interested in the wife. And lest you think I'm jumping to a conclusion, he admitted as much in an email to one of his gay buds where he bragged about the conquest.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How Can I Forgive You?

Copied from Janis Abrams Spring


HOW CAN I FORGIVE YOU?

How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To


Forgiveness has been held up as the gold standard of recovery from interpersonal injuries. We have been taught that forgiveness is good for us and that good people forgive. In real life, however, hurt parties often find that they can’t or won’t forgive, particularly when the offender is unrepentant or dead.

In How Can I Forgive You?, Genuine Forgiveness is reframed as an intimate dance, a hard-won transaction, which asks as much of the offender as it does of the hurt party. Offenders will learn how to perform bold, humble, heartfelt acts of repair to earn forgiveness, such as bearing witness to the pain they caused, delivering a meaningful apology, and taking responsibility for their offense. Hurt parties will learn to release their obsessive preoccupation with the injury, accept a fair share of responsibility for what went wrong, and create opportunities for the offender to make good.

When the offender can’t or won’t make meaningful repairs for the damaged caused, Dr. Spring proposes a radical, new alternative to forgiveness – a profound, life-affirming, healing process called Acceptance. This can be accomplished by the hurt party alone. Ten concrete steps for healing the self are described.

Everyone is struggling to forgive someone. This book will help you rise above a violation, repair the rupture within yourself, and consider forgiving the partner, parent, in-law, sibling, child, friend, or significant other who has hurt you. For those of you who have wronged someone else, it will offer you concrete steps for earning that person’s forgiveness – and your own.

Beautifully written and filled with insight, practical advice, and poignant case studies, How Can I Forgive You? addresses such critical questions as:

*Is forgiveness good for us?
*How do we forgive someone who shows no remorse? How do we heal ourselves?
*How can we overcome our obsessive preoccupation with the offender and get on with our lives?
*Why should forgiveness be the job of the hurt party alone? Shouldn’t the offender be asked to make good?
*When is forgiveness cheap? When is it genuine?
*What makes for a meaningful apology?
*Why is it so hard to apologize?
*Why is it so hard to forgive?
*Are some injuries simply unforgivable?

“We are all social beings, all vitally interconnected, and we are validated and redeemed when others provide a soothing balm to our wounds and work to release us from the pain they have caused us. Healing, like love, flourishes in the context of a healing relationship. I would go so far as to say that we can’t love alone, and we can’t forgive alone.”
– from How Can I Forgive You?

Praise for How Can I Forgive You?


“If you are struggling with issues of betrayal – or the challenge of whether and how to forgive–here is the most helpful and surprising book you will ever find on the subject.”
—Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger

“A fresh and original approach to an ancient challenge. A clinically informed guide for the offender and the offended. How Can I Forgive You? should be read by us all.”
—Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of Getting the Love You Want

“Finally a book has been written that teaches couples how to make genuine forgiveness a reality without rushing toward a superficial peace. This book can help couples construct a marriage that never existed before, one based on deep understanding and trust.”
—John Gottman, Ph.D., author of The Relationship Cure

“This book is a treasure trove for anyone who has ever felt betrayed or hurt in a personal relationship. Dr. Spring cuts through all the cliche’s surrounding forgiveness and views it within a broad spectrum of common relationships – mother-daughter, father-son, student-teacher, husband-wife. We owe her a debt of gratitude for this enlightened and penetrating view of a universal human dilemma.”
– Peggy Papp, M.S.W., author of Couples on the Fault Line

“This book is a treasure – practical, authentic, illuminating, and wise. It’s like a breath of fresh air that puts forgiveness in a new and revealing light and provides clear steps to turn wounds into wisdom.”
– Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and Inner Peace for Busy People

“Clear, insightful…a thoughtful exposition on the nuanced role of forgiveness in relationships that goes beyond the average self-help book.”
—Publishers Weekly

At a therapy session shortly after I learned my husband is gay, I said to my therapist, "I supposed one day I'll have to forgive him." Having been raised a Christian, I'd been taught about forgiveness and turning the other cheek. But I was quite surprised by the answer that came from my therapist who is also a Christian.

"Do you?" she asked.

And with that she introduced me to this book. It completely turned my thinking around and I went from, "I suppose one day I'll have to forgive him" to "I'm not letting him off the hook that easily."

If you are struggling with the concept of forgiveness for a spouse who has betrayed you terribly, you may want to read this book and ponder the concepts the author proposes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is it a choice?

From Advocate.com

OP-ED: Is It A Choice? A Scientist's View

When Tim Pawlenty said the science was "in dispute” about whether being gay is genetic, that sure came as surprise to molecular biologist Dean Hamer.



In a recent interview, Tim Pawlenty was asked “Is being gay a choice?” The presidential hopeful replied that “the science in that regard is in dispute.”
As a working molecular biologist, that was certainly a surprise to me.


In fact, the scientific community has long regarded sexual orientation – whether gay, straight, or somewhere in between – as a phenotype: an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For us, the role of genetics in sexual behavior is about as “disputable” as the role of evolution in biology. Come to think of it, pretty much the same folks are opposed to both ideas.


The empirical evidence for the role of genetics in sexual orientation has steadily mounted since I first entered the field in the early 1990s. Back then, the only quantitative data was derived from studies of unrepresentative and potentially biased samples of self-identified gay men and lesbian. But in the intervening 20 years, studies of twins – the mainstay of human population genetics – have been conducted on systematically ascertained populations in three different countries. These studies are notable because they have large sample sizes that are representative of the overall population, they’re conducted by independent university-based investigators using well-established statistical methods, and the results are published in the peer-reviewed literature.


Each of these studies has led to the same fundamental conclusion: genes play a major role in human sexual orientation. By contrast, shared environmental factors such as education, parenting style, or presumably even exposure to Lady Gaga, have little if anything to do with people's orientation. While there is a substantial amount of variation that cannot be ascribed to either heritable or shared environment, the differences might also be due to biological traits that are not inherited in a simple additive manner.


One criticism frequently leveled at my work was that sexual orientation couldn't possibly be inherited because “gays don't have kids.” As the gay father of a daughter with lesbian mothers, I always had to shake my head in disbelief – but now there is a solid scientific explanation for how genes that increase same-sex attraction might persist or even increase in the population. Careful family studies by two groups of investigators show that the same inherited factors that favor male homosexuality actually increase the fecundity of female maternal relatives, and that this effect is sufficient to balance out the decreased number of offspring for gay men and maintain the genes over the course of natural selection. This explanation may not be the only one, but it serves to show that the evolutionary paradox is not necessarily overwhelming.


Another criticism frequently brought up by politically motivated critics of the research is that there is still no single identified "gay gene." However, the same is true for height, skin color, handedness, frequency of heart disease and many other traits that have a large inherited component but no dominant gene. This doesn't mean that sexual orientation is a choice; it simply confirms that sexual orientation is complex, with many genes contributing to the phenotype.


In certain animal model systems, the precise genes involved in sexual partner choice have in fact been identified and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in detail. Humans may be more socially and culturally complex, but it is likely that some of these mechanisms are preserved, as they are for every other behavioral trait we know.


Given the accumulated evidence, why might Pawlenty assert that the scientific community is still debating the role of biology in sexual orientation? Probably because that's what the religious fundamentalist groups that vehemently oppose LGBT rights want people to think, and have spent considerable time, effort and money trying to promote.


There is good reason for their opposition to the scientific findings. Studies in college classrooms have shown that exposure of students to information about the causes of sexual orientation has a direct, positive influence on their opinions about LGBT civil rights. This fits with polling data showing that people who believe that gays are "born that way" are generally supportive of full equality, whereas more than two thirds of those who believe it is "a choice" are so opposed that they favor the re-criminalization of same-sex relations.


I would never want my life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness to be subject to a DNA test or any other sort of scientific analysis. Basic rights are just that – basic. But it is essential to acknowledge that lack of scientific knowledge can actually result in having our rights and freedoms taken away through the actions of misinformed voters, legislators and judges.


At least Pawlenty acknowledged that science has some role to play. I doubt that would be the case for his competitor Michele Bachman, who considers sexual orientation to be so malleable that people can “pray away the gay”. She's hopeless. With Pawlenty, it might just take some education – and plenty of Lady G, of course.

Dean Hamer is a molecular biologist who works on human genetics and HIV prevention and is the author of several scientific books including
The Science of Desire. When he's not in the lab, he is visiting small towns and rural communities with his husband Joe Wilson on the Out In The Silence campaign.

My argument has always been that if it was a choice, why would the son of an ultra-conservative religious right minister choose to be gay when he knew his family would disown him if they knew he was gay.  It's not a choice.

Lord help us all if one of these ignorant politicians ends up in the White House.

Monday, August 22, 2011

How Married Guys Get Caught



The following article is from: Bi MEN NETWORK. It's intended to help men keep from getting caught. But it's also great info for the wife who suspects her husband might be cheating. Read on, sisters, and take notes. I got a lot of info on my ex from many of the things he mentions here.




"HOW MARRIED GUYS GET CAUGHT!"


by Mark

I had occasion the other day to consider how easy it is for married bisexual guys, or even heterosexual for that matter, to be caught by their wives after a little foray into bed with someone else. I have always tried to make sure that I am very aware of actions or any other form of evidence that would indicate that I have been "sipping from another cup," but every now and then it is easy to slip, and ohhh so easy to get caught.

I have been with my wife since we were both 21, and we know each other so damn well that any aberration or deviation is instantly apparent. I make it hugely worse of course by being a dreadful creature of habit; it goes with my job, which is based on systems and procedures that follow a careful routine, so it is inbred that I am pretty damn consistent. My wife is a bloody smart lady, so not much gets by her. I never underestimate her, so I was really annoyed at myself for a slip-up that required a quick recovery.

In this particular instance, I had been on a business trip to London, and I was fortunate that it coincided with a married mate who was also there on business. We had an incredible blast - not just the great sex, but the ability to head out for drinks and dinner together; to sit in the bar of the hotel and enjoy each other's company; to wake up together after some major cum unloading, and shower together before having breakfast together. That was all fine--different country, no one knows you or cares anyway, secure private room--all fine along with a nightly call to the family, and I was reachable at the hotel if anything came up; so where did I slip up?

I was commando for 2 days running--no need for underwear while my buddy was with me, and I enjoy the feeling of my cock moving around while I am in my suit. It is not unknown for me to be commando in jeans on the weekend, but during a series of Board Meetings in London? Very difficult for my wife to give credibility to THAT scenario. So when I unpacked after returning from the trip, I stupidly returned the clean boxers to my underwear drawer, and threw an inadequate number into the laundry basket to equate to the number of days I had been away. She picked it up in a shot! I knew I hadn't been gone long enough to have had hotel laundry done, one escape excuse, so I had to say that I hadn't finished unpacking yet, and there was still some laundry in my case! I got away with it, but cursed myself for being so stupid.

Over the years of being a member of websites like the Bi Men Network, I have heard many shared experiences on how husbands have been caught by their wives. In some cases I have thought that the situations were dumb enough, that the guys needed to be caught to bring it out in the open. Other events have been tragic embarrassments, where too many people have been hurt needlessly. We all live in this situation of conflicting priorities, where it is easy in following your nature to leave a trail that others can see and be exposed.

For those of us not as technically savvy as others, computers are the greatest villain, and it was computer usage that brought me the closest I ever want to get to a marriage breakdown. Since that time, I have been meticulous about never using the home computer for any of this stuff. I know of guys who had "chat" on the homes computers, but hadn't changed the automatic settings. Children or wives then logged on only to have an IM from "bigcockinBoisieID" pop up with a raunchy profile photo that said it all. Web Site histories are impossible to explain when the site name is "Horny College footballers with massive cocks!"

Guys have equally been caught by having condoms or lube when they don't use them with their wives. Wives cleaning under beds have found flotsam discarded in the throes of passionate sex.

Messages on cell phones; worse yet automatic redial on cell or house phones that recalls a number that was best left to history.

Then there is always being in a mall with our wife when some flouncy, clearly gay guy bounces up to you and says "Hi!" I restrict myself to married guys, and have frequently encountered them in malls, so the hardest thing there is to explain is how you know each other.

I am sure that we all know examples of how guys have been caught, and I often think that we might help each other more on this site by sharing these anecdotes, along with how to overcome these situations. I know we all get off on discussing docking, and whether to swallow cum, and how to spot a bisexual guy at a block party, but some of the best advice we can give each other is how to cover your tracks.

FINIS

Mark
Our thanks to Mark once again!

STEWART (Mac) McCLOUD
Founder and President
Bi MEN NETWORK
http://www.bimen. org
Over 1/4 million bisexual, bi-curious and
gay adult men with us today worldwide!

More ESSAYS by MAC at: :www.bimen.org/wednesday.htm


Friday, August 19, 2011

MWM Seeks...

Several weeks ago, Bonnie Kaye talked about Craigslist on her weekly radio show, StraightWives.  It seems the website designed as a free place to advertise things for sale, post job listings and learn about local cultural activities has morphed into a huge operation for arranging sex of all varieties. 

Just take a gander at the photo to the left to see what you can find. 

Craigslist began in 1995 as a service for the San Francisco area; now it covers most of the world.


According to Wikipedia, "The site has been found to be particularly appealing to help connect lesbians and gay men with one another because of its free and open nature in addition to it being hard to find gay people in one's area for some.  In 2005, San Francisco Craigslist's men seeking men section was attributed to facilitating sexual encounters and was the second most common correlation to Syphilis infections."


Bonnie stated that several of the women she's dealt with have found their husbands on Craigslist, advertising for gay sex complete with photos of their man parts.  I know for a fact my ex and one of his married sex partners contemplated contacting someone who'd posted on Craigslist.  I don't know for sure if they did. 


I decided to conduct a little experiment and see what would happen if I posted a faux ad on the site.


"Looking for like-minded guys - 43 - My Location


MWM looking for other married men for NSA fun. Not interested in drugs. Safe only. DDF, HIV negative. Versatile. I enjoy oral too. If you like what you see, message me. I can host from time to time but am willing to spring for a motel for the right guy."*


It didn't take long for the offers to start coming in.


Within 48 hours I received  58 replies.  19 of them specifically stated they were married.  7 stated they were single.  2 said they were engaged but looking for a man on the side.  3 were divorced.  1 was in a same-sex relationship.  26 didn't state their marital or relationship status.  Out of the 26 who didn't state their status, I suspect 6 are married because of certain things they said such as "Can only host during the day" or "Can host after X o'clock" or "Can't host, must be discreet."  Those phrases led me to believe there's a wife in the picture who may or may not be at work during certain times or may not work at all.


Many of the responses included photos of man parts in various stages of undress and arousal.  Several included very clear face photos.


What I wouldn't give to be able to identify them and send the emails to their wives.  Yes, there's a certain mean streak in me that would like to see these cheaters punished for their adultery.  But more important, their wives need to know they are being put at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.




* Here's the translation of the gay lingo in the ad:  MWM = Married White Male; NSA = No Strings Attached ; DDF = Drug and Disease Free; Host = ability to have someone come to your place residence.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No, no, no!

From the Washington Post

Bert and Ernie should not get married

Absolutely not.

As fun as it would be to pick their colors and their cake and release a flock of pigeons, Bert and Ernie should not get married.

Fueled by the sea change in states across the nation legalizing same-sex marriage and boosted by this week’s census report that gay households are increasingly going on the record, there is a cheeky but earnest movement afoot urging the producers of “Sesame Street” to let the inseparable guy Muppets finally tie the knot.

It’s as obvious as a Scooby-Doo pot joke that these “roomies” — wink, wink — are really a gay couple, right?

And it stands to reason that the PBS program, which has been in the vanguard on social issues for 40 years, should step up and give children a positive example of a kind of couple that, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at UCLA, lives in 99 percent of the nation’s counties.

Sorry, but I’m not into hearing wedding bells for these two googly-eyed guys.

Just because Bert and Ernie live together, have a sweet bedtime cookie ritual and accept each other’s oddball, pigeon-oatmeal-bottle-caps-rubber-ducky quirks doesn’t mean they are a gay couple.

(Anyhow, then we’d be going back to the silly days of Lucy and Ricky in twin beds. Who wants that?)

Kids don’t need us to label that Muppet relationship.

What next? We diagnose Oscar the Grouch as bipolar, manic-depressive; explain Big Bird as a Muppet with Marfan syndrome; and tell kids that Grover’s mommy is never around because she’s the CEO of a major multinational corporation and always traveling?

The lessons of Bert and Ernie are about getting along, sharing, finding beauty in another’s flying dumpster rats and eating the mushy oatmeal because it’s good for you.

Think of them as the Muppet equivalent of Felix and Oscar, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy or Penn and Teller. Those partnerships, without marriage, were okay, too.

Sesame Street Workshop responded to the marriage campaign on its Facebook page Thursday, explaining that Bert and Ernie “remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.” I agree.

Besides, we shouldn’t rely on puppets to acknowledge our country’s historic progress on same-sex relationships.

And that brings us to a campaign I’d really like to see.

It is time for “Sesame Street” to add a same-sex human couple to the show.

These are flesh-and-blood, genuine and increasingly legal unions. It’s not something that should be represented by foam creatures.

That’s tempting for some of the folks who are fumbling for a cute storybook way of teaching kids about same-sex relationships. You can read about Tango the penguin or hope that Bert and Ernie have a lovely wedding, but a more powerful lesson is simply seeing Sylvia and Sandra at school pickup, PTA meetings and the park every day, doing what all parents do.

Preschoolers will get this.

And even if same-sex marriage isn’t supported by your religion or values, it’s time to stop pretending that these couples don’t exist. Six states — New York, Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont — and the District of Columbia issue licenses for same-sex unions. With the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the Pentagon will allow gays to serve openly in the military.

Attitudes toward gay people are being transformed at an almost dizzying rate. In 2006, a poll showed that 58 percent of Americans opposed same-sex unions and that 36 percent supported them. By early this year, a Washington Post-ABC Poll found a slim, 51 percent majority supported same-sex marriage.
Just this week, 2010 Census data showed sharp increases in the number of same-sex households in the Washington area, probably because more gay couples feel comfortable identifying themselves. There are 17,000 same-sex couples in Maryland and 20,500 in Virginia, according to the census.

Whether you live in Topeka or Takoma Park, Birmingham or Beltsville, you and your family probably live near gay male and lesbian couples. They are simply people, not political statements or something to be hidden or forgotten.

In a tasteful, sensitive and caring way, “Sesame Street” has taught generations of children about race, ethnicity, deafness, adoption, HIV/AIDS, death and military deployment.

“Sesame Street” has even been touted as a way to champion American democratic values in Afghanistan.

Introducing a same-sex human couple — without political fanfare, wedding bells, surprises or sweeping anthropological explanations — would do the same thing.

The relationship needs to be as unremarkable as Susan and Gordon’s race or Luis and Maria’s ethnicity.

As for Bert and Ernie, do we really want to see two of our favorite Muppets slip into the ennui of marriage? A life without pigeons and bubble baths and oatmeal? Absolutely not.

 

I'm all about equal rights for gays, but let's don't create issues where none exist.  Leave Sesame Street alone.  Fight your battle somewhere besides there.

Monday, August 15, 2011

And the hypocrisy continues

Email rendezvous entangles state Rep. Phillip Hinkle

Lawmaker calls encounter set up with young man on Craigslist a 'shakedown'

Emails shared with The Indianapolis Star suggest that state Rep. Phillip Hinkle -- responding to a local posting on Craigslist -- offered a young man $80 plus tip to spend time with him Saturday night at the JW Marriott hotel.

The emails, sent from Hinkle's publicly listed personal address, ask the young man for "a couple hours of your time tonight" and offer him cash up front, with a tip of up to $50 or $60 "for a really good time."

The email exchange is in response to the Craigslist posting in which the young man -- who lists his age as 20 in the ad but says he is 18 years old -- says, "I need a sugga daddy."

The young man told The Star that they met, but that he tried to leave after the man told him he was a state lawmaker. He said the lawmaker at first told him he could not leave, grabbed him in the rear, exposed himself to the young man and then later gave him an iPad, BlackBerry cellphone and $100 cash to keep quiet.

When contacted by The Star about the emails, Hinkle, a Republican who represents portions of Pike and Wayne townships, did not contest the emails but said, "I am aware of a shakedown taking place."

Asked what he meant by shakedown, Hinkle would not elaborate. He directed further questions to his attorney.

Hinkle's lawyer, defense attorney Peter Nugent, said he was unable to say what Hinkle meant by a "shakedown." Nugent said he is investigating the situation, but he does not know what happened Saturday. Nugent said he has not filed a police report and does not yet know whether he will.

Asked whether he had seen the emails and the Craigslist posting, Nugent said, "Oh, I've seen some emails, but not all of them." He would not be more specific.

"I'm trying to get to the bottom of everything involved," Nugent said.

Wednesday, Nugent faxed this "official statement":

"Representative Hinkle is aware of the inquiries by The Indianapolis Star and we are investigating the matter at this time. We request that everyone respect the privacy of the family at this time."

Hinkle, 64, who lists his occupation as coordinator for community partnerships for Wayne Township Schools on the Indiana House website, has been a state lawmaker since 2000. He is best known in the Statehouse for his interest in local government issues. On the website, he also notes he was a co-author of the bill that created the "In God We Trust" license plate.

The young man, Kameryn Gibson, told The Star he posted the Craigslist ad in the "Casual Encounters" section under m4m, which is shorthand for men for men. He used his adopted sister's email address.

Gibson said he and the man met but that they did not have sex. He and the sister, Megan Gibson, flatly denied any shakedown.

"I wasn't shaking him down, at all," Kameryn Gibson said.

Megan Gibson said she contacted The Star because she thought Hinkle's actions were "creepy" and, given his stature, that his actions should be made public.

Megan Gibson also provided the email exchange, which she forwarded to The Star. She also allowed a reporter to inspect the emails, which she had kept, on her smartphone. The phone contained not only the email exchange but a call log that showed phone calls from numbers that match both Hinkle's cellphone and home phone.

The Craigslist ad was posted at 7:37 a.m. Saturday. The ad shows two pictures of Kameryn Gibson, shirtless with pants pulled below the top of his underwear.

The ad's text features one written line: "Email me and I'll tell you everything you need to know!"

Forty-seven minutes later, he received a response from phinkle46 @comcast.net, with the email signature "Sent from Phil's iPad."

"Cannot be a long time sugar daddy," the email reads, "but can for tonight. Would you be interested in keeping me company for a while tonight?"

The email offers "to make it worth (your) while" in cash, and offers a personal description: "I am an in shape married professional, 5'8", fit 170 lbs, and love getting and staying naked."

Fifteen minutes later, Kameryn Gibson replied: "Yes I can!" He also sent along his phone number.

What followed was an email exchange between phinkle46 @comcast.net and Kameryn Gibson. One email from Hinkle's account asks "what will make you happy for giving me a couple hours of your time tonight?"

Gibson: "Wat (sic) can you give me?"

Phinkle46 @comcast.net: "How about $80 for services rendered and if real satisfied a healthy tip? That make it worth while?"

The two agreed on the price and discussed logistics. An email sent at 9:44 a.m., also with the signature "Sent from Phil's iPad" and sent from Hinkle's personal account, lays clear the parameters for the tip: "Final for the record, for a really good time, you could get another 50, 60 bucks. That sound good?"

Later, about 5 p.m., phinkle46 @comcast.net offered to pick up the young man at his Westside home and drive him to the JW Marriott hotel.

The final emails from phinkle46 @comcast.net come from a BlackBerry. One such email suggests: "If u want to consider spending night u might tell ur sis so she won't worry. Would have u back before 11 tomorrow. No extra cash just free breakfast and maybe late night snack."

Gibson responds only with his address. At 8:45 p.m., he receives one final email from phinkle46 @comcast.net: "I am here in parking lot between bldg 1 and 2. U here?"

The email exchange contains no mention of sex acts.

Brad Banks, supervisor of the D Felony Division at the Marion County prosecutor's office, explained -- without being provided details of the emails -- that prostitution in the state of Indiana is defined as an agreement between two parties to have sex in exchange for money and that the agreement must be about both sex and money.

Kameryn Gibson provided the following account of what happened after that final email from phinkle46 @comcast.net.

He said Hinkle picked him up in a white car -- his suit jacket was hanging in the backseat.

When they arrived at the hotel, Gibson said he was given the room key and told to go into the hotel. They couldn't go in together, Gibson was told. About 15 minutes later, Hinkle arrived in the room, changed into a towel and then during small talk informed Gibson he was a lawmaker.

Gibson said the man showed him an identification card.

The ID, Gibson said, gave a name: Phillip Hinkle.

"My eyes got big," Gibson told The Star. "I didn't really know what to say, so I didn't say anything. It was just a shock."

Gibson said he had posted on Craigslist before but had never met up with someone. Knowing he was in a bedroom with a politician, Gibson said, he got cold feet.

"Yeah, I don't want to do this," Gibson said he told Hinkle.

He said Hinkle's response was: "You need to do this, because I came and got you, and I'm not taking you back until we do what we need to do."

Gibson excused himself to the bathroom. There, he called his sister Megan. She said she would come get him immediately.

When Gibson came out, he said Hinkle told him he couldn't leave. Gibson called his sister again. This time, Megan told him to put her on speakerphone.

"I started cussing him," Megan told The Star. She also threatened to call the police and the local media.

"He said, 'I'll give you whatever,'" Megan said.

But when they hung up, Kameryn Gibson said Hinkle grabbed him by the right arm, just below the shoulder. Gibson said it was then that Hinkle grabbed him in the rear, dropped his towel and sat down on the bed -- naked.

When Megan Gibson arrived to pick up her brother, she again threatened to call police and the local media.

Kameryn and Megan Gibson said Hinkle then offered his iPad, a BlackBerry and $100 in cash.

Kameryn Gibson walked past his sister and out of the room as she continued to yell at Hinkle.

"She was still going off," Kameryn Gibson said, "and I was like, 'OK, I think that's enough, I think he gets it.' "

Megan Gibson said that on the drive back, she began receiving a series of calls on the BlackBerry, including one from a woman who said she was Hinkle's wife.

"I was like, 'Your husband is gay,' " Megan said. "And then she was like, 'You have the wrong person.' "

Megan read her the email address: phinkle46 @comcast.net.

The line went silent.

"Just for a couple seconds," Megan Gibson said, "and the first thing she said was, 'Please don't call the police.' "

Phone messages left with Hinkle's wife late Thursday were not returned.

Megan Gibson said she then began receiving a series of calls from various family members -- including from Hinkle's son-in-law, demanding that his wife see proof of the emails.

Megan Gibson dropped off her brother then returned to the JW Marriott, where she showed Hinkle's daughter the emails.

Megan Gibson said on her way back, she received another call from Hinkle's wife.

"The first thing she said, she was like, 'OK, we will give you $10,000 not to say anything,' " said Megan Gibson, who said she was now becoming scared. "I was like, 'OK,' and I hung up the phone."

She soon got another call -- from the Marriott hotel. It was Hinkle. Megan Gibson told Hinkle that she had informed his wife and family that he was gay.

Megan Gibson said Hinkle's response was: "You just ruined me."
No, Phillip.  You ruined yourself.  And to make matters worse,  you voted to deny marriage rights to gay people while you were off in the shadows engaging in gay sex.

I feel sorry as hell for your wife.  I  think we all know where YOU will spend eternity.



Monday, August 1, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alphabet Soup

DADT, DOMA, GLBT and other acronyms

Articles about gays and lesbians are filled with an alphabet soup of acronyms.

DADT = Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the military's current policy on gays serving in the armed forces.

DOMA = Defense of Marriage Act, a ridiculous piece of legislation and a total waste of taxpayer dollars, which legally defines marriage at the federal level as being between one man and one woman.

GLBT = Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered.  You know my stance on bisexuality.  You know what gay and lesbian means.  Transgendered is someone who does not identify with the gender assigned at birth.  They are not necessarily gay or lesbian.  I know.  It's confusing.

I saw an interesting quote from Rick Warren, pastor of the humongous Saddleback Church in California.  It's the eighth largest church on the United States and weekly attendance averages 20,000.  Yes, you read that right -- twenty thousand.

For the life of me I cannot imagine how a church can effectively pastor to that many people.  But that's not the point I want to make. 

Churches like Saddleback, the late Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church and whatever church Ted Haggard is leading now (Haggard was the head of the National Association of Evangelicals until a male escort outed him.  Haggard underwent therapy from other ministers who declared him heterosexual, but in February of this year, Haggard professed to being bisexual.  And you know how I feel about that.  It's his way of avoiding the truth.) love to preach hellfire and damnation against gays and lesbians.

Last week I blogged about what the Bible says and doesn't say about homosexuality.  So my unrepentant soul always has a celebratory "GOTCHA" moment when a Haggard is exposed as a hypocrite or the son of another well-known evangelist is arrested for performing a lewd sex act in front of undercover police.

Okay, I know God doesn't approve of that.  But I don't think He approves of hyprocrisy either.

So when I read the following quote from Rick Warren, I just had to laugh.

Never follow a leader who always preaches against the sins of others but never publicly confesses his own.  See Lk 6:41-42 * ~Rick Warren

Ya think, Rick?


*  41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unintentional Anti-Gay Support

From Change.org

Pressure is increasing on Apple to remove their online store from the “Christian Values Network” (CVN), after several other corporations have removed their stores this week. More than 3,500 people have signed Western Washington University student Ben Crowther’s Change.org petition to Apple. CVN is used as a fundraising tool by several anti-gay, anti-women organizations like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.

Late Thursday, the Wells Fargo and Delta Airlines online stores were removed from CVN. Prior to removing their store, Wells Fargo was offering up to $300 to the religious charity of the shopper’s choice, money that could be donated to “Focus on the Family” or the Family Research Council. Delta offered $3.00 per ticket.

Jessica Beavers, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo told Change.org. “Occasionally team members may act on their own to place ads on various sites that do not meet Wells Fargo’s brand and marketing standards.”
“We requested the removal of this ad because it was not compliant with Wells Fargo’s brand and marketing standers,” Beavers said.

When asked if this was a reaction to Wells Fargo’s brand being used to raise money for the anti-gay “Focus on the Family” and the Southern Poverty Law Center identified “known hate group”, the Family Research Council, Jessica Beavers reiterated, “We have really strong and tight marketing standards. We have compliance standards in place and any time we see those violated we ask the site to remove our brand.”
Beavers continued, “Wells Fargo has very clear policies in place to support our LGBT team members and the LGBT community. In 2011, Wells Fargo was ranked number 2 in Diversity Inc’s list of top 10 companies for LGBT employees.”

She also mentioned Wells Fargo’s 100% HRC Corporate Equality Index score. Which she said Wells Fargo was, “very proud of.”

Delta Airlines was contacted by Change.org for comment about their store’s removal from CVN. A spokesperson said he would have to do some research. When asked if he was aware of the Family Research Council’s classification as a “known hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, he said,“Oh yes, I know about that.” He also said he would try to send Change.org a statement about Delta’s removal from CVN. However, Delta did not respond by the time this was published.

On Wednesday, BBC pulled the BBC America Shop from CVN.

“BBC America Shop was not aware of CVN.org's current donation policies,” April Mulcair, BBC’s VP of Publicity, told UK Gay News in a statement. “We have ended our relationship with this affiliate effective immediately."

On July 7, Microsoft pulled their online store from the Christian Values Network after a Change.org petition started by Seattle resident and Microsoft customer Stuart Wilber highlighted several anti-gay groups raising money through the Christian Values Network.

Last weekend, CVN beneficiary Focus on the Family came under fire after TOMS shoes expressed “regret” in a statement sent to to Change.org for a Focus on the Family speaking engagement by founder Blake Mycoskie after learning about Focus on the Family’s anti-gay and anti-women views. Ms. Magazine had started a petition on Change.org asking TOMS to cut ties with the group.

“Had I known the full extent of Focus on the Family's beliefs, I would not have accepted the invitation to speak at their event,” Mycoskie said. “It was an oversight on my part and the company's part and one we regret.”

The Focus on the Family website contains anti-gay and anti-transgender content. They describe being gay as “a particularly evil lie of Satan.“ They also attack transgender people.

“I wonder if Apple is even aware they are being used to raise money for these homophobic groups,” said Ben Crowther, the Apple customer who started the petition on Change.org. “It is so out of character for Apple to be associated with groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. I hope Apple acts quickly to remove their store from the Christian Values Network.”

While Focus on the Family has yet to respond to Microsoft, Delta, and Wells Fargo’s decisions to drop their stores from Christian Values Network, Focus on the Family responded to TOMS Shoes’ statement by defending their position against marriage equality.

“This is an unfortunate statement about the culture we live in, when an organization like ours is deemed unfit to help children in need simply because we hold to biblical beliefs about marriage and family," said Focus President Jim Daly.

However, Focus on the Family doesn’t just oppose the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians. Focus on the Family lobbied against several pieces of Federal legislation that would add protections for gays and lesbians under the law. They lobbied to repeal the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a bill designed to protect people from violent hate crimes based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Focus on the Family also lobbied to stop the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in an effort to prevent gay and lesbian service members from being open about their sexual orientation in the military. They also supported several bills that would make access to health care more difficult for women.

Dozens of major companies like Netflix, Target, Best Buy, USA Today, Walgreens, REI, and even Sesame Street participate in CVN’s service. When customers make purchases through CVN, a donation is made to the religious charity of the customer’s choice. For example, USA Today will donate $5.25 per subscription, and 2.5% of the purchase price for products bought through Apple iTunes store can be donated to groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.

The Family Research Council, formerly a part of Focus on the Family, has been identified as a known “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Peter Sprigg, a chief researcher for the Family Research Council, advocated for the deportation and imprisonment of gays and lesbians, according to the SPLC.

Celebrities Stephen Baldwin and Michael Lohan helped launch the Christian Values Network, an online service that raises money for various religious groups from the purchase of goods and services. More than 700 companies are listed at www.cvn.org, the Christian Value Network’s domain hosting links to various corporate online stores.

Both Baldwin and Lohan are outspoken about their anti-gay views. Stephen Baldwin told the Guardian in 2010 that he supports so called “ex-gay” therapy, a harmful practice that falsely claims to “cure” people of their sexual orientation. Michael Lohan told reporters in 2008 he would not walk his daughter, Lindsay Lohan, down the aisle if she chose to marry her same-sex partner.

“I don’t think she’d ask me to walk her down the aisle,” says Michael. “She knows about my (Christian) faith …  she just wouldn’t ask.”

Former Governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is a Christian Values Network advisor and spokesperson who has posted videos on YouTube supporting the company. In the past, Huckabee has equated being gay with bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia.
Christian values?  Since when has hate been a Christian value?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Breaking News!

From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday formally signed off on ending the ban on gays serving openly in the military, doing away with a policy that's been controversial from the day it was enacted and making good on his 2008 campaign promise to the gay community.

The president joined Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, the joint chiefs of staff chairman, in signing a notice and sending it to Congress certifying that military readiness would not be hurt by repealing the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

That means that 60 days from now the ban will be lifted.

"As commander in chief, I have always been confident that our dedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policy in an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness," Obama said in a statement.

"Today's action follows extensive training of our military personnel and certification by Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mullen that our military is ready for repeal. As of September 20th, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country."

Friday's move was expected under the repeal law Congress passed in December. Before "don't ask, don't tell," the military did not allow gays to serve. But in 1993 Clinton said gays would be discharged only if their sexual orientation became known.

Repeal has drawn strong opposition from some in Congress, and there was initial reluctance from military leaders who worried it could cause a backlash and erode troop cohesion on the battlefield.

But two weeks ago, the chiefs of the military services told Panetta that ending the ban would not affect military readiness.

Advocacy groups that fought for the change called the decision Friday long-overdue, while opponents said it's a political payoff to left-leaning gay and lesbian activists.

"The president's certification of repeal is a monumental step, not just for those forced to lie in order to serve, but for all Americans who believe in fairness and equality," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

Elaine Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness, which has lobbied against repeal, said it will "undermine morale and readiness in the all-volunteer force."

The Pentagon is expected to spend the next 60 days preparing the troops for the change, and ironing out legal and technical details, including how it will affect housing, military transfers and other health and social benefits.

In most cases, the guidelines require that gays and lesbians be treated like any other member of the military.There will be differences, however. Same sex partners will not get the same housing and other benefits as married couples. Instead, they are more likely to be treated like unmarried couples.

Once the repeal is final, service members can no longer be discharged for openly acknowledging they are gay. That's the key change. And those who have been discharged previously based solely on the gay ban may apply to re-enter the force.

Service members may also designate their same-sex partners as beneficiaries for insurance and other benefits — something they may have avoided earlier for fear it would cause their dismissal.

One of the thornier issues is gay marriage.

An initial move by the Navy earlier this year to train chaplains about same-sex civil unions in states where they are legal was shelved after more than five dozen Congress members objected.

The training, lawmakers told Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, violated the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act by appearing to recognize and support same-sex marriages.

All I can say is, "It's about time!" Now if we can get same-sex marriage okayed in all fifty states and repeal that idiotic Defense of Marriage Act, we'll be headed in the right direction. Nothing will ever stop homophobia but if there are laws in place to allow gays to marry and live an openly gay life, maybe they'll be less likely to marry straight women and ruin their lives.

I've got the power!



When I discovered my husband was gay, I wasn't sure what I was going to do.  Divorce was a foreign word to me.  I'd married for life and had spent the majority of my marriage as a stay-at-home wife and mother.

In an email to a former pastor, where I asked if he would meet with me for some counseling, I actually wrote that I felt divorce would reward my husband and punish me.  He'd be free to continue pursuing other men and I'd be shoved alone into the world with no way to support myself short of learning to say, "Welcome to Walmart."

The former pastor was unable to meet with me because I'd tracked him down in the middle of an out-of-state move.  But he referred me to a wonderful counselor who has been with me through the whole ordeal.  She's given me lots of good pointers and helped me work through many issues.

But one pointer I didn't get from her was this:  When you have to go to court or deal with your husband/ex-husband, wear power underwear to give yourself a psychological advantage.

I can't remember where I read this -- most likely somewhere on the Internet.  But I went to the mall, found an animal-print camisole and panties.  I didn't visit that fancy specialty lingerie store because I couldn't afford THAT much money for undies.  I found it at one of the department stores.

At my first court date, I wore a pair of black dress pants and a black-and-white sweater.  And under that sweater, leeching all its power straight into me, were the camisole (paired with a black bra) and panties.

I was woman!  Hear me roar!

On the outside I was dressed to suit even the most conservative judge.

But underneath?  WOWZA!  And it was all my little secret.

So my advice to you, ladies, is to buy yourself some sort of underwear that's out of your ordinary.  Something you'd normally not wear but that makes you feel special and powerful.  It might be red lace.  It might be animal print like mine.  It could be emerald green or hot pink.  Just make sure it gives you a psychological boost.

And then wear those undies -- your power underwear -- when you need a little extra something in your life.

P.S.  Would you believe that when I went to Google images and searched for "power underwear" most of the hits were for men's undergarments?  Mostly thongs, many see-through, and some with strategically placed holes?  I'm sorry, but I didn't find them in the least bit sexy.  But I'll bet I know who would.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

And the Bible doesn't tell me so

Because I am a person of faith, I'm often faced with a prevailing public opinion that all homosexuals are condemned to eternal hell.  Given my belief that homosexuality is not a choice, my religions beliefs and my scientific beliefs were at odds.  How could God condemn that which He had made?

A wonderful Christian friend, who happens to be gay, clued me into a book called Stranger at the Gate by Mel White.  You can read more about White here.   His background, including working as a ghost writer for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, is quite interesting. 

Stranger at the Gate along with information from the Soulforce website helped me reconcile my belief that homosexuality is not a choice with my belief in a kind and loving God.

The material below is taken directly from the Soulforce website.  I simply cannot paraphrase it and get it right. 



What the Bible Says - And Doesn't Say - About Homosexuality

by Rev. Mel White, co-founder of Soulforce


This email series can be accessed here.

LIKE YOU, I TAKE THE BIBLE SERIOUSLY!

Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. These folks value Scripture, and are serious about seeking its guidance in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what the Bible does and doesn't say about homosexuality.


We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians take the Bible seriously, too. Personally, I've spent more than 50 years reading, studying, memorizing, preaching, and teaching from the sacred texts. I earned my master's and doctoral degrees at a conservative biblical seminary to better equip myself to "rightly divide the word of truth." I learned Hebrew and Greek to gain a better understanding of the original words of the biblical texts. I studied the lives and times of the biblical authors to help me know what they were saying in their day so I could better apply it to my own.


rightly dividing the word of truth, II Timothy 2:15
I'm convinced the Bible has a powerful message for gay and lesbian Christians -- as well as straight Christians. But it's not the message of condemnation we so often hear.


I'm not expecting you to take my word for it, though. I ask only that you'd consider what my research has taught me about the passages used by some people to condemn God's gay and lesbian children. Then decide for yourself...

MY FIRST PREMISE:

Most people have not carefully and prayerfully researched the biblical texts often used to condemn God's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.


As you may know, biblical ignorance is an epidemic in the United States. A recent study quoted by Dr. Peter Gomes in The Good Book found that 38 percent of Americans polled were certain the Old Testament was written a few years after Jesus' death. Ten percent believed Joan of Arc was Noah's wife. Many even thought the epistles were the wives of the apostles.


This same kind of biblical ignorance is all too present around the topic of homosexuality. Often people who love and trust God's Word have never given careful and prayerful attention to what the Bible does or doesn't say about homosexuality.


For example, many Christians don't know that:
  • Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior.
  • The Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality.
  • Only six or seven of the Bible's one million verses refer to same-sex behavior in any way -- and none of these verses refer to homosexual orientation as it's understood today.
Most people who are certain they know what the Bible says about homosexuality don't know where the verses that reference same-sex behavior can be found. They haven't read them, let alone studied them carefully. They don't know the original meaning of the words in Hebrew or Greek. And they haven't tried to understand the historical context in which those words were written. Yet the assumption that the Bible condemns homosexuality is passed down from generation to generation with very little personal study or research. The consequences of this misinformation are disastrous, not only for God's gay and lesbian children, but for the entire church.


Test all things and hold fast to that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
The apostle Paul says, "Test all things and hold fast to that which is good." By reading this little pamphlet, you are taking Paul seriously.

MY SECOND PREMISE:

Historically, people's misinterpretation of the Bible has left a trail of suffering, bloodshed, and death.


Never Fear - The Klan is here


Over the centuries people who misunderstood or misinterpreted the Bible have done terrible things. The Bible has been misused to defend bloody crusades and tragic inquisitions; to support slavery, apartheid, and segregation; to persecute Jews and other non-Christian people of faith; to support Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust; to oppose medical science; to condemn interracial marriage; to execute women as witches; and to support the Ku Klux Klan. Shakespeare said it this way: "Even the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."


We'd like to believe that no person of good will would misuse the Bible to support his or her prejudice. But time and time again it has happened with tragic results.


In the 16th century, John Selden pointed at two Latin words carved into a marble wall in an ancient church in Rome: "Scrutamini Scripturas," which means search the Scriptures. "These two words," Seldon said, "have undone the world."


In one way, John Selden was right. Misusing the Bible has drenched the planet in blood and tears.
But in another way, he was wrong. Most people who misuse the Bible DON'T search the Scriptures. They simply find a text that seems to support their prejudice and then spend the rest of their lives quoting (or misquoting) that text.


The way certain Bible verses are used to condemn homosexuality and homosexuals is a perfect example of this.


On September 22, 2000, a 55-year-old man named Ronald E. Gay, angry for being teased about his last name, entered the Back Street Café in Roanoke, Virginia, a gathering place for lesbians and gays just a few miles from Lynchburg. Confident that God's Word supported his tragic plan of action, Mr. Gay shouted, "I am a Christian soldier, working for my Lord." Claiming that "Jesus does not want these people in his heaven," he shot seven innocent gay and lesbian people. One man, Danny Overstreet, died instantly. Others still suffer from their physical and psychological wounds.


Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder
Matson and Mowder


In July 1999, Matthew Williams and his brother, Tyler, murdered a gay couple, Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder, in their home near Sacramento, California. Speaking to his mother from the Shasta County jail, Matthew explained his actions in this way: "I had to obey God's law rather than man's law," he said. "I didn't want to do this. I felt I was supposed to. I have followed a higher law... I just plan to defend myself from the Scriptures."


After Matthew Shepard was killed in 1998, a pastor in North Carolina published an open letter regarding the trial of Aaron McKinney that read: "Gays are under the death penalty. His blood is guilty before God (Lev. 20:13). If a person kills a gay, the gay's blood is upon the gay and not upon the hands of the person doing the killing. The acts of gays are so abominable to God. His Word is there and we can't change it."


Most of the people I know who say "the Bible condemns homosexuality" would never condone these acts. Most Christians have no idea that the people killing gay and lesbian persons go around quoting those few verses of Scripture as justification.


But it's important to hear these stories, because I'm not writing this little pamphlet as a scholarly exercise. It's a matter of life and death. I'm pleading for the lives of my lesbian sisters and gay brothers who are rejected by their friends and families, fired by their employers, denied their civil rights, refused full membership in their churches, and kill themselves or are killed by others -- all on the basis of these six or seven verses.


Even when we believe the Scriptures are without error, it is a risk to think our understanding is without error.

MY THIRD PREMISE:

We must be open to new truth from Scripture.


Even heroes of the Christian faith have changed their minds about the meaning of various biblical texts.
It took a blinding light and a voice from heaven to help the apostle Paul change his mind about certain Hebrew texts. A sheet lowered from the sky filled with all kinds of animals helped the apostle Peter gain new insights into Jewish law.


Jerry Falwell believed the Bible supported segregation in the church until a black shoeshine man asked him, "When will someone like me be allowed to become a member of your congregation?" Through those simple words, the Holy Spirit spoke new truth about the ancient biblical texts to the Rev. Falwell, and in obedience he ended segregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church.


Even when we believe the Scriptures are "infallible" or "without error," it's terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error. We are human. We are fallible. And we can misunderstand and misinterpret these ancient words -- with tragic results.


Almost 1,000 people believed Jim Jones was a faithful interpreter of God's Word. They died with him in the jungles of Guyana. I studied Jones and leaders of other cults while writing the book and documentary film, Deceived. I found that the only people who were able to break free of the dangerous influence of such Bible-quoting cultic gurus were the ones who took the Bible seriously enough to study the texts themselves and make their own decisions about their meaning. The others "leave their bones in the desert."


What if someone asked you, "Is there a chance you could be wrong about the way you've interpreted the biblical texts sometimes used to condemn homosexual orientation?" How would you respond? What does it say about you if you answer, "No, I could NOT be wrong"? I am asking you to re-examine these texts -- carefully and prayerfully. Lives hang in the balance.


Anna
Anna


There are far too many tragic stories of what happens when we fail to study these texts. Mark B. was a young man who accepted his sexual orientation "until he became a Christian" and was told on the basis of these texts that he couldn't be both a Christian and a gay man. Mark committed suicide and wrote this suicide note to God: "I just don't know how else to fix this." Mary Lou Wallner, one of our most faithful Soulforce volunteers, was led by these texts to condemn her lesbian daughter, Anna, who hanged herself. Mary Lou now says, "If I can steer just one person away from the pain and anguish I've been living, then maybe Anna's death will have meaning."


If heroes of the Christian faith could change their minds about the meaning of certain biblical texts, shouldn't we be prepared to reconsider our own interpretations of these ancient words when the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to new truth? That's why we study the Bible prayerfully, seeking the Spirit of Truth, God's loving Spirit, to help us understand and apply these words to our lives.


On the night he was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples he was going away from them for a while, but that the Father would send them a "Comforter," an "Advocate," the "Holy Spirit" who would "teach them all things."
I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is still teaching us. When we reconsider the texts that are used by some people to condemn God's gay children, we must fervently seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, or we risk being misled by our own prejudices.

MY FOURTH PREMISE:

The Bible is a book about God -- not a book about human sexuality.


The Bible is the story of God's love for the world and the people of the world. It tells the history of God's love at work rescuing, renewing, and empowering humankind. It was never intended to be a book about human sexuality. Certainly, you will agree.


In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.
  • DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
    If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.
  • DEUTERONOMY 22:22
    If a married person has sex with someone else's husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.
  • MARK 10:1-12
    Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.
  • LEVITICUS 18:19
    The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman's period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.
  • MARK 12:18-27
    If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.
  • DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
    If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy's genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.
I'm certain you don't agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn't. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king's having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one's parents nude.


Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God's law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.


Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times. During the last three decades, for example, organizations representing 1.5 million U.S. health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have stated definitively that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of yet unknown pre- and post-natal influences, and that it is dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual that he or she could or should attempt to change his or her sexual orientation. (See Recommended Resources, p. 23-24.)


Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus there is no need for a cure. The American Psychological Association
While there are some people now living in heterosexual marriages who once perceived themselves to be gay, there are millions of gay and lesbian persons who have accepted their sexual orientation as a gift from God and live productive and deeply spiritual lives. The evidence from science and from the personal experience of gay and lesbian Christians demands that we at least consider whether the passages cited to condemn homosexual behavior should be reconsidered, just as other Bible verses that speak of certain sexual practices are no longer understood as God's law for us in this day.

MY FIFTH PREMISE:

We miss what these passages say about God when we spend so much time debating what they say about sex.


If the Bible is the story of God's love for the world and not a handbook about sex, then that should shape how we read the Scriptures. So as we take a look at the six biblical texts that are used by some people to condemn homosexuality, let's ask two questions about each of them:


First, what does the text say about God that we need to hear but might be missing?


Second, what might the text be saying about homosexuality?


PASSAGE 1
GENESIS 2:21-25
THE CREATION STORY

Let's start "In the Beginning..." What does the creation story in Genesis 1-2 say about God?
I'm so tired of reading signs carried by protesters that say: "It's about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." In fact, the creation story is as important to Adam and Steve as it is Adam and Eve. Gays and non-gays alike need to know and celebrate the truth at the center of this story.


This creation story is primarily about God, a story written to show the power of God who created the world and everything in it. It teaches us that ultimately God is our Creator, that God shaped us, and that God said, "It's good." Isn't this the heart of the text?


Now what does the creation story say about homosexuality? Because the text says it is "natural" that a man and a woman come together to create a new life, some people think this means gay or lesbian couples are "unnatural." They read this interpretation into the text, even though the text is silent about all kinds of relationships that don't lead to having children:
  • couples who are unable to have children
  • couples who are too old to have children
  • people who are single
  • couples who choose not to have children
Are these relationships (or lack of relationships) "unnatural"? There's nothing said here that condemns or approves the love that people of the same sex have for each other, including the love I have for my partner, Gary.


So I believe the creation story says a lot about God's power and presence in the universe -- but nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today.


PASSAGE 2
GENESIS 19:1-14
THE STORY OF SODOM

Now let's consider the second biblical text used by some people to condemn God's gay children. You remember the ancient story of Sodom. First, what does the story of Sodom in Genesis 19 say about God?
When Gary and I arrive at a college or university to speak, there are often protesters carrying signs that read, "Mel White, Sodomite." (Has a nice ring to it.) Actually, I'm not from Sodom. That city was buried beneath the Dead Sea centuries ago. I'm from California -- but perhaps that just confirms their suspicions!


Once again, this story is not primarily about sex. It is primarily about God. Some people say the city of Sodom was destroyed because it was overrun by sexually obsessed homosexuals. In fact, the city of Sodom had been doomed to destruction long before. So what is this passage really about?


Jesus and five Old Testament prophets all speak of the sins that led to the destruction of Sodom -- and not one of them mentions homosexuality. Even Billy Graham doesn't mention homosexuality when he preaches on Sodom.


Listen to what Ezekiel 16:48-49 tell us: "This is the sin of Sodom; she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy. They were arrogant and this was abominable in God's eyes."


Today, heterosexuals and homosexuals alike do well to remember that we break God's heart when we spend all we earn on ourselves, when we forget the poor and hungry, when we refuse to do justice or show mercy, when we leave strangers at the gate.


I admit, there are a lot of gay folk who are Sodomites (and a lot of straight folk as well). Sodomites are rich and don't share what they have with the poor. Sodomites have plenty and want more. While millions are hungry, homeless, and sick, Sodomites rush to build bigger homes, buy bigger cars, and own more property -- putting their trust in safer stock portfolios and more secure retirement accounts.


Whatever teaching about sexuality you might get out of this passage, be sure to hear this central, primary truth about God as well. God has called us do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our Creator. Sodom was destroyed because its people didn't take God seriously about caring for the poor, the hungry, the homeless, or the outcast.


But what does the story of Sodom say about homosexual orientation as we understand it today? Nothing.
It was common for soldiers, thieves, and bullies to rape a fallen enemy, asserting their victory by dehumanizing and demeaning the vanquished. This act of raping an enemy is about power and revenge, not about homosexuality or homosexual orientation. And it is still happening.


Louima
Louima


In August 1997, Abner Louima, a young black immigrant from Haiti, was assaulted by several police officers after he was arrested in Brooklyn. Officer Charles Schwarz held Louima down in a restroom at the precinct, while Officer Justin Volpe rammed a broken stick into Louima's rectum. These two men and the three other officers involved in this incident and its cover-up were not gay. This was not a homosexual act. It was about power.


The sexual act that occurs in the story of Sodom is a gang rape -- and homosexuals oppose gang rape as much as anyone. That's why I believe the story of Sodom says a lot about God's will for each of us, but nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today.


PASSAGE 3
LEVITICUS 18:22 AND 20:13
THE HOLINESS CODE

Let's move on. What do the two verses sometimes cited from Leviticus say about God?


Leviticus 18:6 reads: "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination." A similar verse occurs two chapters later, in Leviticus 20:13: "A man who sleeps with another man is an abomination and should be executed." On the surface, these words could leave you feeling rather uneasy, especially if you are gay. But just below the surface is the deeper truth about God -- and it has nothing to do with sex.


Leviticus is a holiness code written 3,000 years ago. This code includes many of the outdated sexual laws we mentioned earlier, and a lot more. It also includes prohibitions against round haircuts, tattoos, working on the Sabbath, wearing garments of mixed fabrics, eating pork or shellfish, getting your fortune told, and even playing with the skin of a pig. (There goes football!)


So what's a holiness code? It's a list of behaviors that people of faith find offensive in a certain place and time. In this case, the code was written for priests only, and its primary intent was to set the priests of Israel over and against priests of other cultures.


At the age of 10, I signed a holiness code written by the Women's Christian Temperance Union that said I would never taste beer, wine, or liquor. I thought signing it would please God and my grandmother. That's a holiness code. When I was in high school we evangelical Christians had an unwritten holiness code that went like this: "I don't drink, smoke, or chew, or go with girls who do." Now I know what you're thinking. That last part about "girls who do" proved especially easy for me. But the point is that I obeyed this evangelical holiness code because my parents said that breaking these rules didn't please God, and I knew it didn't please them.


We had another evangelical holiness code while I was in high school that prohibited dancing. I was student body president, yet I refused to go to the prom because I had promised not to dance. I did this to please God and my mother -- whose mother had made her sign a holiness code that she wouldn't go to dances either.


What about this word abomination that comes up in both passages? In Hebrew, "abominations" (TO'EBAH) are behaviors that people in a certain time and place consider tasteless or offensive. To the Jews an abomination was not a law, not something evil like rape or murder forbidden by the Ten Commandments. It was a common behavior by non-Jews that Jews thought was displeasing to God.
Jesus and Paul both said the holiness code in Leviticus does not pertain to Christian believers. Nevertheless, there are still people who pull the two verses about men sleeping together from this ancient holiness code to say that the Bible seems to condemn homosexuality.


But wait, before we go any further, let's ask: What does this text say about God? Even if the old holiness codes no longer apply to us as Christians, it's important to remember that in every age, people of faith are responsible for setting moral and ethical standards that honor God. But we people of faith must be very careful not to allow our own prejudices to determine what those standards should be.


Instead of selecting one item from an ancient Jewish holiness code and using it to condemn sexual or gender minorities, let's talk together about setting sexual standards that please God -- standards appropriate for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, standards based on loving concern, health, and wholeness for ourselves and for others.


Now what do the Leviticus passages say about homosexuality?


I'm convinced those passages say nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today. Here's why.


Consider this single Bible passage that was used for centuries to condemn masturbation:
"He spilled his seed on the ground... And the thing which Onan did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also" (Genesis 38:9-10).


For Jewish writers of Scripture, a man sleeping with another man was an abomination. But it was also an abomination (and one worthy of death) to masturbate or even to interrupt coitus (to halt sex with your spouse before ejaculation as an act of birth control). Why were these sexual practices considered abominations by Scripture writers in these ancient times?


Because the Hebrew pre-scientific understanding was that the male semen contained the whole of life. With no knowledge of eggs and ovulation, it was assumed that the man's sperm contained the whole child and that the woman provided only the incubating space. Therefore, the spilling of semen without possibility of having a child was considered murder.


The Jews were a small tribe struggling to populate a country. They were outnumbered by their enemy. You can see why these ancient people felt it was an abomination to risk "wasting" even a single child. But the passage says nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today.


The Apostle Paul


We've talked about the passages in the Hebrew Scriptures that are used (or misused) by some people to condemn sexual minorities. Now let's look at three verses from the letters of the apostle Paul in the Christian Scriptures that are used the same way. Remember: First, we'll ask what the text says about God; second, we'll consider what it may or may not say about sexual orientation.


PASSAGE 4
ROMANS 1:26-27
NATURAL AND UNNATURAL

What does Romans 1:26-27 say about God?


For our discussion, this is the most controversial biblical passage of them all. In Romans 1:26-27 the apostle Paul describes non-Jewish women who exchange "natural use for unnatural" and non-Jewish men who "leave the natural use of women, working shame with each other."


This verse appears to be clear: Paul sees women having sex with women and men having sex with men, and he condemns that practice. But let's go back 2,000 years and try to understand why.


Paul is writing this letter to Rome after his missionary tour of the Mediterranean. On his journey Paul had seen great temples built to honor Aphrodite, Diana, and other fertility gods and goddesses of sex and passion instead of the one true God the apostle honors. Apparently, these priests and priestesses engaged in some odd sexual behaviors -- including castrating themselves, carrying on drunken sexual orgies, and even having sex with young temple prostitutes (male and female) -- all to honor the gods of sex and pleasure.


The Bible is clear that sexuality is a gift from God. Our Creator celebrates our passion. But the Bible is also clear that when passion gets control of our lives, we're in deep trouble.


When we live for pleasure, when we forget that we are God's children and that God has great dreams for our lives, we may end up serving the false gods of sex and passion, just as they did in Paul's time. In our obsession with pleasure, we may even walk away from the God who created us -- and in the process we may cause God to abandon all the great dreams God has for our lives.


Did these priests and priestesses get into these behaviors because they were lesbian or gay? I don't think so.


Did God abandon them because they were practicing homosexuals? No. Read the text again.


In our Soulforce video, There's a Wideness in God's Mercy, the Rev. Dr. Louis B. Smedes, a distinguished Christian author and ethicist, describes exactly how the Bible says these promiscuous priests and priestesses got into this mess. Once again it has nothing to do with homosexuality:
SMEDES: "The people Paul had in mind refused to acknowledge and worship God, and for this reason were abandoned by God. And being abandoned by God, they sank into sexual depravity."
SMEDES: "The homosexuals I know have not rejected God at all; they love God and they thank God for his grace and his gifts. How, then, could they have been abandoned to homosexuality as a punishment for refusing to acknowledge God?"
SMEDES: "Nor have the homosexuals that I know given up heterosexual passions for homosexual lusts. They have been homosexual from the moment of their earliest sexual stirrings. They did not change from one orientation to another; they just discovered that they were homosexual. It would be unnatural for most homosexuals to have heterosexual sex."
SMEDES: "And the homosexual people I know do not lust after each other any more than heterosexual people do... their love for one another is likely to be just as spiritual and personal as any heterosexual love can be."
Thank you, Dr. Smedes. (To get a copy of the video featuring Dr. Smedes, There's a Wideness in God's Mercy, visit http://www.soulforce.org/.)


Getting to know a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person of faith will help you realize that it is unreasonable (and unjust) to compare our love for each other to the rituals of the priests and priestesses who pranced around the statues of Aphrodite and Diana. Once again, I feel certain this passage says a lot about God, but nothing about homosexuality as we understand it.


You'll also note that Romans 2 begins with "Therefore, [referring to Romans 1], you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself..." Even after he describes the disturbing practices he has seen, Paul warns us that judging others is God's business, not ours.


PASSAGES 5 AND 6
1 CORINTHIANS 6:9 AND 1 TIMOTHY 1:10
THE MYSTERY OF "MALOKOIS" AND "ARSENOKOITAI"

Now what do the writings of Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 say, first, about God, and then about homosexuality? These are the last two places in the Bible that seem to refer to same-sex behavior. We can combine them because they are so similar.


Moses holding the ten commandments


Paul is exasperated. The Christians in Ephesus and Corinth are fighting among themselves. (Sound familiar?) In Corinth they're even suing one another in secular courts. Paul shouts across the distance, "You are breaking God's heart by the way you are treating one another."


Like any good writer, Paul anticipates their first question: "Well, how are we supposed to treat one another?" Paul answers, "You know very well how to treat one another from the Jewish law written on tablets of stone."


The Jewish law was created by God to help regulate human behavior. To remind the churches in Corinth and Ephesus how God wants us to treat one another, Paul recites examples from the Jewish law first. Don't kill one another. Don't sleep with a person who is married to someone else. Don't lie or cheat or steal. The list goes on to include admonitions against fornication, idolatry, whoremongering, perjury, drunkenness, revelry, and extortion. He also includes "malokois" and "arsenokoitai."


Here's where the confusion begins. What's a malokois? What's an arsenokoitai? Actually, those two Greek words have confused scholars to this very day. We'll say more about them later, when we ask what the texts say about sex. But first let's see what the texts say about God.


After quoting from the Jewish law, Paul reminds the Christians in Corinth that they are under a new law: the law of Jesus, a law of love that requires us to do more than just avoid murder, adultery, lying, cheating, and stealing. Paul tells them what God wants is not strict adherence to a list of laws, but a pure heart, a good conscience, and a faith that isn't phony.


That's the lesson we all need to learn from these texts. God doesn't want us squabbling over who is "in" and who is "out." God wants us to love one another. It's God's task to judge us. It is NOT our task to judge one another.


So what do these two texts say about homosexuality? Are gays and lesbians on that list of sinners in the Jewish law that Paul quotes to make an entirely different point?


Greek scholars say that in first century the Greek word malaokois probably meant "effeminate call boys." The New Revised Standard Version says "male prostitutes."


As for arsenokoitai, Greek scholars don't know exactly what it means -- and the fact that we don't know is a big part of this tragic debate. Some scholars believe Paul was coining a name to refer to the customers of "the effeminate call boys." We might call them "dirty old men." Others translate the word as "sodomites," but never explain what that means.


In 1958, for the first time in history, a person translating that mysterious Greek word into English decided it meant homosexuals, even though there is, in fact, no such word in Greek or Hebrew. But that translator made the decision for all of us that placed the word homosexual in the English-language Bible for the very first time.


In the past, people used Paul's writings to support slavery, segregation, and apartheid. People still use Paul's writings to oppress women and limit their role in the home, in church, and in society.


Now we have to ask ourselves, "Is it happening again?" Is a word in Greek that has no clear definition being used to reflect society's prejudice and condemn God's gay children?


We all need to look more closely at that mysterious Greek word arsenokoitai in its original context. I find most convincing the argument from history that Paul is condemning the married men who hired hairless young boys (malakois) for sexual pleasure just as they hired smooth-skinned young girls for that purpose.


Responsible homosexuals would join Paul in condemning anyone who uses children for sex, just as we would join anyone else in condemning the threatened gang rape in Sodom or the behavior of the sex-crazed priests and priestesses in Rome. So, once again, I am convinced that this passage says a lot about God, but nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today.

MY SIXTH PREMISE:

The biblical authors are silent about homosexual orientation as we know it today. They neither approve it nor condemn it.


We've looked closely at the six biblical texts used by some people to condemn homosexuality. But we must also remember that Jesus, the Jewish prophets, and even Paul never even comment on the responsible love a gay man or lesbian feels for another.


The Bible is completely silent on the issue of homosexual orientation. And no wonder. Homosexual orientation wasn't even known until the 19th century.


The discovery that some of us are created and/or shaped in our earliest infancy toward same-gender attraction was made in the last 150 years. Biblical authors knew nothing about sexual orientation. Old Testament authors and Paul assumed all people were created heterosexual, just as they believed the earth was flat, that there were heavens above and hell below, and that the sun moved up and down.


Ulrichs
Ulrichs


In 1864, almost 3,000 years after Moses and at least 18 centuries after the apostle Paul, the German social scientist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was the first to declare that homosexuals were a distinct class of individuals. It was a big moment for all sexual minorities. It's our Columbus discovering the New World. It's our Madame Curie discovering radium used for Xrays. It's our Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. It may seem like one small step for the rest of you, but it's a giant leap for us.


Ulrichs assured the world of what we who are homosexual already know in our hearts. We aren't just heterosexuals choosing to perform same-sex behaviors. We are a whole class of people whose drive to same-sex intimacy is at the very core of our being from the very beginning of our lives.


Although the word homosexual was not used for the first time until later in the 19th century, Ulrichs recognized that homosexuals had been around from the beginning of recorded time, that we were "innately different from heterosexuals," and that our desire for same-sex intimacy and affiliation is intrinsic, natural, inborn and/or shaped in earliest infancy. According to Dr. Ulrichs, what may have looked "unnatural" to Moses and Paul was in fact "natural" to homosexuals.


So this is my sixth premise. The Biblical authors knew nothing of homosexual orientation as we understand it, and therefore said nothing to condemn or approve it.


The authors of the Bible are authorities in matters of faith. They can be trusted when they talk about God. But they should not be considered the final authorities on sexual orientation any more than they are the final authorities on space travel, gravity, or the Internet.


Since the writers of Scripture are not the final authorities on human sexuality, since they didn't even know about sexual orientation as we understand it today, since Jesus and the Jewish prophets were silent about any kind of same-sex behavior, I am persuaded that the Bible has nothing in it to approve or condemn homosexual orientation as we understand it.

MY SEVENTH PREMISE:

Although the prophets, Jesus, and other biblical authors say nothing about homosexual orientation as we understand it today, they are clear about one thing: As we search for truth, we are to "love one another."


We may not be able to use the Bible as our final authority on sexual orientation. But as we search for the truth, we can and should use the Bible as our final authority on how we should treat one another along the way.


A young Jewish scholar asked Jesus, "What is the greatest commandment?" Quoting the prophets, Jesus replied, "The great commandment is this... to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second command is like it, to love your neighbor as you love yourself."


"This is my commandment," Jesus said, "that you love one another, as I have loved you." On this the Bible is explicitly clear. Even if we disagree about what the Bible seems to say about homosexuality, we can agree that above all else we are commanded by the Scriptures to love God and to love one another.


Since God is the God of truth, since Jesus himself told us that the truth would set us free, one way that we love God and love one another is by seeking the truth about sexual orientation wherever we can find it.
There is a growing body of evidence from science, psychology, history, psychiatry, medicine, and personal experience that leads to a clear verdict: Homosexuality is neither a sickness nor a sin. Unfortunately, the church has always been slow, if not the last institution on earth, to accept new truth.


In 1632 the scientist Galileo (who was a man of faith) dared to support the radical 15th-century idea of Copernicus that all planets, including the earth, revolve around the sun. Immediately, Galileo was proclaimed a heretic by the Pope who quoted Scriptures in his attempt to disprove what science was proving.
Earlier, Protestant heroes had joined in quoting Scriptures condemning Copernicus. These weren't evil men. But they couldn't admit that the Bible was a book about God, not about astronomy -- just as good men and women today have trouble admitting that the Bible is a book about God, not about human sexuality.


Martin Luther said, "This fool Copernicus wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture in Joshua 10:13 tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth."


Calvin
Calvin
Melancthon
Melancthon


John Calvin quoted Psalm 93 in his attack on Copernicus. "The earth also is established. It cannot be moved." Calvin added, "Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?"
Melancthon, one of Luther's closest allies, used Ecclesiastes 1:4-5 to condemn Copernicus. "The sun also rises, and the sun goes down and hurries to the place from which it came." Then he added these dangerous words: "It is the part of a good mind to accept the truth as revealed by God and to obey it." In other words, believe what the Bible says -- even if science disproves it.


Because Christians refused to let their understanding of God's Word be informed by science, Copernicus was condemned and Galileo was declared a heretic and placed under house arrest for the remainder of his life. In 1992, 359 years later, Pope John Paul II finally admitted the church had been wrong to ignore science and to interpret the Bible literally.


The Pope said something we must never forget: "Recent historical studies enable us to state that this sad misunderstanding now belongs to the past." Unfortunately, the apology came too late to relieve Galileo of his suffering. What if the biblical scholars of Galileo's day had said to Galileo, "We don't agree with your Copernican theories, but we love and trust you. As long as you love God and seek God's will in your life, you are welcome here."


Imagine the suffering that could be avoided if the church could say this to their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children: "We don't understand your views about sexual orientation, but we love and trust you. As long as you love God and seek God's will in your life, you are welcome here."


Instead, well-intentioned Christians are driving their own children away from the church, using Scripture passages that may not even pertain to sexual orientation as we understand it.

MY EIGHTH PREMISE:

Whatever some people believe the Bible says about homosexuality, they must not use that belief to deny homosexuals their basic civil rights. To discriminate against sexual or gender minorities is unjust and un-American.


Please consider one last thing. I love the Bible. I read God's Word in it and hear God's Word through it. But the United States is not a nation governed by the Bible. Our nation is governed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our laws were created to protect an individual's right to disagree. If the Bible (or someone's view of the Bible) replaces the Constitution as the law of the land, we undermine the great foundation upon which this country was built.


When I was a guest on a talk show in Seattle, I saw what might happen to me and to millions like me if a genuine literalist gained political power over this country. The other guest on the show was an independent Presbyterian pastor. When I told him that I was gay, he said without hesitation, "Then you should be killed." A Christian brother sentenced me to death, guided only by his literal understanding of Leviticus 20:13.


I asked him, "Who should do the killing, you church folk?" He answered, "No, that's the civil authorities' job. That's why we need to elect more good men of God into government." I sat there in stunned silence, until he added, "I know it must be hard for you to hear it, Dr. White -- but God said it first and it's our job to obey."
I hope we can agree that all of us must stand together against those who would replace the Constitution with biblical law. That's why, when I lecture on a university campus, I carry a Bible in one pocket and a Constitution in the other.


Can we support full civil rights for all... even if we disagree?


In this last premise, I'm asking you who disagree with my stand on homosexuality to support my stand on full civil rights for all people, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Jefferson
Jefferson


I hope you'll agree that we are family, all sisters and brothers of the same heavenly parent. We may be different, but we can still live together in peace.


Thanks for reading this pamphlet. I'm grateful. If you are interested in learning more, I've listed a few resources on the next few pages. You can also find resources online at our Web page, www.soulforce.org.