Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Barkley speaks

I had heard about former NBA player John Amaechi coming out. But I hadn't heard about NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley's reaction to the news:
I played with gay guys. I got gay friends. Only God can judge other people. I don’t care if a person is gay or not. Any jock who thinks he’s never played with a gay guy is sadly mistaken. Any team you’ve been on at some point in your life you have played with a gay guy.

Barkley, who has political aspirations and talks of running for governor of Alabama, has also said,
I think if they want to get married, God bless them. Gay marriage is probably one percent of the population, so it’s not like it’s going to be an epidemic.

Read the rest of the article here at the Independent Gay Forum website. But probably my favorite quote of Barkley's is this:
I was a Republican until they lost their minds.

[P.S.: Thanks to everyone who expressed concern about my son's surgery. Everything has turned out fine.]

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Getting organized

I've labeled my posts and added a sidebar index to help you guys navigate around the blog a little better. Someone wrote to me recently and said that he read every single post starting from the beginning. That inspired me to try to get more organized around here.

I probably won't be posting this coming week, as my one-year-old will be undergoing foot surgery on Monday. But once I catch up on lost sleep from the post-surgery care, I should be back in the saddle by the following week.

Monday, May 07, 2007

She gets it

Not all ex-wives who used to be married to gay men are as humorous and generous as this woman.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hate crimes laws

I see that Gary Bauer has been rallying the usual forces to oppose the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HR 1592), which establishes "sexual orientation" as a specially protected status. The bill passed the House today with bi-partisan support according to a Log Cabin Republican News Release. Interestingly, twenty-five Republicans voted in its favor.

The fear among conservative Christians is that hate crimes laws will lead to hate speech laws, and pastors will no longer be able to preach from the Bible against homosexuality. I'm not entirely unsympathetic. I have some concerns about what might happen to free speech down the road. Furthermore, I'm not completely comfortable with the idea of prosecuting people on the basis of conjectures about their possible motives. You just can't know the human heart.

That said, it is a pretty horrendous testimony to the outside world for Christians to be rallying for the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the protection of such laws.

Listen. It is bad enough that conservative Christians give gay people the impression that we hate them. Although as a Christian you may insist that you really do "love the sinner," the fact remains that we collectively give off the vibe, the feeling, the impression of hatred. That is not a good testimony.

Furthermore, this feeling of being hated and excluded by the religious community (which many gays will tell you is not merely a feeling, but a fact based on personal experience) is a big reason why the gay community is seeking inclusion in the aforementioned Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Now the most logical and, uh, Christian response to such a situation would be for conservative churches to rally together in an effort to assure gays that we really do condemn violence against them. We could reiterate our clumsily-expressed love for them, and as usual proclaim our utter shock and amazement that they would interpret our religious rhetoric as being an expression of hatred towards them.

But instead what do we do? We respond by opposing the inclusion of gays and lesbians from laws that would give them a much-needed sense of physical protection whenever they walk the streets, hold hands, or give a goodbye hug in public. Remember, this is protection they are seeking largely because of hostility they sense from us. You may say that this fear is completely unfounded. But by opposing their inclusion in this protection, conservative Christians send the implicit message that we are in favor of physical assaults on gay people, and are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure they have as little legal recourse as possible.

Now if you are a Christian, are you still going to tell me that gay people are just paranoid, prejudiced and deluded when they claim the conservative church hates them? There are words and there are actions. Both speak. Which of the two do you think the gay community hears most loudly?