Thursday, February 7, 2008

Equality in Cuba?

Just read an article in which Cuba's Culture Minister Abel Prieto said that he supports gay marriage. Long potrayed as the "devil at the door" of the United States for their position on human rights & freedoms, not to mention a Communist government, it seems Cuba may be considering granting gays and lesbians a fundamental right that the gay community in America still cannot claim in 49 of the 50 states. For a high-ranking member of Castro's governement to take this position publically in a country where freedom of expression is a luxury is nothing short of astounding. Should Minister Prieto's endorsement become law, it will be to our shame that the GLBT community in Cuba enjoys more equality in terms of basic rights than they enjoy in the homeland of the "champions of freedom and democracy".

Source at

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Suffer the Children

Conservative voters in yet another state, Arkansas, have decided to push for an amendment to ensure that more foster children will remain wards of the state, as they seek to bar same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex couples from becoming foster or adoptive parents. "What we are doing is, we are protecting the welfare of children,” Jerry Cox, president of the Family Council Action Committee, said at a news conference at the state Capitol. Arkansas’s Child Welfare Agency Review Board had established a policy in 1999 that banned gay people from serving as foster parents, and the Arkansas Supreme Court struck it down after a seven-year legal battle between the state and the ACLU. In its unanimous ruling, the court said testimony in the state's appeal demonstrated that "the driving force behind adoption of the regulations was not to promote the health, safety and welfare of foster children but rather based upon the board's views of morality and its bias against homosexuals."* Not surprisingly, it was this very same group of narrow-minded bigots that was largely responsible for the amendment banning gay marriage in Arkansas.

Perhaps Mr. Cox can explain to the children desperately wanting a loving family and a stable home life why he is willing to sacrifice their future happiness only to further his own dogma of hate. I’m sure they would be eager to ignore all the research and studies that have proven same-sex couples to be just as loving, caring and capable of providing excellent childcare, simply to further Mr. Cox’s own ambitions for power. I’m sure the foster children would be happy growing up in state care as long as homosexuals can be forced to remain second-class citizens in a supposedly classless society, where all people are supposedly equal in the eyes of the law. It is nice to think Cox has all this time and energy to devote to his pursuit of the Nazi ideal of a pure society, free of undesirables, but is it possible his resources could be put to better use in other ways?

Maybe more time spent finding a solution to the ridiculous heterosexual divorce rate would be a good place to start. Once he has solved that problem, the perhaps his organization would be willing to adopt all the foster children in the state so they might be raised in a loving “god-fearing” home. If not that, then perhaps those conservative churches would be willing to forego their tax-exempt status in order to offset the burden of the taxpayers who have to shoulder the financial responsibility of educating and providing medical care to these children. Maybe they should also keep in mind that these children are the result of heterosexual sex, not from same-sex unions. Or maybe, in a fit of honesty, the FCAC will own up to their blatant hypocrisy and admit they could care less about the welfare of the children, but rather it is their own prejudices they value so dearly.

*Excerpt from article from

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hypocrisy and the GOP

Wiktionary, a web-based dictionary, defines hypocrisy as “The claim, pretense, or false representation of holding beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not actually possess.” The current Republican administration, both national and local, has claimed on more than one occasion that it is the champion of morality and the savior of traditional family values. Under the guise of decency, it has endeavored to impose its own peculiar brand of “righteousness” upon the people they were elected to serve, while at the same time many Republicans were embracing the very evil from which they sought to protect the people. Some committed acts that by their own party’s definition were immoral, while others were guilty of trying to hide those actions from public scrutiny.

Mark Foley, a gay Republican U.S. Representative to Congress and former co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, resigned in September due to allegations that he sent inappropriate e-mails and text messages to a 16 year old page. Other former pages have since come forward with stories of their own and Foley is currently under investigation by the FBI. But just like an onion, there are several layers to this and there is plenty of blame to go around. As far back as 2000, other Republican leaders were made aware of Foley’s conduct, yet made no efforts to investigate to determine neither the validity nor the depths of the accusations. Some right-wing religious fanatics lauded this as “typical behavior of gay men”, yet ironically, Foley says he was molested by a clergyman when he was between the ages of 13 and 15.

Another case in point is that of former Spokane, WA mayor Jim West. A proponent of several anti-gay legislation bills, West admitted in May 2005 that ** “he offered gifts, favors and a City Hall internship during Internet chats with a man he believed was 18.” As a closeted gay legislator, West **“supported a bill that would have barred gays and lesbians from working for schools, day care centers and some state agencies; voted to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman; and, as Senate majority leader, allowed a bill that would ban discrimination against gays and lesbians to die in committee without a hearing.” Such self-loathing is typical in the Republican Party as most GOP members believe that being gay is immoral and something of which to be ashamed. Acts of pedophilia have not been limited to gay GOP members as Bryan Doyle has proven. Doyle, a Department of Homeland Security official, was arrested in April 2006 and charged with 23 felony counts including using a computer to seduce a child and transmitting pornographic materials from his home in Silver Spring, MD to detectives in Polk County, FL whom Doyle believed to be a 14 year old girl. **(

While sexual misconduct is not exclusive to the Republican Party, the GOP does claim to be the example of the moral “high road” and this is quite evident by their courting of the so-called “religious right” and many of the platforms in the GOP agenda reflect the views and beliefs of mainstream Christian fundamentalists. Those claims of morality are built upon shaky grounds as many religious sects, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, have skeletons of their own they have tried to keep buried. Again, ironically, it is these very same sects that proclaim homosexuality a threat to family values and the institution of marriage while at the same time attempting to cover up their own inability to live by the rules they would force upon others.

Sir Walter Scott once said “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”, and deception comes in many forms. Foley, West and Doyle must certain shoulder the responsibility for the actions in which they engaged, but they are not alone. There were those who knew the truth yet turned a blind eye to their transgressions under the guise of protecting the Republican Party’s image as the “champions of morality”, seeming unaware that the cover-ups themselves are seen as immoral by most Americans. Perhaps it would now be fitting to refer to the GOP as the Grand Old Pretense.

Cassandra's Corner - My Mission

Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing”. The sole purpose of Cassandra's Corner is to speak up where there is silence. I seek to educate not only our community, but those outside it as well. To show what mainstream media will not. That we are, in our diversity, more like themselves than we are not. I seek to inform our community on various topics that affect their lives and we have seen a common ground that exists between all people. The desire to live our lives in peace and security, the desire to provide a good education for our children free from the threats of violence, the desire to stand among you as equals, not only in the eyes of the law, but in the spirit of humanity as fellow human beings.

I speak up because the root of prejudice and intolerance is fear; a fear of the unknown, a fear of those that are perceived to be different, a fear of change. I hope that I will help you to get to know the GLBT community a little better so we are not the “unknown” but rather your sons and daughters, your bosses and co-workers, your neighbors and perhaps even your friends. We are different, but our differences are minor. We are all unique individuals and it is this very diversity that gives us our strength. Through our differences, we learn a little more about ourselves and what it means to be human. These differences are something to be treasured, not feared, as a country’s commitment to freedom is defined by its tolerance for diversity and its openness to new ideas.

Change may be frightening, but when all people are not equal in the eyes of the law, it is necessary. While our elected representatives should be mindful of the needs of the majority that elected them to office, they should also remember that their duty is to all the people and sometimes that means protecting the minority from the will and prejudices of the majority. When the will of the majority seeks to oppress certain segments of society, then people of good conscience must question the morality of the majority. Many of the most shameful moments in our country’s history have been the results of the majority imposing their will to create a second-class status that was used to imprison, enslave, dehumanize and even annihilate whole groups of people, based merely on their differences in skin color, religion, sex and sexual orientation. While I focused mainly on the GLBT community and their struggle for equality, I also keep in mind that this is not merely an issue of gay rights, but rather an issue of human rights and as long as any segment of the population bears the status of second-class citizen, our work remains unfinished.

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” While there are a few organizations committed to fighting for our equality and working to educate, there are many more individuals who remain silent, who remain passive and refuse to take responsibility for securing their own rights and freedoms. Perhaps many believe that their one small voice cannot possibly make a difference, or that one person cannot change the views of a society, and so they choose to suffer in silence. We wanted to show you that many small voices can become one enormous voice that will not go unheard. When we sit back and say nothing, when we do nothing to prevent injustice and inequality, then we tell those who would rob us of our right to equality, “I will submit”. Our greatest threat comes not from those that would suppress our rights, but from those who would sit idly by and allow this to happen. If our rights are taken from us by force, we can take them back. If we give them up voluntarily and without a struggle, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

I hope my blog not only entertains and informs my audience, but that it will also encourage and motive the many small voices to join in the chorus and tell the world the we will no longer be second-class citizens. We will make a difference and change is coming. This change can be embraced in the spirit of humanity and tolerance, or it can become another shameful chapter in our country’s history. Stand up and let your voice be heard. In the words of the renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.

Mom and Apple Pie

“When fascism comes to America , it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

Wikipedia™, one of the most used internet reference tools, defines Fascism, in part, as “…the term often used to describe individuals or political groups who are perceived to behave in an authoritarian or totalitarian manner; by silencing opposition, judging personal behavior, promoting racism, or otherwise attempting to concentrate power and create hate towards the "enemies of the state". By such a definition, our country slipped many steps closer to becoming a Fascist police-state when the Bush administration assumed power in the year 2000 CE (Christian Era). In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Bush played upon the fears and insecurities of the people by promoting an agenda of increasing security in our country in addition to redirecting our country’s path back towards the “moral” (religious conservative) high road. As a result of Bush administration policies, and to an extent Republican Party policy as well we, as Americans, have had our basic constitutional rights violated on many occasions, all in the name of “saving Democracy and the traditional American family”.

Having our rights violated is nothing new to many segments of society. The GLBT community has endured its status as Second-Class Citizens for decades. Not content with merely violating our civil rights, we have now become a convenient scapegoat for the woes of heterosexual marriage and a threat to the very foundation of traditional American family values, despite numerous research studies and an ever-growing volume of data proving otherwise. Misinformation, along with propaganda, are useful tools in rallying the fanatical and the bigoted to the point they are willing to incorporate their narrow-minded prejudices into the very fabric of legality by amending their state constitutions to deny us the rights we never had in the first place, except recently in Massachusetts and overseas in other more socially-enlightened countries such as Britain and Spain where their elected officials have taken steps to safeguard the rights of their GLBT communities. This is nothing more than an obvious attempt to misdirect the attention of the American people away from the real issues and the problems we are facing as a nation.

The real issues that are threatening to undermine the American way of life are the loss of freedoms we have endured in the pursuit of the religious conservative agenda. The Bush administration has directly violated our Bill of Rights on at least two occasions, both of which consisted of violations of search and seizure laws concerning the rights of privacy of individuals. This is a serious breach that concerns all Americans, not just the GLBT community. By portraying the GLBT community as an “enemy of the state”, encouraging us to fight amongst ourselves over racial, sexual and other differences, the Bush administration has effectively shifted the focus from being an issue about civil rights, to the question of morality concerning GLBT rights by judging our personal behavior through the filter of their religious fanaticism. The issue of protecting the American family from the GLBT community is so dire that many ignore the fact we are sending our military personnel overseas to kill and die for oil, while fuel prices skyrocket and oil companies are earning record profits, again, under the guise of promoting Democracy.

When we head to the polls this year, we should ask ourselves, “Is this the legacy I want my children and future generations to inherit?” Will our bequest to them be a less tolerant, more violent and bigoted society, where humanity is reduced to a few simple labels and life is traded for oil and other commodities, or will we shake off some of the remaining vestiges of a brutal, primitive society and truly become a civilized species worthy of the title. Will we sacrifice our basic rights as human being in the name of intolerance? If we allow things to come to this, then one day the heterosexual community will wake up and realize you cannot condone the oppression of any segment of society without condoning it all, and in the end, it may come back to bite them in the ass. I just hope someone is around to say to them, “You didn’t complain when they took civil rights away from the fags, why are you complaining now?”

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Family Values

Once again a supposed champion of “morality” and “family values”, Harris County Texas District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, has shown his true colors “following the discovery of e-mails containing sexually explicit videos, racist jokes and what is described as torrid love notes to his executive secretary.*” It is this very same hypocrite who defended sodomy laws for the state of Texas in Lawrence v Texas in 2002 and “argued before the US Supreme Court that the Texas law against sodomy was upholding the moral values of the state and was in place to protect families.*” Fortunately the majority of the Justices decided that the government had no place in the bedrooms of Americans.

I guess in Chuckie’s world, porking your secretary behind your wife’s back helps promote family stability and allows for a much deep commitment than simple monogamy would offer. If more husbands cheated on their wives, then perhaps the heterosexual divorce rate would not be around fifty percent. I think it’s high time the gay community took a lesson from Chuck if we ever want full equality in the form of marriage, so if you are gay and in a monogamous relationship, please consider cheating on your spouse so we can uphold the same gleaming standards that Rosenthal relied upon when he stood before the Supreme Court.

*excerpts from article from

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New MySpace Page

Just set up a MySpace page. It is still a work in progress, but I added a fun poll to take while you wait. Updates coming soon.