Texas Liberal

All People Matter

North Carolina Bans Gay Marriage—Why Would A Public That So Often Has So Little Self-Respect Have Much Care For The Rights Of Others?

Voters in North Carolina have made gay marriage in that state illegal by approving an amendment to the state constitution that will ban such marriages.

This was a cruel act by North Carolina voters. Life is brutally short and people should be allowed to live in marriage with the person they most value.

If I had it within my power, I would annul the marriages and break apart the families of the people who voted for this amendment. I would ask them how they like it to be denied the relationships they hope for with the people they love.

Then, after a time, the folks who opposed the amendment could vote on if those marriages and families should be restored.  That seems fair.

Why is such basic thing as the right to get married is up for a public vote in the first place?

Where was the “get the government out of my life” crowd on this issue?

Gay marriage is going to be the law of the land sooner or later in this nation.

However, until that time it seems that the rights of gay people will be up for approval by a public that in so many cases is unable to maintain steady relationships and unable to treat children well.

It is no surprise that a public that is so often incapable of self-respect, and so often incapable of respect for the people they say they most value, would have when given the choice little respect for the basic humanity of others.

May 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

Harris County Republican Party To Hold Convention At Grace Community Church

The Harris County Republican Party will be holding its 2012 convention at one outlet of the Grace Community Church chain.

From the Harris County Republican Party

“… we will be having our County/SD Convention on Saturday, April 21st at Grace Community Church, 14505 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX 77034. Please mark your calendars for this date! We will update the website as further details are finalized.”

I imagine that Grace Community Church is a tax-exempt outfit.

Yet the Harris County Republican Party convention will be held at Grace.

The Pastor of Grace is Steven Riggle.

Here is some recent news about Mr. Riggle from the Houston Chronicle—

“Taking advantage of his mega-church pulpit on Sunday morning, Pastor Steve Riggle of Houston’s Grace Community Church advanced his crusade against Mayor Annise Parker’s public support for same-sex marriage by urging Houston’s lesbian mayor to either stand up for traditional marriage “or do the honorable thing and step down.”…Speaking at the congregation’s 10 a.m. service, Riggle promised some 3,000 worshippers “the shortest sermon that has ever been preached in this congregation.” After reading 25 Bible versions of the Genesis account of marriage as a man “leaving his father and mother and being joined to his wife,” Riggle spent the next 50 minutes reading a letter he wrote to Parker last week, summarizing her response and then reading a new letter he has written to the mayor…At the morning service, Riggle also objected to the description of Parker’s partner as “the First Lady of Houston.”

(Top Texas political blogger Perry Dorrell has more on this at Brains & Eggs.)

The issue is not if Mr. Riggle hates gay people. I have no idea what Mr. Riggle feels in his heart. I have no idea how Mr. Riggle sees any issue other than his stated views on gay marriage. The issue is that Mr. Riggle supports policies that would deny free Americans the basic right to get married.

Why is the Harris County Republican Party comfortable holding any event at Grace Community Church? How is the prohibition of gay marriage consistent with keeping government out of people’s lives?

Well…If you are in league with statewide Texas Republicans who enacted in our legislature what some see as state-sponsored rape in the form of the Texas forced sonogram law, and that is going after cancer screenings offered by Planned Parenthood in a state with the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation, I would wager that Mr. Riggle’s opposition to gay marriage is small beans in the context of public policy that violates women and leads to people’s death.

(Here is information on the services provided by Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast. You can also make a donation at this site.)

March 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

House Decorated For Valentine’s Day In Galveston,Texas—Gay Marriage Makes Valentine’s Day 2012 Even Better

Here is a home decorated for Valentine’s Day that I saw a few hours ago in Galveston,Texas.

I thought this was friendly.

Here is a history of Valentine’s Day.

With more and more states allowing gay marriage, Valentine’s Day 2012 will be extra happy for folks able to live as they wish in a tough world.

January 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Rick Perry On Gay Marriage—Perry Not Man Enough To Stick To His Guns On His Core Issue Of States’ Rights

Here is what Texas Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry said a few weeks back about New York State deciding to permit gay marriage—

“That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me,” 

However, after being pressed on the issue by his far-right evangelical allies, here is what Governor Perry said on the same topic a few days later

“I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it’s fine with me,’ and that it’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed…”

Here is how Governor Perry addressed gay marriage on p. 13 of his book Fed Up!-

” If you don’t support the death penalty and citizens packing a pistol, don’t come to Texas. If you don’t like medicinal marijuana and gay marriage, don’t move to California.”  

Yet at the same time, Governor Perry is on the record  supporting a Constitutional  amendment “.. that defines marriage between one man and one woman…”

What happened to Governor Perry’s view that the states should decide about gay marriage?

Rick Perry can’t stick to his guns on his alleged core issue of states’ rights even in the very first days of his presidential campaign. He buckles under pressure from the extremist far-right.

Given the number of views and flip-flops we’ve seen on just this one question, how many other times in the months ahead will we witness Governor Perry changing his mind and ditching his beliefs when it serves his political ambitions?

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gay Marriage Advance Part Of The Spirit of ’76

The Gay Marriage victory in New York must be seen as a progression from the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

But even more to the point, gay marriage is part of the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness pledged on July 4, 1776.

(Above—John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence. Painted in 1817.)

The Tea Party is smart enough to link their cause to our founding.

Let’s do the same with our better cause.

The advancement of the gay marriage across our great land is part of the progress of American liberty.

Whenever freedom prevails over intolerance, that is a victory for the Spirit of July 4, 1776.

(Below– Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delware. Painted in 1850.) 

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Post Full Of Distractions—Giving The People What They Want

Here is a post full of distractions. In America we like distractions to take us away from the fact that we are a second-world nation in decline.

It is easier to be distracted than to take part in politics and in public affairs.

I want to give the people what they want.

The text in the post is for people who want a distraction from the distractions.

Above is a running donkey. Sometimes you run and run in life, and yet it feels that you have not made much progress.

It might also be said that the donkey symbolizes the Democratic Party.

We vote for Democrats year after year, and yet we do not appear to be moving ahead.

At the same time, our Republican Party has gone far-right crazy.

Like in Egypt and in Wisconsin, everyday people will have to do the hard work of freedom.

Below is the spinning Earth. We are all sisters and brothers on the spinning Earth.

Don’t be fooled by folks who tell you immigrants are trouble or Muslims are bad.

That kind of talk is just a distraction.

Below is a house being built.

You don’t see that much anymore.

Next is a pink heart and gay pride symbol indicating my support for gay marriage.

We should let people be with the people they want to be with in this brief life.

Gay marriage harms nobody.

Here we have a boat and a bridge. Regular readers of this blog will know I like water and boats.

We can stay the course even when there is an obstacle ahead.

Below is Franklin D. Roosevelt. F.D.R was a great President who helped bring us Social Security.

Your belief in so-called limited government will be of cold comfort when you are old and broke.

You are crazy if you think the private sector will help you get by when you are old.

Finally, we have a tree with one remaining falling leaf.

Life ends with death. But then there is renewal.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Iceland Elects Openly Gay Prime Minister

File:Johanna sigurdardottir official portrait trim.jpg

Iceland has elected the world’s first openly gay leader. 

Prime Minister Johnanna Sigurdardottir is gay.

She also has a last name with 14 letters.  

Above you see a picture of Prime Minister Sigurdardottir.

Here is some information about Prime Minister Sigurdardottir from a London Times article— 

….a historic milestone for the gay and lesbian community worldwide. She lives with a journalist, Jonina Leosdottir, with whom she was joined in a 2002 civil partnership, and has two sons from a previous marriage. It is also a significant personal triumph for a politician who managed to retain, and even increase, her popularity while much of Iceland’s political class were pilloried over the financial crisis engulfing the country. …The new leader is known for allocating generous amounts of public funding to help the disabled, the elderly and organisations tackling domestic violence, and she is seen by many as a unifying character capable of solving tensions in Iceland….After acting as a union organiser when she worked as a flight attendant for Loftleidir Airlines, now Icelandair, in the 1960s and 1970s, Ms Sigurdardottir was elected to Iceland’s parliament in 1978. She served as social affairs minister from 1987-1994 and again from 2007.

Here is a web site about Iceland with many good facts and pictures. 

Please click here for a report on the election from the Seattle Gay News.  

It is true that Seattle, with a population of 582,000, has more people than does Iceland. Iceland has 304,000 people.

No matter—Iceland is a nation and Seattle is only a city.

(Below–Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. Here is information on visiting Reykjavik. ) 

File:Reykjavík séð úr Hallgrímskirkju.jpeg

Prime Minster Sigurdardottir was appointed to her post last February after the collapse of Iceland’s economy led to the demise of Iceland’s right -of-center government. The main issue in Iceland is the impact of the global financial collapse. Iceland took a big hit last year and there were large street protests.  Please click here to read about economic and political troubles in Iceland.

Prime Minister Sigudardottir’s Social Democrats won 20 seats in the 63 member parliament in the April 25 election. The Greens won 14 seats. A coalition government was formed.

The Icelandic parliament is called the Althing. It literally means the “all-thing” of Iceland. It can trace it roots back to the year 930. Here is the web home of the Althing. 

It seems that for many years the Althing met on the big rock you see drawn below. The Speaker would sit on a high point of the rock.

File:Law speaker.jpg

Should they meet, will Prime Minster Sigudardottir ask President Barack Obama why he opposes gay marriage?

It is excellent that we are making progress and that we are seeing world leaders that are more like the people they represent.

Yet progress is still far away in many nations. ( Including the United States in a number of respects.) Here is a link to Global Voices where you can read about issues of gay rights around the world.   

(  Below–An Icelandic Horse.  This breed was developed in Iceland.

File:Katursnow.jpg

May 15, 2009 Posted by | History, Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Distractions To Make Up For Lost Post

 

I had a nice long post ready to go. But when I hit the “publish” button, all the words went away. I don’t know where they went. I don’t have time to get much together before bedtime.  I have to be at work early tomorrow. Yet I know you folks count on a post each day from Texas Liberal.  So I’ve assembled a few distractions for you to stare at until I update the blog in about 24 hours.

Above is a running mule. Sometimes you run and run and still don’t seem to make much progress.

Below is the spinning Earth. We are all sisters and brothers on the Earth.

Next we have a house being built. You don’t see that much anymore.

Here we have pink heart becoming gay pride symbol indicating my support for gay marriage.

Here we have a boat and a bridge. Regular readers of this blog will know I like the ocean and water and boats.

Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a great President who strongly enhanced the role of government in our economy.

And, finally, a tree and a leaf. This is a symbol of both death and renewal.

Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.

January 16, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

California Gay Marriage Ban A Reminder You Can Never Fully Trust The Culture

The vote in California to ban gay marriage is a timely reminder that even on a day when things seem to have gone well, you can’t trust the culture of our nation. This is true even in a center of liberalism such as California. 

California is a solidly Democratic state. Yet the people of California have banned gay marriage. With 95% of all votes recorded, Senator Obama had won 61% of the California vote. At the same time, 52% of the California public voted to prohibit gay marriage.

I don’t have many expectations of the 37% in California that voted for Mr. McCain, though I’ll bet that at least 10% of them voted to allow gay marriage, but what is wrong with the Obama supporters who favored the ban?

Bigotry and prejudice–That’s what is wrong with them. It seems that at least 15% of the electorate in California are people who voted for Mr. Obama and then voted to deny gay people the right to have the relationships they want in this brief and brutal life.

A proposal to give farm animals more space in their pens passed with 61%. That’s fine. I might have voted for it myself. But why can’t we care for people we have to live with in life as much as we do for animals we are going to eat?

Even on this happy day, keep a distance from what is around you. Don’t lulled into feeling that all is better. Remember that even people on your side of the aisle can stick a knife in your back. Embrace your friends and be happy for all that has been gained, but don’t forget the full picture.

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Hey California Obama Voters—Stop Hassling Gay Folks

There is a mean-spirited initiative on the ballot in California that would prohibit gay folks from getting married.

There is concern that increased minority turnout in California for the Obama campaign will help advocates of this obnoxious ban.

Come on everybody–Life is brief and brutal. Let folks have the life and the relationships that they want to have in the short time we have on this Earth.

We all know Senator Obama would not vote for this ban in the privacy of the voting booth.

Discrimination of all kinds is wrong. There was a time when the most important personal relationships of black folks could be torn apart without consequence. Why would anybody want to come between people who just want to have a life together?

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, Campaign 2008, Politics, Relationships | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Candidate Families—Props To Be Used

Sarah Palin gave an interview to People Magazine and allowed two of her children to be pictured on the cover of the magazine.

But I thought the McCain campaign said the Palin family was off-limits. Except, of course, during Republican Convention week when the Palin children were seen by millions.

The Obama campaign has also said family is off-limits. Except, of course, when the Obama campaign wants to use kids for its own purposes. Then you get a lot of family from the Obama campaign.

Bringing back the brooch

Do you think Sarah Palin will work hard to help end child poverty or work hard to get health insurance for kids who don’t have health insurance? What are the chances of that? Here is a story about funding Governor Palin cut for unwed teen mothers. Why should we care about the Palin children when Governor Palin does not care about other people’s children?

Below is the prop room at the National Theater in Mannhiem, Germany. I think the Presidential and the Vice Presidential candidates keep their children in a room like this for when they are needed.

I’m not likely to bring up the Palin children on this blog as the campaign progresses. I don’t feel it serves my purposes to do so. Yet as Republicans have pursued brutal anti-family policies for many years now and have had no problem defining family for others, I don’t see why the families of these people are off-limits. Isn’t being a “Hockey Mom” a big part of why we are supposed to like Sarah Palin?

It’s all about family.

For that matter, Senator Obama opposes gay marriage as well.  Maybe his opposition is just a matter of politics. But since he feels other people’s most intimate and personal relationships are a matter of politics, why should those most close to him be immune from scrutiny?

We know that in the end it will be about who can be used, or not used, and in what way. Using people is a fully bipartisan practice.

My wish is that these people would run on issues more so than family. I don’t care how they define family. Yet this does not seem to be the world these men and women want to make. They use family as it suits them.

September 6, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Gay Folks Should At Least Consider Republicans—Otherwise They Will Get Used

My blogger friend and comrade Jos 76 in Boston recently wrote about the Log Cabin Republicans.   

Log Cabin Republicans are an organization of gay Republicans.

Jos is one half of a gay marriage in Massachusetts.

Jos is closer to the political center than I am. He wrote in his post he was still making his mind up between Barack Obama and John McCain. As part of his decision, he noted Senator McCain has a poor record on gay issues.  

When I first read the post, I thought Jos had lost his mind to be considering Mr. McCain.

Jos might say he views himself on the center-right on fiscal issues, and wants to hear what Republicans have to say on such questions.

It’s a reminder that we make assumptions about what people believe because of groups they fall into by no personal choice. Gays are not to blame that Republicans are so often bigoted. If you are gay and don’t agree with Democrats on many issues, you’re pretty much out of luck.

Many times on this blog I’ve written that as a lifelong city resident, I’ve voted for Democrats time and time again and not always seen results.

I know Republican state legislatures and Republicans in the federal government are a big part of the problem, yet I’ve rarely been impressed with the quality of municipal representation offered by Democrats.

City residents and many minority voters, like gay voters, often feel they have no option but to vote Democratic. I wager many often feel used or ignored in how Democrats govern once elected.

I’d be surprised if many rural voters and evangelicals don’t have similar impressions of Republicans.

With only two main parties for 300 million people, many wish they could combine what they see as the better aspects of both parties into one candidate. Yet since that can’t happen, folks have to make a call.

I personally won’t be voting for any Republicans. I believe in partisanship at every level of government. I believe party identification offers voters a shorthand to sift through a wide range of issues. I want elected officials of the same party to work as a team for a broad set of goals.

There are sometimes Democrats I refuse to vote for. In such cases, I don’t vote for the office in question. I’ve voted for Greens. But I feel that any Republican elected to any office strengthens the party as a whole. 

The modern Republican Party is so far to the right, that I won’t vote for a Republican. 

Still, Jos should keep his options open. It’s possible in the future that Republicans may be the party more open to the diversity of America. Or that both parties will become fully accepting of gay folks. You can’t tell how political parties will move and evolve in response to the demands of circumstance and the electorate.

One thing I’d say to Jos is that fiscal policies of progressive taxation and government help for those in need, is part of a broad and inclusive human rights agenda.

It’s excellent that gays are making progress in obtaining the rights all Americans merit. Yet unless progress is made across the board on social justice, victories by specific groups will not be as meaningful as they would be otherwise.

Consistent with concerns I expressed above for city residents and rural voters, addressing longstanding problems of poverty is as at least as important as the social issues that have so often been the focus of political life in recent years.         

June 16, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | 4 Comments

U.S. House Democratic Leadership & House Hispanic Caucus—A Two Way Street

U.S. Representative Joe Baca of California, chair of the House Hispanic caucus, is telling the Democratic House leadership to address immigration issues in a meaningful way, or risk alienating Hispanic voters.

The Houston Chronicle story suggests that this sentiment is echoed by other House Hispanics and by Hispanic leaders outside of elected office.

Congressman Baca represents San Bernardino and surrounding areas.

You can’t blame these folks. Democrats specialize is taking minority votes for granted. Hispanics have every reason to fear being used based on how the Democratic Party treats Black voters.

It’s little different from how Republicans use rural voters.

But, of course, this is a two way street. ( Above is a two way street sign from Japan.)

The House leadership could tell Hispanic Congressman that it’s time to generate some turnout in their districts, and to work hard to cultivate a deep bench of Hispanic politicians for the battles ahead. 

Congressman Baca says Democrats want to do ” what’s easy, not what’s right” on immigration.

No doubt Mr. Baca is correct.

A way Mr. Baca and the Hispanic Caucus could show commitment to the broad platform of human and civil rights that immigration policy is part of, would be to work in California to urge Hispanics to reject efforts to appeal to prejudice in the recent California gay marriage ruling.  

Opponents of gay marriage intend to place a referendum on this issue on the California ballot this fall. The New York Times reports sponsors of the ban hope Hispanics will vote heavily against gay marriage.

I know this is all crazy.

Democratic leaders regarding minority voters as something more than a never-ending fountain of support that merits little in return?

Minority legislators seeking to expand participation in their districts in a way that might challenge their fiefdoms?

People speaking out for justice in all regards instead of looking the other way at their own prejudices?

You must think I’m on LSD as I write this post. You must think I’m seeing something like the image below instead of the world as it is.  

I’m not on LSD though—Never touch the stuff.

I’m just saying how it could be if people would get with the program. 

May 19, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Immigration, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blogger & Wife—8th Anniversary Photo Essay

Today is my eighth wedding anniversary. Ms. Blogger ( No Mrs. for her! ) and I were married March 25, 2000 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Here is a drawing of the ceremony–( No photography was allowed at our wedding. All the photographers we spoke with insisted on some type of payment.)

Yes, we do very much look like Grover and Frances Cleveland.

Please click here to read about 48 year old Grover marrying 21 year old Frances in an 1886 White House ceremony. 

I was very hungover on my wedding day from my all day bachelor party the previous day–

Here is a history of the bachelor party

Below is a photo of a gay wedding. Why can’t gay people get married? Because of miserable bigoted feelings—That is why. Here is a good blog about a gay marriage in Massachusetts.  

Before the ceremony I did my wife’s hair—

Here is a history of hairstyling and hair styles.

Below is a picture of the food at the reception. 

Here is information about what it is like to get married in Vietnam.  

Bronze is the correct gift for an eighth anniversary. See below what I’ll be giving my wife later tonight. ( Please don’t tell Interpol you know where this piece can be found.)

Here is information about the Zhou Dynasty. It goes back nearly 3000 years. Here is information about bronze.

Though we were married 8 years ago, it seems like just yesterday.

Please click here for a real picture of Ms. Blogger on our Wedding Day.

Please click here for a photo essay in favor of voting. 

March 25, 2008 Posted by | History, My Wife Is The Best Person Ever | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Values Voters Prevail In Spanish Election

Voters holding strong moral values have prevailed in recent Spanish elections. 

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his Socialist party will again lead Spain.

Prime Minister Zapatero ran on his first-term record.

This record included legalizing gay marriage, making it easier to get a divorce, pulling Spanish troops out of Iraq and allocating a larger share of the Spanish budget to the needs of the poor.

The Spanish public followed the right course and returned Mr. Zapatero to office. 

Here is a story about the election.

Here is a profile of Prime Minister Zapatero.

Here are some facts about Spain.

March 11, 2008 Posted by | Elections | , , , , | Leave a comment

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