Friday, June 30, 2006

Born Different

Most of us know that no one chooses to be gay or straight. Yet that is still a myth the radical right uses to try and discredit our struggle for equal rights. The anti-gay groups claim that gay civil rights are "special rights". I have heard many times that gays don't deserve any rights because, unlike other minorities, they chose to be gay.
Visit the website
This website dispels some of the myths that anti-gay groups are constantly spreading, such as the myth that being gay is unnatural. The truth is that homosexuality has been shown to occur naturally throughout the animal kingdom.
Another dangerous myth is that gay people can be "converted". This is simply untrue. Conversion is impossible and detrimental to those who try it. doesn’t just state that facts, it gives you the proof to back them up through research articles from different sources.
They also have a section called “what scientists say”......
"... sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be altered..."
- American Psychological Association
Anyone who still thinks that people choose to be gay should ask themselves when then they chose to be straight.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Take Action Now!

The Constitutional Convention is just days away! On July 12th the legislature will be voting on an amendment to ban gay marriage. We need 150 votes to win. We don't have them yet!

  1. Contact Your Legislators Today!
    If you have done so already, great, call them again. If you have not done so yet, the time is now!
    Call your state representative and state senator. Tell them to vote AGAINST any amendment to the constitution that would eliminate equal marriage rights.

  2. Be At The State House On July 12th!
    The anti-gay forces will be busing people in from all over the country. There will be masses of anti-gay extremists protesting against equality. We need to be there to demand that our legislature not vote in favor of discrimination.
    Showing up at the state house on July 12th is crucial.

The outcome of this constitutional convention effects more than Massachusetts. Passing this constitutional amendment in our state is a huge goal of national anti-gay organizations such as the American Family Association. In their latest email this groups stated:

Massachusetts is the only state in the nation which legally condones and encourages homosexual marriage. If we can join together as a nation to defeat it there, it will send a strong message to our political leadership nationwide. Defeating homosexual marriage in the liberal bastion of Massachusetts will set the tone for the next vote on the Federal Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA), and show swing legislators just how "out of touch" the homosexual lobby truly is. Thank you for joining us in this crucial battle for marriage

This is our state! We MUST stand up and TakeMassAction! Let's bury this anti-gay constitutional amendment once and for all on July 12th! To get more involved in the fight for equal marriage rights visit MassEquality.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Our Task

Growing up gay is a difficult experience. In the past, gay youth never heard anything positive about who they were. Imagine the difference it would make to a young gay person to hear their teacher read a story with characters they can identify with. Imagine coming out being no big deal. This is what we must be working towards.
The Massachusetts LGBT Early Childhood Education Initiative held a public event in Cambridge city hall last week. The goal of this organization is to create early childhood settings that are welcoming and supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families. This group is concerned with families that consist of same-sex parents. They are worried that children who have same-sex parents may feel like something is wrong with their family. To combat this, some schools have already started including images and discussions of gay families in the curriculum and explaining to children what the words gay and lesbian mean.

The elementary school in
Lexington has been under attack from the radical right for giving students a diversity bag that includes the book "Who's in a Family?". This book shows various kinds of families, including one with two moms. The same school recently came under fire because a teacher read to her students the fairy-tale "King and King". This book is about a prince who falls in love with another prince.
This inclusion of LGBT families in the curriculum is for the benefit of students that have same-sex parents. However the new LGBT curriculum is much more significant than that. The impact that this will have on LGBT youth is immeasurable. Questioning youth will be more likely to accept who they are earlier, being saved
from years of anguish about their sexuality. LGBT youth will be treated with more respect from their peers. Gay teen suicide rates will undoubtedly decline.
The radical right knows this and will do everything they can to stop schools from teaching the truth. They have already begun suing schools to stop them from teaching diversity to children. We need to take action! We need to elect candidates that favor LGBT curriculum to school committees across the state.
The inclusion of LGBT curriculum in schools is a goal our community must work towards. We need teachers to be talking about our families, using the words gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender, and teaching LGBT history. This is how we will make it easier for the next generation of gay youth to be honest with their friends and families. This is how we will make coming out a painless experience for the LGBT youth of the future. This is our task.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Headache in Lexington

For the past year the citizens of Lexington have had to deal with the fanatical antics of David Parker and Brain Camenker. First Parker made headlines by pulling a stunt to get arrested at his son's school. He was protesting the school's policy of teaching diversity to students. Camenker’s group, Article 8, used the event to push their anti-gay agenda. Now Article 8 is saying that Parker's first grade son was beat up in school because gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts. This is another ridiculous publicity stunt.

The town of Lexington doesn't deserve this headache. There have been numerous newspaper articles, letters to the editor, meetings, and even "pro-David Parker" rallies in town. Luckily the small town is filled with lots of good people. Two groups were formed to counter the hate filled messages that Parker and Article 8 are spreading. These organizations hold pro-tolerance demonstrations to counteract the pro-David Parker rallies. The pro-tolerance groups are called Lexington Cares and Respecting Difference.
This is what Article 8 has to say about these pro-tolerance organizations:

A group of adults in Lexington maintain and regularly update an angry anti-Parker website, In addition to angry anti-Parker diatribes, they meticulously catalog all anti-Parker letters to the editor, newspaper articles, etc. They also organize anti-Parker rallies and demonstrations, and go on TV and radio bashing Parker. The group is led by well-known lesbian activist Meg Soens. (Soens also runs a second pro-homosexual Lexington website, )

In a recent email, Article 8 has called on their supporters to contact (harass) these pro-tolerance groups. These two organizations are sure to get some nasty emails from angry Article 8 followers.
Let's show the people who make up these pro-tolerance groups that they are not alone. Take a minute to send them an email. Tell them you appreciate their hard work and respect what they are doing. This simple action will make a big difference for the people working to keep Lexington hate-free.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More Important Than Marriage?

There is a lot of talk about where the "gay rights movement" is headed. Are we becoming a movement dedicated solely to making marriage legal? I hope not.
There is a great article in the Boston Phoenix about the past and the future of the gay rights movement.
The queer activist community is split today. Some say gay marriage has divided the country. Has the issue also divided the gay community? Are there issues more important than marriage?
In most of the United States you can be fired from your job for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. In most states you can be evicted from your apartment for being GLBT. Gay youth suicide rates continue to be much higher than their peers. Gay teens are still being kicked out of their homes for being honest. And everywhere, gay people struggle to come out.
What's more important than marriage? A lot of things. We should be working on all these issues. We need to right these wrongs. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't also be working to protect equal marriage rights. The right to marry affects many people in our community. These rights should be sought after and celebrated. While marriage is not for everyone, equality is for all. Equality does not mean assimilation. The queer community is as diverse as the world we are a part of. Marriage rights are important, but should not be the Holy Grail for the gay community.
We need to take a clue from the civil rights struggles of the past. Social justice needs to be our aim. We must not work exclusively for "gay rights"; we must work for "human rights". After all, gay rights are human rights.
Matt Foreman, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, had it right when he said, “There is still a question of our fundamental humanity and equality. Either we’re fully equal and fully human or we are not. There is no other way to frame it.”

Provincetown Film Festival

The Provincetown Film Festival is taking place from June 14th to June 18th. I am excited to attend the festival this year. The official website boasts:

"The renowned Festival remains dedicated to showcasing independent American and international films, nurturing aspiring independent filmmakers, honoring industry luminaries, and preserving and sustaining cinema as an art form through educational forums."

There are over thirty films playing throughout the week. There will also be an award ceremony for the "2006 Filmmaker on the Edge", Gregg Araki. His latest film, "Mysterious Skin", will really make you think...all night...and the next day. I am looking forward to seeing "Saving Marriage", a film about the fight for equal marriage rights in Massachusetts. I am proud to be in this film and grateful I had the opportunity to work with the filmmakers. If you're interested, watch the trailer.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Macy's Protest a Success

The protest that took place at Macy's on Sunday and the enormous amount of phone calls, emails, and letters to the management at Macy's were successful!
Macy's admitted today in In Newsweekly that they had made a "mistake - unquestionably" by removing the mannequins from the gay pride display in downtown
Boston. Macy's East Chairman and CEO said, "Am I regretful that Macy's made a mis-step in this instance? Yes". He also states that the mannequins were not removed because of pressure.
Massresistance, an anti-gay organization, called the demonstration at Macy’s on Sunday, organized by, a "pathetic protest". However we know that the action we took on Sunday, combined with the letters, phone calls, and emails is what caused Macy's to publicly admit their mistake. Congratulations to all who took action during this whole Macy's mess. (photo: Eric Hess)

Vote On Marriage Launches Radio Ads

Vote on Marriage, the organization working to defeat gay marriage in Massachusetts, is launching radio ads urging citizens to contact their legislators. The radio ads give the state house phone number and encourage listeners to tell their legislators to vote for the so called "Protection of Marriage" amendment. The ads also say that "gay rights lobbyists" are urging "beacon hill lawmakers to use dirty tricks to kill the amendment".
One of the ads claims that 3/4 of
Massachusetts voters say they want to vote on the definition of marriage. This is simply untrue. To get that number they asked a group of only 400 people and phrased the question in such a way to get the response they wanted. That is what I call a “dirty trick”!
I have spoken to hundreds of people across
Massachusetts about this issue. Maybe 1% of Massachusetts voters actually want to vote on marriage. But overall NO ONE CARES about gay marriage except for gay people and right wing bigots.
The most interesting line in the ads is in 'spot C' when the voice says, "this is
Massachusetts, not Cuba. We are governed by the rule of law". WHAT!?!

Hear for yourself...

Vote on Marriage Radio Spot A

Vote on Marriage Radio Spots B and C

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Massachusetts Needs YOU!

I created this forum to keep Massachusetts citizens informed on what the radical right is doing in our state. I will also give you information on how to take action when action is needed. Some of the actions you can take are small; such as sending an email, making a phone call, or writing a letter. Other times it may be necessary to exercise our first amendment right by peacefully assembling. I will alert you of upcoming events, rallies, protests, hearings and meetings. Every action you take is important. Every action you take has an impact on our society. Massachusetts need YOU to TakeMassAction!