Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yes on 8 ads I would like to see

My problem with the LDS Church's involvement in Proposition 8 is not that its stand on the issue doesn't agree with mine, or even that it has decided to become involved. What I find disturbing are the dishonest, pseudo-factual messages and scare tactics. In the spirit of constructive suggestion, here are a few Yes on 8 ads I would like to see. (And I mean absolutely no disrespect, BTW.)

A white, middle-class family in their living room. Pictures of Jesus and the Washington Temple are visible on the wall behind the sofa.

Hello, we are Adam and Carol Henderson, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. We're here today because the president of our church, the man we accept as the Lord's spokesman on earth, has asked us to do all we can in support of Proposition 8. We honor and sustain our prophet and that's why we urge you to support Proposition 8. We have a testimony that this amendment is what our Heavenly Father wants.

A single man, about thirty-five years old, placing hymnals in the pews of an empty LDS chapel. The camera follows.

My name is Clark. I'm a Mormon and also a homosexual. I'm going cast my vote for Proposition 8 this November. That's right, for. My church has asked its members to do this, and I try to do what the Brethren ask of me. You should know that I am celibate. I attend church and perform my callings to best of my ability. In my church homosexuals like me are treated like anyone else as long as we remain chaste. My church says that acting on same-gender attraction is a sin next to murder. I do not know why the Lord has made me this way, and yes, sometimes it's very lonely. I look forward to the next life when this struggle will be taken from me.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, speaking from a lectern. The background is dark.

With utmost solemnity I ask you, the citizens of California, to heed the Lord's designs for eternal marriage and vote Yes on Proposition 8. We know that banning gay marriage is not without controversy, yet let me be clear that at the heart of this issue is the central doctrine of eternal marriage and its place in our Father's plan. You see, gender plays an eternal role. Men hold the Priesthood and preside in the home. Women honor their roles as mothers and act as companions and helpmeets to their husbands. In mortality and in eternity this is the order of things.

* * *

I would have no trouble at all with honest, straightforward messages of a religious nature. If you believe that a prophet has spoken, by all means be up front about it. There is no need to hide this and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. However, don't make up bogey men ("sex ed for kindergartners!", "churches taxed!", "our kids recruited by gays!"). If the argument is a religous one, so be it. However, when you actually state the covert religious argument openly using plain language, it sounds horribly out of place in a public debate over a civil matter.

And in fact, it is out of place.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No on 8 ad

I like this ad's directness. It doesn't omit the fact that we are talking about gay marriage.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No More Goodbyes, Please - Part 2

For those who read my previous post about my boyfriend's immigration crisis, here's an update.

We met with an immigration attorney last week and figured out all of the possible options that are open to us. The bottom line is that Tobi has about six to nine months to find another job in his field. If he is unable to do that, then he will have to leave the U.S. As of today Tobi has not yet been laid off from his current job. We're crossing our fingers that this will drag out so that he has extra time to look for a new position. The job market is unbelievably tight right now.

So we're glad that the time frame can be stretched out. I want to say thank you to all of you who have expressed your good wishes.

This crisis has been very stressful for us. We are threatened in a way that no opposite-sex couple would ever have to worry about in the U.S. I have to say it makes the Prop. 8 insanity seem very personal.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tim Gunn on gay marriage

Fashion legend Tim Gunn snaps his fingers three times on the subject of Proposition 8:

Click here for video

P.S. Tim is never wrong.

Via Afterelton

Monday, October 20, 2008

No More Goodbyes, Please

Those who read this blog know that my boyfriend Tobi is a Japanese national. He is in the U.S. on a working visa that eventually can be converted into permanent immigration. The recent Wall Street meltdown and banking crisis has had an effect on the industry in which Tobi works, and as a result many jobs are being lost. Last week Tobi's boss told him that he will likely be laid off from his job in a matter of weeks.

Under the terms of his visa, Tobi will have 10 days to leave the U.S. if he becomes unemployed.

As you can imagine, we are now in crisis mode. Tobi is frantically trying to find a new job in the worst job market in recent memory. We are desperate-- sending resumes, talking to immigration lawyers, calling in favors to everyone we know and clinging tearfully to each other at night knowing that our life together may soon explode.

The bitter part of this for me is that if Tobi had slightly different anatomy, this whole crisis would be a non-issue. As a U.S. citizen I have the right to sponsor a female for immigration. We would not have to lose a single night's sleep... if we were an opposite-sex couple. However, as it stands, there is a law called DOMA that specifically prohibits the Federal Government from recognizing our relationship, even if we were to marry in any of the states where this is legal.

In two weeks there will be votes in three states on the topic of gay marriage. None of these votes will directly change the law that prevents Tobi and me from being recognized as a couple for visa purposes. However, their outcome will have a large political effect one way or the other.

Governor Palin recently restated her support for a Federal Marriage Amendment that would encode anti-gay discrimination into the foundational charter of our country. Her position is not surprising, since the Republican party's 2008 platform is the most gay-hostile ever. The McCain-Palin ticket is against the repeal of DOMA. On the other hand, the Obama-Biden ticket has pledged to give support to gay couples, including the full repeal of DOMA. (I can live without the word 'marriage' if the visa problems get fixed.)

Anyway, that's the situation. I am not asking for your pity. However, I do ask that you understand the stakes of this election. The lives of real people are at stake.