Gun posetion/control, marihuana use, same gender marriage, where do popular thinking miss the true point?

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By Isis Win

When I started to write this blog, it was intended to about the mass shooting in Newtown. I changed my mind right away because my emotions involved (I am a parent) are a copy to the millions of people around the world and I have nothing new to add. However, as usual, I always end up reflecting on the true aspects of what I am talking about. The source of the problem, perhaps only about one of them, so this is the direction I took. I hope I make sense to you.

There are several items that occupy the mental space of many people year to year and often, becomes a political investment. Many are trivial, most truly important and a few are a “give me a break!”. We well know that there are two positions to these issues and they fail to agree. Therefore to induce what is needed to arrive to a sound resolution. For the most part, it becomes a rhetorical debate in which every contributor mostly attempts to exhibit having an educated opinion and wants to be heard. This regardless of how sensitive, sensible and how much common sense is involved. These arguments tend to make the entire of each of those issues to be seeing as an exclusively B&W issue.

Gun possession has become an issue of debate among supporters and antagonists every time a serial crime has been committed. However, nothing happens at all. It is true the constitution of the United Stated of America observed a protection to the right of owning a gun. A weapon that at the times of writing the constitution made this nation what it is, what was necessary then and it made sense. Not everyone owned a gun then, but guns were commonly owned and used, because those times required it. Police and military forces were in short supply to providing the needed protection to the citizenship in general. Therefore, more often than not, it was necessary to protect one self. That was not possible when the “enemy” owned a weapon and was ready to use it to perpetrate their crime. Killing was unlawful then, but many times the court of law found a justification to do so because the perpetrator was threatened before the killing. Today, very few cases receive the same treatment. In fact, for the most part those cases instigate a deep examination of the nature of the crime involved, same that creates a long-winded legal process. But it does not provide the right answer at all times. The right answer is to judge and establish the responsibility of a gun user when there was a dead victim and carry on justice. With the proper legal team, unprofessional investigating measures, poor legally police driven management, etc, can let go to freedom true killers. But that is the legal system that is flawed from state to state and the resources that are available to free unjustified killers who have the resources to afford top-notch legal defense. We all are aware of the many famous cases.
Today, the need of possessing a gun is not even to what it was then. However, the constitution protects that right and there is a very powerful organization that is in such as a constant vigil, that such right is not touched at all. NRA protects the right of every gun owner. The right to become a gun owner for every citizen and of course, protects the “right” for gun manufacturers to produce guns massively and make millions of dollars in fire weapons and ammunition. Today, it is stated that there are more than three hundred millions guns in the possession of American citizens. If we would send three hundred million gun users to any of the places that presents a threat to our national security, we will simply eradicate the problem in no time. That is how impressive is the amount of guns that are out there. I wonder if this statistic reflects all the guns that are illegally possessed.
The war against the free right to own a gun has never been about this constitutional right. It has been about what type of guns should be available to anyone not in the law enforcement forces and how they obtain them. As well, it has been brought to the table that availability of massive amounts of ammunition that any person, including not guns owners can easily obtain. Of course, there are laws that regulate all of above, but do they work? Not, if we only look at the fact that we have an average of one killing spree of innocent and unrelated people once a month. A clear sign that we have a very serious problem in the nation. As serious as any measure to be taken to address it. This is the equivalent of having terrorists groups at home. Yet, supporters of gun rights and advocates for change of the established laws. The existing ones simply do nothing about it. This have become a political issue – loaded with non-sense rhetoric and loaded with anger against each other of the factions. The reality of this case is that the #1 group that should endorse, support and create the proper study of the possible solutions is the NRA. But the politics involved, added to the cost of such study, refrain them from arriving to a sound proposal that gathers a general proper consensus. At least while we figure if it really delivers the intended result. Why this is no responsibility of the federal government? Because this issue is not about the constitutional right to own guns. Because there is a deep and complex political weight with this issue. Because there are two parties that attempt to gain support from their followers as a political gain. Because there are several mass manufacturers that will only support what already is in place.  And more importantly, because the public in general loses sight about that the needed goal should be. And there is no answer that fits the bill but a series of measures that literally would block anyone that is not a registered gun owner to use illegal guns or somebody else weapon. It will be required to clean up the existing illegal weapons out there and supervise gun manufacturers production and as well, make them responsible when a non registered gun made by them was used for a crime. We will see how far we go now that the White House stated this is a problem that should be addressed and regardless of the political implications. I tend to believe this is wishful thinking from the WH, because the actual circumstances. The fact of the amazing power of NRA which opposes to new legislation and the massive amount of gun owners that fear losing their right to own a gun.
One of the overlooked items regarding homicide, is what is exampled and glamorized on television. I can’t inventory the shows that are a bad influence to some people. People suffering from depression, repression and frustration and need an outlet somewhere. They are not going to visit the shrink or a priest, so they will manage until they explode. However, I know of one very popular shows on Showtime called: Dexter. Likely you already know what it is about. Dedicating prime time to a television show that glamorizes a serial killer under the mask of a “justice warrior” or some kind of law “Robyn Hood” simply is wrong and bad. It is amazing that shows like that – not only get aired, but they are of the highest ratings. Something should be done in this regard and I wish soon, before it is much too late.
It is prevalent in our nation that level and amount of violence presented in our visual media channels is not healthy nor can be expected to render positive and peaceful results in the minds of many viewers. Only in the US so much violence is displayed, often glamorized and made look like if that is a normal part of our daily lives. Just looking at the many crime shows, many that are excellently produced and acted, we know that there is a serious problem with the material that is available to the American public. I am reminded right away of the time I covered the Senate when a committee inquired the network TV and Hollywood heads of those industries and when they were asked about the reason for so much a and intense violence in our media, the CBS CEO responded something like this. “We are a business and businesses are about income. In our industry we have strong competition and we must try to stay ahead of them. We produce and present what the American people prefer to watch, so we deliver their interests. We include in our programing all sorts of different shows, Including, comedy, learning programs, family shows, among many. The shows that you are referring about, are the shows that have the highest ratings in all the network channels, cable TV and cinema. It is the choice of the public and our service is about giving to them what they want, so we remain in business. A few senators threw  punches to these CEOs but bottom line, nothing changed.

True, people watch what they want. True, media producers are a business for the sake of profit. True, violence is part of our realm. But I question anyone to decide if all that makes sense, although it is clear watching so much of this and that, numbs our perception of things because after all, we know it is not reality. It is entertaining. So why do we prefer to entertain our selves, family and friends watching events that when they happen in real life, we are shocked and despise profoundly. It seems to be a terrible contradiction and looking at the fact that during this ending year we had more than sixty mass violence acts in our public venues, this contradiction speaks for itself. It brings the answer to the question, regarding why some people attack or kill others like if that is something that does not matter or is alright. Like if that is the price to collect for their anguish. Once again, at the top of the true source and reasons that we see so much mass violence in our nation, is because when we try to do something about it, we focus on the wrong item. Such as a possible violation to a constitutional right that is not as justified today as it was more than two hundred years ago. We must keep on mind that when fire weapons were conceived and manufactured, they were for the sake of killing. Weapons were not created as a hobby or sport. But today, it seems that is the way it is and that justifies the millions of guns that exist in the hands of civilians. A couple of days after the attack in Newtown, a neighbor city had a gun show and it was attended massively. We are losing touch with reality but the fact there is that it is not only the people who own all those guns and the people who use them. It is all of us at large because we allow violence to be even a grand part of our daily visual watch. We sponsor those shows. Therefore we all are responsible for it, until we decide to do something about it. Otherwise, attempting against the safety and life of others because we are unable to settle our frustrations, will result on victimizing innocent and unrelated people.
 
Marihuana: How ridiculous is this issue that after the dramatic experience of the nation (crime and deaths) when the Dry Law was in effect, marihuana still is forbidden? For starters, it has been scientifically established that weed does not make the user to behave in any fashion that makes them as dangerous to others when under the effects. It is more prone to be violent under the influence of alcohol and it is not forbidden. However, no one should drive when under the effects of anything that impairs quick reacting, good judgement and plain common sense.That includes several over the counter (such as cold medicines) and prescription class one drugs.  As well, we can’t ignore the huge problem drugs (including weed) have created to many nations, including ours. Tremendous cost to fight it, thousands and thousands of people killed because the wars between cartels and the authorities that aim to clean the problem. And the immense wealth that cartel people achieve, to a point that they can afford to buy law enforcement, legislators and politicians. We are talking about several billions of dollars that do not benefit any nation or legal citizen. And like if that is not enough, people addicted to any drug should be treated as a pathologically ill person and receive the chance to clean their act. That will be less expensive to do, than cluttering our jails with thousands of no criminals. Lets throw in the fact that this problem entices police members to be the first to violate our existing laws. Legalizing weed could become a source of income if the states allow it and federally is not prosecuted. It can be watched properly and efficiently. It will cease the propagation of criminality because its illegality. After all, we can achieve peace as it happened once the Dry Law was removed. Canada has proven that the benefits of legalization override the problems of having to fight it. As well, offering medical treatment to users has proven to be financially possible and reduced the problem dramatically.

Gay marriage: Well, this is the most ridiculous of all the debates in the hands of the public opinion. As well, allowing gays to marry will benefit everyone, instead of siding one way or the other one, creating division among the mainstream. Marriage should be allowed by anyone and to everyone, according the constitution, that establishes that no right given the people at large, can be denied to somebody else that does not fit their bill. As well, allowing same gender marriage does not present any threat to the nation or society. It is a fact that gay people will commit to each other, form a family and live a more or less an average lifestyle. What happens behind their doors is exclusively their own business, not of the public opinion. As well, religion does not have any right to intervene in legal matters that affect the nation and its population. Intolerance does not bring anything positive. Perhaps the most ridiculous of all statements presented by anti-gay-marriage is, that opponents say it is forbidden and considered unnatural by the Sacred Scriptures. Although we can assume everything written in the Bible truly delivers the best of human nature for society and it is a prevalent as it was thousands of years ago, there are parts of the Bible that are not a reflection of our reality today. For instance, the entries in support of slavery, which today, is illegal around the world. My argument there is: If God designed us according to his will and intent, God created gay people and that should be respected. No evidence found by science and scholars is accepted to end this issue at once. Nevertheless, they have proven that this is a natural phenomena and it happens in hundreds of other species. So where is the justification, besides the Bible that supposedly brings this issue to the table as unnatural, perverse, anti-societal? Nowhere and if one would be found, we will know about it in no time. This is a matter of opinion. An opinion from people who are unable to understand the fact the if gay couples are granted this constitutional right, in reality married gays are doing a good favor to society and the nation. They are aiming to behave as anyone else does in our society and that comes with responsibilities and obligations. This is specially important today, when the numbers of married couples had winded down in the last few decades. If there is a societal concern we should address, that is whatever is needed to preserve the stones that make the foundation of our society. Marriage being one at the top and should not matter who marries who. No long age inter-racial marriage was illegal in the nation. This was changed and has not brought any problems but benefits to nation, right? Gay marriage is not different but only something that some people do not recognize because they really know nothing about what is involved or what it means. They simply make a light judgment based on “facts” that are not reliable, true, constitutional and part of true human nature.

These three items had been examined from  the wrong corners by the mainstream and they are constantly manipulated for nothing. Having a sound gun control law will not violate the constitutional right attributed to it. People will still be entitled to obtain a gun. The only change in this regard is that gun owners should take full responsibility of the use of their guns. But the true problem behind this, is a psychological issue of the people who resort to use fire arms and kill any innocent people. A much deeper problem that one day will have to be examined and put in motion the measures that could help them before they need to commit a crime to survive. Of course, criminal will be criminals and controlling them as a much tougher problem. But by removing lack of opportunities for everyone – no exception, therefore poverty and neutralizing the drug lords because drugs are not longer against the law but seriously regulated, will have a much better and positive impact – than what is in place today. Last, disallowing anyone to reach happiness and fulfill their role in life does not lead to anything positive but to please a few people who are unable to open their minds and hearts, because they lack the proper education about each of these topics. It is not necessarily to accept homosexuality if it offends someone. It does not represent that allowing gay people to receive this denied right will populate the world with more gay people. Gays and straight people are born as they are, period. There is nothing that can change this in a normally growing person. Even if trying. This is not a matter of choice or a choice that provides them anything that others lack.

The main problem with theses issues is that, issues like these are not the problem themselves but the lack of ability to understand and be conscious of what truly matters. As well that what matters to some, may not matter to others, so be it! Harmony in our families, place of residence, peer groups, state, society, country, etc, depends on been able to agree to disagree and make our own choices as we envision them. Not the choices of others. We should stop attempting to force others to behave and be, according to our own agendas. We should only oppose to crime. Doing so, can only lead to frustration, lack of satisfaction, anguish, anger and the destruction of what sustains what we all care about. The ancient Greeks knew this so well but somehow through our history this is something that today is seeing as utopia. A way of living and organizing, that does not exist today but it happened before. So that is what the true problem is.

We may spend our entire life trying to fulfill our role in life by seeking for items that are out of our control and do not belong to us. True fulfillment and nurturing only happens in within and loving actions and that is what we must care about at all cost. While we, each of us, attend our role in life, we participate positively with our family, society and nation – in a way that it honors who we are, what we do and all the greatness that is plentiful in our world. Instead, we seem to focus more in destroying all that matters, including our selves, as the criminals that destroy the lives of others.
Politics can be one of the best examples of human achievements but in order to get there, politics should aim to join everyone and renegades of how much we may differ with others. Politicians have a great role to perform but very few do so. They are more prone to satisfy their own interests and the interest of those that seek advantage for themselves and support them. A bad role for politics but it takes bad politicians to get there and we have plenty of those. The most ridiculous premise of this, is the fact that they are in power because we allowed them and placed them in power. So here it is the chain that creates a domino effect that preserves what we no longer want: division among us, no resolution of our true problems and a split aim to better our people and world. Science and technological progress have leaped tremendously in the last an a half century but we do not represent the very same distance  and gains as the most skilled and capable of all species in our planet. We are into a self-destruction path that on the long run, is creating more damage, than changing the order that so many oppose to.

Bottom line, what we need the most, is to educate well every single human being in our planet, That means to honor their life, so they do the same for others and to provide them equal opportunities to succeed. The more growth in each of us, the better we will get along. We do not need to change the entire world nor do it all at once. We can work each issue together in real-time and put them behind, so we cover the next one. We have too many needed issues to be resolved on sight and the agenda is huge. One that will affect many generations to come and there is not right nor justified reason to bring more people into a world that offers so much pain, tribulations and a denial of their own self. We all need much but if we don’t provide by our own self – what we need first, we will not be able to educate and nurture those that do know less. We must think with the best of our mental capabilities without denying the scope of elements that compose what we feel everyday and we project into others. Mexican president Benito Juarez said many years ago: “El respeto al derecho ajeno, es la paz” = The respect for the rights of others, is peace.

Compassion . . .


By Isis Win

Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed. – The Buddha.

Perhaps the word is not as old as the sentiment, but certainly compassion has existed from our early days of tribal gathering. Compassion, the highest level of empathy for the suffering is a fundamental part of human love, humanism and altruism. It is the cornerstone of  religion and perhaps, one of the feelings most considered by philosophers and poets. As well, it is the principle of socialization and the formation for the many different groups that populated the world through our entire history. Psychology and sociology have studied it, and concur that our world without it, would not be the same, not as we know it. Compassion is an innate human virtue that can either die or be greatly enhanced through the learning process of interactivity among people.

From the religious point, compassion is referred as the inter connection between God and the self. It is the love from the parent for the child, according to Judaism (Kabbalah). And it is a tradition among their followers to consciously exercise it, a classic articulation of the Golden Rule.

In Christianity, the Bible refers about it in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God.” As well, the Gospels extend compassion to all, even to loving one’s enemies.

In Islam, God’s attributes are mercy and compassion (Rahaman and Rahim) and well, each of the 114 chapters of the Quran, with one exception start with the verse “In the name of God the compassionate, the merciful”. In the Muslim tradition, a good Muslim starts each day with a prayer invoking God the Merciful and Compassionate. Family ties are characterized by compassion and named after the exalted attribute of God “Al-Rahim” (the compassionate). During Ramadan, fasting is used as a help to empathize with the hunger of the less fortunate and to enhance the sensitivity to the sufferings of others and develop compassion for the poor and destitute.

Hinduism in their various traditions, compassion (Daya) is about charity and self-control, one of the three central virtues. Prior to 1500 B.C., the Vedas emphasized the importance of compassion to be observed.

In Buddhism, compassion (Karuna) is the transcendental and experiential heart of the Buddha’s teachings. He was reputedly asked by his personal attendant, Ananda, “Would it be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is a part of our practice?” To which the Buddha replied, “No. It would not be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is part of our practice. It would be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is all of our practice.  The Dalai Lama has said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

In Jainism, compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to the Jain tradition. It is believed that vegetarianism is the result of compassion.

There are some that experience compassion for others, some that seem not to know what that is and there are many whose lives revolve around compassion. Among those that ignore it or are incapable of experiencing it, are the social psychopaths that exercise their passion for cruelty and kill people. Neurologists and DNA researchers have established the paths of compassion in the brain and the strands that define if someone is a psychopath or not. Very few people lack this strand but those that exhibit it do not necessarily become psychopaths. So what does define that outcome? Cultural influence through a person’s period of upbringing, extreme stress and frustration that does not find an outlet. So, now we have an idea of what compassion is. The nurturing of empathy to others and their suffering. Most people know it well, had experienced it through their lives and reacted in an altruistic form. But as well, there are many individuals unable to represent their empathy or compassion. The reason I wrote this blog is the result of the constant accusations by a few radio personalities and some organizations against LGBT people and illegal immigrants, who declaim against them and deny social and civil rights of these minorities. Another reason is the constant vitriol among politicians seeking to gather either power or office, by belittling and attacking their opponent. The irony of this case is that all use their anger and lack of compassion against something they do not understand or that is not approved based on their religion. That includes priest and preachers in almost all denominations. As well, “some common criminals” that hate westerners and their countries and justify their criminal behavior in religion, such as Jihad.

LGBT and illegal immigrants are the main recipients of this lack of compassion and love for the other in the last few years. Those who cannot show compassion despise those people who perhaps are more deserving than themselves, people who have suffered from ostracism, rejection, lack of support and understanding, or received abuse and fell into poverty, due to the opportunities denied to them because they do not “fit” in our society, according to these bigots. But those people whom they have discriminated against do not react the same way against them. As well, the intolerant claim that some people are not deserving of compassion because they are who they are, even though they are not criminals, mean-intentioned towards others or do wrong. Of course, there are bad apples among those discriminated against, but there are many more in the mainstream, and bigots do not target them. Their war is going too far at this point. They, the intolerant, not only exhibit their lack of love for other human beings, but as well, their lack of love for themselves and the God they claim to love, worship and follow. Their God, regardless of denomination, would never do that to anyone.

But that is me, I am compassionate because that is the way I was raised and that is the way I’ve chosen to live my life. As well, I’ve chosen not to remain quiet because intolerants and bigots not only are hurting themselves – but they are hurting everyone else with their poison. I wonder what their children are like; I wish them well and I wish they depart from intolerance and choose to become loving and supportive of the stigmatized, segregated and rejected, because those are suffering people in need of compassion.

We live in a complex world. A world that is constantly threatened by violence and insecurity, fear and paranoia. Bigots should not fear any other – but the ones that threaten everyone, not our own kind, and not because someone does not conform to their view of life or condition. For as long as compassion is not what rules our destiny, no one, including our loving children are safe. Gandhi provided a grand example to the world with his support to those that demanded freedom and the right to choose what they judge best to their interest – by showing his love and compassion – even to those that antagonized his people and country, and his followers resorted to a Non-Violence approach, that according to many, doesn’t work. It did for India and to date, they are not only free and pacific people but they are experiencing the largest boost in their country, socially, culturally, spiritually and financially. On the other hand, we in America are feuding in partisan venues, for issues that do not belong to the political realm but rather, to the legal, social realms, and to something that the Constitution ruled: that our nation is the nation of everyone. And this principle brought the incredible progress that we all know about since those old days of the Founders of America. Many Americans wonder if we are in decay, if the nation is experiencing a fall from that privileged place in the world we’ve known for so long.
There is only one way we can insure the future of this nation: to exercise that fundamental principle of empathy and compassion towards those who may be believed to be wrong. It is our example that will straighten the path of those that need direction. And our example must be based on an undeniable compassion towards everyone. If you are not convinced yet about what compassion is about and how much it belongs to our realm, read again Buddha’s thought above. If you are among us, compassionate people, spread the word and lets change what we can, now that we can.

We don’t have to agree with anyone who does not concur with our lifestyle, principles, faith, moral standards, etc., especially if we don’t fully know and understand what those individuals are about, more so if what they show as their direction in life maybe scary to us. But we owe to everyone the benefit of the doubt. Undeniably, we most honor their choices and condition as human beings and their efforts to better their conditions in life. Doing the contrary is against our constitutional principle that provides us freedom and opportunity and the same principle that this nation has fought for since its inception. Going against this principle is a violation of the cornerstone of our government, nation and everyone that contributes to it. But we can not disregard the fact that the reason the US became independent and created its constitution is because in order to achieve that high place in the world with our society, legal system, even the forces that protects us, compassion must be observed unrelentingly by every single person that steps into, lives on and forms part of our society and country. Doing the contrary simply dilutes that principle that make each of us and the nation who we are and what we stand for, especially if those ostracized by our societal norms have not been proven guilty for any other crime, but their willingness and investment to better their lives, the lives of their beloved ones and such contribute to the well-being of our nation and everyone in it. Let compassion rule your heart and mind and shall you receive equally the same.

War of Hearts and Minds

By Isis Win

recent years, marriage of same-gender couples has become one of the most published headlines in the US history. Every sector in the public opinion has seized the opportunity to express their position and in particular, to the media, for the benefit of gathering larger audience. This is not an old issue, but certainly it is one that grew in the past few years, and following the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, it has grown enormously. Since its repeal, advocacy agencies (such as HRC – Human Rights Campaign) finally let go of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, allowing room for the next issue in their agenda: Marriage between gay and lesbians.
This issue has become a larger controversy than the right to abortion when it comes to large-scale public participation. The religious realm, particularly Mormons, launched an unparalleled initiative to fight legislation passed in California that allowing gay and lesbian marriage equality, the 2008 ballot Proposition 8 “Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Initiative Constitutional Amendment”. Proposition 8 and its repeal landed in the hands of millions of people who didn’t care about it either way. Many were not even aware of this battle. Massive ad campaigns in TV and newspapers awakened these people, however, and as well, many important pedestrian traffic spots in California were manned by groups of Mormons distributing literature against same-sex marriage and preaching to the passers-by. Some organizations claim that Mormons spent about 20 million dollars in this campaign. But the religious opponents of marriage equality have not limited themselves to California; as well, in recent years they have been sponsoring the same campaign in many cities and states across the country, except that now they use Obama’s recent public support to attempt repealing both, the right to marry and the presidential candidate.

Religious opponents to same-sex marriage sustain their argument based on the Bible that, according to them, contains many entries referring to “marriage exclusively between a man and a woman”. Some people as well say that the Bible claims marriage in the between the same gender is an aberration and sinful behavior, regardless of the contributions of theologians, anthropologists, sociologists and archeologists that show that there is no evidence of such citations, but rather, that they are citations based on majorly flawed interpretations. In fact, archeologists report finding evidence that same-sex couples during Jesus Christ’s time existed and were not abominated. But arguing the Bible against a civil right, clearly will never end this issue. While religious extremists argue that marriage equality is contrary to their beliefs, their opponents argue this is not a religious issue but an issue about freedom and civil rights. Such an argument between apples and oranges offers no future to either party. However, this attitude from the extremists is fueling a response that is better to leave alone because, it adds gas to the already roaring fire. Defenders of freedom and civil rights, will be in need of breaking into pieces the Bible, categorizing it and proving that the Bible could never address this issue when it was created. There is enough evidence to this case that ultimately will make opponents to Marriage Equality so angry, that it is not unforeseeable that they will hire the devil to revenge against these “pagans”. Something already is happening but it is escalating into a major war, and all because although, in a democratic nation the wishes and will of all matter, this issue is one that cannot be fought by beliefs and phobias. In democracy, facts are the most determining factor and if this issue is examined by the Supreme Court based on the facts of the constitutional elements of it (or lack of thereof) so that the law rules what is fair and not, then at least in some form, this issue will be a thing of the past. However, extremists present their case as if it was “written in stone”, as the Ten Commandments. BTW, the Bible cites that they were 3 tablets not 2 as used today. I bet that the eleventh commandment was in regards of not getting your nose into someone else’s business.

On that note: religious extremists tend to believe that they are in the right to rule and force how others should live; it is a clear demonstration that religious extremists are people who are unhappy within themselves and lack fulfillment. It is that same unhappiness and lack that forces them into looking into the eye of others instead of addressing their own issues and how they observe their religious views themselves. This type of behavior is nothing new according to anthropological and sociological studies that establish that for centuries, in small towns or cities, the country side, part of the daily routine of a large number of citizens was, and still is to criticize, ostracize and gossip about the behavior of others that they do not approve. However, times are different and this phenomena has no longer any place in a modern and civilized society. Bottom line is: This attitude among those activists have nothing to do with Christianity and they heavily deny the basic principles of Christianity based on their personal beliefs and assumptions.

Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the Bible as a historical record proves that the cornerstone of Jesus doctrine was about forgiving everyone, loving others as they love themselves and God and giving them the opportunity of redemption when their time comes. Jesus? message was about love, support and compassion. And the lack of these attributes is what shines in this initiative against Marriage Equality. On that note: The Bible cites in several chapters that slavery was OK and that slaves should submit to their owners and never raise against them. I wonder what the view about this issue is for those extremists, because slavery has been fought for centuries as an issue of human and civil rights cruelty and injustice and gradually and slowly has been disappearing from the face of earth. Only seriously under-developed and uncivilized nations still preserve this abuse and those nations are being fought by human rights activists and international organizations such as the UN.

What this issue talks about in reality presents a much larger scenario than a human and civil rights issue or the religious beliefs supported by the sacred scriptures. This issue is clearly stating where the hearts and minds of people are and that place is not a good one; rather, it is a totally antagonistic place to the Christian beliefs. No wonder after a century of an explosive technical, industrial and scientific revolution, we still can’t live among ourselves peacefully and this place is not so different than centuries ago. We still act as savages, greed is the religion of most on the top at the ladder and poverty and inequality still is rampant even in most developed nations. Only when tragedy strikes do the people at large open their hearts and care for others. Do they choose and pick who is to received this help? Hard to believe but such still is the case in many nations at this time. Just the way it happened post-Katrina.  The most affected people had to wait for governmental aid at the cost of unnecessary deaths and suffering. However, those – volunteering helping hands – post-Katrina, didn’t look into ethnic profiles, religious affiliations or lifestyles to serve the needed. People with a good heart helped everyone and for a long time, even feed them from their own pocket. There were hundreds of volunteers that traveled – even thousands of miles – to serve with their human duty. Hard to believe but, in many studies across the nation, it has been said: Overall, people nowadays are self-centric and selfish. Just like many cities have a reputation of this trade by excellence (like NY city) even remote areas are equally sad and poor in compassion giving.

This battle of same-sex marriage, a marriage equality issue, is no more than a war of wills and beliefs to almost the silent majority of the population. Well, at least, those against Marriage Equality are extremely active and quite verbal. But because of that, the smallest of all minorities suffer their weight: gays and lesbians, when all they want is to have equal rights like the rest of the population. And there is no logical, sensitive and sensible reason to deny this right to anyone that cares for being part of an establishment that ultimately cares in the largest scheme for their nation and the institution of the family that supports society at large, the same institution that has suffered tremendously in the last six or eight decades because family members no longer gather as a family; it is not rare that family see each other once every other decade, because they are too busy entertaining their well-being and future while forgetting the love and gratitude that they received and owe to their parents. As well, in the US divorce has been growing at an alarming rate and at this point about 50% of marriages are divorced, many marriages are exclusively preserved by convenience or religious beliefs but there is no true sense of family among them and more than 50% of the existing couples do not marry but live together, even if they have children.

Almost everywhere I go, where people like to share their views about current events, I hear from the conservatives their camouflaged hate against LGBT and their consideration that such “lifestyles” are no less than a deviation according to God and their bible. They leave no room for education or understanding but the mysterious part to myself is the humongous question: What makes them think they are entitled to and should fight anything against their religious beliefs? I don’t even bother asking them, again, because reliably their answers are biblical citations that they believe to the core of their heart.
But on the opposite end, people express anger as well because they are unable to stand those they call “bigots” and among the religious ones, they call those who use the Bible to oppose Marriage Equality names such as sacrilegious because the word of God is being used for a mean and intolerant personal issue against LGBT people and their supporters. Many believe this bigotry is mostly a case of denied homosexuality because they find no other explanation for this. But the concerning part is that now I hear people judging institutionalized religion and the biblical interpretations by those bigots, something I believe will grow in a crescendo, and I see in it no positive end. This same phenomena was exhibited several hundreds of years ago in the Middle East among other areas and were the reason for many true wars between nations of different belief. Exact figures about the death toll of those wars are not reliable but suffice to say that entire populations were extinguished. I don’t believe we have the chance to escalate that badly nowadays, but Jihad fighters prove me wrong. So I wonder if in reality not only we are not able to live in peace but we need a war of some sort to justify our presence in this physical life.
However, time, as always, will decide the outcome of this particular war of hearts and minds and I have no doubt, like others, that this one will be won by granting all the needed rights to all minorities. And the LGBT is the one in turn. I hope I witness this change during my lifetime because it is rather disturbing to hear, see and known that there are humans that despise humans because they do not conform to their lifestyle and beliefs. Something must change right there!
I was told by a Guatemalan friend that her country was celebrating the first year against LGBT bigots in their country and as I reacted to her, I say to that: Let other live their own choice and present compassion and generosity to those that are unable to do so.

So meanwhile, let the war keep happening and let’s see at what point we may destroy each other when clearly these times prove that our historical mistakes demand our utmost good heart investment for the well-being of everyone. The well-being of everyone offers better guarantees that our personal future and space have better chances to achieve, peace, harmony and fulfillment. That leads to those occasional and rare moments in which we consider our selves being happy people.

Presidential Equality.

By Isis Win

This past Sunday, I watched Vice President Biden candidly say on “Meet the Press” that he has no issue about gay couples and their desire to marry.

Coming from the second highest office, this is something that cannot be taken lightly. As well, he mentioned that he believed President Obama has been supportive of LGBT people, although Biden did not compromise and assert Obama’s position. This was followed by all the news services and of course, the questions about: “A political mistake? Compromised the upcoming vote? Political maneuver?” popped wildly. However, the press had no clue in regard to the presidential take and position on this issue that had become almost as important as the economy in recent days. Previously, the press reported Obama does not support Marriage Equality.

See excerpt of this interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/obama-sex-marriage-legal-16312940

It is extremely hard to know what is the true level of general support for this effort and as well, the counter movement. Even after the many polls and the numbers skewed to figure the true numbers, there is no true statistic.  This is an issue that covers a spectrum much larger than left-center-right political views. Religion, moral beliefs and the personal state of mind, and as well the feelings of each person have weight in this issue. Homosexuality has been such a stigmatized issue since the earliest days of our history. Although archeological findings have much to say as to how and what changed in certain times, ostracizing homosexuality has grown on its own for centuries.  Homosexuality has been associated mostly with superstition, bad interpretations of the Bible and other sacred scriptures, but as well, through times in our history homosexuality has been considered decadent and sinful, creating a strong animosity against it. Mostly during times when homosexuality was not closeted, many high rank figures were gay and what was considered marriage in those times was common. But as well, those times were times of major tragedy and famine, such as the events during and after the fall of the Roman Empire, both abroad and their country itself. Superstition was used to justify many of those tragedies as well as many of the natural disasters of the times. The “Wrath of God” at work, and of course, religion took part in these times. However, homosexuality before and during those times, if not accepted, it wasn’t fought and committed gay relationships were allowed.

Today, after Obama’s announcement in support of same-sex marriage, this panorama has changed somehow. There is a positive joy going on around not just because the importance of the first US president supporting Marriage Equality, but as well, it is believed that this news will help the movement for LGBT equality. I have a very different take on this and trust me, I am not a cynic in this regard. The very same way discrimination against LGBT people seemed to be fading, discrimination against African-Americans seemed to be a thing of the past.  The reality is that political correctness and politeness were abandoned by many people who in theory were OK with racial equality. Something that somehow changed post Obama’s election. Something that, to my own disbelief, I’ve witnessed personally in many realms walks of life: Many voters despise Obama because he is black. The reality is, while African-Americans were accepted “across the board”, that didn’t include having a black president. A president with different ideology (socialist as alleged by many conservatives), opposition party, etc, is one thing but an African-American that will determine the future of the entire nation? That is unacceptable by many. People do not express openly their views in this regard, unless in the presence of others who they know are in the same place. I heard things such as: The trust and importance of the White House in the world will be severely demerited by a black president. A black person lacks the necessary quality and style of an American president. I even heard people calling him a monkey. The same is the case with homosexuality. Prior to President Obama’s Pro Equality announcement, a lot of people refrained from sharing their opinion openly about same gender marriage. But today, many are infuriated that our president, a Democrat, who in their view “has done nothing for the country and themselves”, has made many serious mistakes and now is supporting something that most people believe is immoral and against the biblical beliefs. I find the hatred against Obama exhibited in many of these conservatives now is a combo of hate against Obama with homosexuality. People seem to fear change more than any previous time in American history and their fear, becomes unproportional to reason and logic. It is no more than shutting the door to both issues, as much as any issue that represents change and tradition that seems threatened.

I liked Obama’s interview and what he said. Particularly when he mentioned the “Golden Rule”: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done with you”. Exactly! Where would the president be if he realizes that one of his daughters is a lesbian and desires a committed and legally supported marriage? What many people fail to see, is that compassion and generosity are some of the most positive and influential forces that make everything better, for everyone. People seem to overlook the fact that freedom is a necessary and mandatory state of life to achieve the best possible growth in life. Denying legal marriage to gay and lesbians, is a form of denial of this freedom. Something that perhaps didn’t matter to them much before, but today is a vital need. Regulations and laws do not permit couples out of legal marriage to benefit from federal and state perks that come along with the accomplishments of their obligations and the necessary requirements to claim legal rights when the partner is unable to decide for her/himself or deal with the legal and necessary rights in case of death, child custody, and divorce. But all unjust civil issues take their place in the roster of what needs to be addressed at some point. Many racial issues somehow have been worked out and only time will decide how much gain comes from it. So far, African-Americans have been able to achieve higher education, predominant places in all industries and fields, including the military, and so having a president of African-American origin definitely changes that perspective for them by many folds. Black people today, especially young generations, increased their aspirations and confidence because America elected one of them.
I’ve heard educated and upper (or more) middle class people wondering if allowing same-sex marriage rights at some point will allow having a gay or lesbian (and couples) elected as an US president. This is a terrible miss and a short-sighted view because what a nation really needs and can benefit from, is having capable people in charge that are willing of giving their very best to the nation. Lincoln was not fully accepted when running for the White House chair because his education and social status. But his mind and heart were much more than brilliant and with his “limited” resources, not only saved the nation in one of the most difficult times in American history, but he pushed the nation better than what many presidents had done. Those shoes will be hard to fill for a long time.
I really hope that this testimony from the President does not do any more harm to his effectiveness and re-election goals, and helps many to persuade themselves that denying a basic civil right to a few – that is supposed to be granted to everyone, does not treat anything or anybody fairly or justly.
Apparently many people opposed to Obama and LGBT rights now – out of the blue – became very vocal and are taking initiative to broadcast their views to fight LGBT equality and president Obama. Perhaps before president Obama’s testimony supporting LGBT people and marriage equality, people who never cared nor believed this right would be granted are reacting to this news, but Obama’s support “awakened” their animosity and in just a few hours past this testimony, they became quite vocal and active to show their true sentiment. The irony of this case is: God didn’t invent marriage. Marriage is a human invention that through centuries and millennia had changed about the reasons to exist. For instance, at some point it was used to halt women from seeking relationships out of marriage and if doing so, they would be executed by law. Men were allowed to do exactly that. As well, during some history periods, this was the tool for fathers to make any claim about their children. Gay and lesbians care for legal marriage simply because they care of having the exact same legal rights all other couples do. Legal rights that will not exist for as long as their marriage is not legally recognized and granting Civil Union rights is not the same. Still is a form of control and discrimination and there is no true reason within the human realm that can justify such aberration. As well, religious beliefs must be left in the hands of the parishes the very same way the government doesn’t have the right to state, regulate, etc, them. The will of the church is free from this. Government and religion are two different and separate entities that by any means should not be mixed, as the US Constitution states. So why do people fight marriage equality as an item of biblical reasons?

The world is not going to become gay across the board because of same-sex marriage equality. There is no way that a straight man or woman is going to turn gay because nondiscrimination laws are in place. The very same way that a gay person cannot switch to being straight, heterosexual people cannot change their sexual or gender orientation; that is innate and unchangeable. Let history speak about this so people can see that homosexuality has existed through our entire presence in the physical realm and never produced any harm to anyone or anything. Nothing has changed, regardless of the many efforts through our history to fight them, and even to eliminate them, such as the genocide of homosexuals in many cultures through centuries. Middle east nations still do that!  Despite these oppressions, no one, absolutely no one is capable of changing what is built-in, what we are born with.

More importantly, it is evident that those who are allowed to be themselves, freely and without concern, have been individuals that fulfilled their role in life and often for the benefit of many others of all ethnic backgrounds, walks of life, social status, etc. regardless of all the limitations and denial of their rights. In fact, this denial is so unfair, unjust, stupid and non-sensical because many of the best contributors in all realms to the American life were (and are) people that had been ostracized by society and their obsolete rules. These people never focused on the unfairness that was imposed in them. Instead, they focused on the talents they were born with and poured all their dedication to render their best to all. And because of their pride of being, they survived all. But no one is “cut from the same cloth”, nor has the same abilities as anyone else. Some need to be supported in order to explore their gifts of birth and to not deal with a lifestyle that needs to fight everyone and the establishment. Let them live freely and join the battle of moving from our ankylosis and bring fortune and well-being to themselves and everyone. Let everyone be free! Everyone must have the right to choose whatever they wish!

I thank President Obama for taking a stand in this issue, although the possibility of making him to lose this coming election now is larger, judging from this reaction. What President Obama has done is to be himself; an honest, fair, compassionate human being and a President to all, including the underdog. Something to celebrate forever.

I know the absolute truth but you . . .

By Isis Win

It is so interesting how some of the aspects in a democratic society and process, somehow fail to deliver what originally was intended as a the main purpose of a nation that serves, supports and entitle every single citizen of the exact same rights. Those rights that were extensively examined by the founders of our nation and became the constitution of the USA. Since its inception and the following amends, the constitution aims towards the deserving freedom that every single contributor to the nation earns by abiding the law and regulations that will preserve the peace and harmony of each citizen, same that become the order and progress of the nation. Therefore a free and happy society, brings what the country needs to ensure that prosperity and the well-being of all will be. The results go both ways: to the components of this society and the nation that holds them.

Law abiding citizens that comply with their responsibilities and obligations are deserving of those liberty rights and any other provision the government creates, which will be served equally and without any distinction to ethnicity, gender, lifestyle, belief, origin, social and cultural status, etc. The constitution does not provide any “special favors” to any group, person, organization, etc. All – is about every individual that independently contributes to the positive formation and progress of the entire nation.

Jefferson, considering the measurable and important value of public happiness included in the United States Declaration of Independence the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” . Which is considered one the best crafted and most influential sentences in the history of the English language. He recognized these three rights as an “unalienable rights” or sovereign rights of man.
George Mason wrote:
“That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

But it is interesting that one of those perks offered by democracy, has been used at large, when a legislation that has been passed to protect and provide those constitutional rights to a minority lacking of those – becomes a matter of “popular” consensus by a referendum and only to deny that passed legislation.
Nothing wrong with that mechanism, for as long as the same doesn’t violate the basic principle of granting – indiscriminately – those rights to everyone, no exception. But referendums created and presented to override the right to legal marriage to gay couples should be questioned before posted. The interesting part of all this, is  that there is no substance when it comes to any legal or reasonable principle to deny a right – that already was granted by the higher office of a state and based on that constitutional right. Religious, moral or anything beyond the scope of the legal realm doesn’t suffice to derail something that has been established as a constitutional legal right. But those referendums keep coming and attempting to override that passed legislation. I am not a constitutional lawyer and sadly my ignorance in that department will not help me to present the necessary legal arguments that are violated with such referendums. But just common sense tells me that they are way wrong and out-of-place.
 
Looking a little beyond this constitutional and legal aspect, we can see the main issue at stake, somehow, most miss to see it or address it: There is no individual, organization, law or regulation that entitles anyone to decide how others may live their own life. But somehow those that are against those rights for that minority of the minorities, feel that somewhere marriage between a man and a woman, is written in stone that and that kind of marriage, is exclusively the only one that can  take place in our society. Is it that those religious minds suspect that if this constitutional right is addressed and federally enforced, those gay couples may seek for religious marriage? Give me a break!
 
Interesting! for a lack of a better word, theologians, historians, anthropologists and archeologists had found no sound evidence to such in the sacred scriptures. Not to mention the fact that the basic principle of all religions establish – that every single human being must be loved, accepted, supported and forgiven when wrong. To make this case even more compelling, there is no evidence in the sacred scriptures that presents that homosexuality as wrong, unnatural or a matter of personal choice. So where does this come from? The undeniable fact here is, that some people strongly believe to know the only truth, even if such goes against their own religious principles and as well is a total denial of equal liberty rights to all. We can go even deeper in that regard, when we ask: why those individuals tend to believe that they are the only holders of such truth? But frankly, that is not of my business as much as it is not theirs to analyze, judge, ostracize and sentence those that they are unable to recognize and accept. However, from the civic point of view, it is rather revolting that those uptight and judgmental individuals fail to recognize that gay people seeking for the right to marriage – are as good contributors to the well-being of the nation – as perhaps they are. They work, pay taxes, respect the law, are loving people, etc. And all they ask is the acknowledgment of being who they are: equal to all and entitle to legal marriage that will provide them the same rights their opponents receive. But it is not just the civil right what they seek for. Anyone who desires to commit into legal marriage, desires to do so because, they like the rest of the population, they aspire to help with the foundation in which society has been built on. They want to participate in the well being of the nation with every single aspect of the established, working and organized society they live in.
Their love for each other will note impaired by this denial and their commitment always existed since the moment that they committed to each other. But that “doesn’t suffice” to validate their commitment and the recognition they aim for, which is for the well-being and benefit of our nation and society. How ironic this is, when at least 50% of the heterosexual couples are already divorced, the majority pregnancy cases in the US are in single women under 30 years old, the numbers of family less children sky rocketed in the last few decades, thousands of children lack of any nurturing family and most crimes, come from those that never had an opportunity to become law-abiding citizens, because they are unrecognized and lack of all opportunities.

Same gender marriage will pitch in – tremendously – in addressing and correcting some of those problems. In fact, more than half of the gay families opt for adoption. And there is no evidence of any sort, that kids growing up in a same gender couple family are dysfunctional, less human, disrespectful of the law and much less, not loving people. Many of the kids from gay couples I’ve met through my kid’s events, schools, etc, are some of the most loving and compassionate kids I’ve known. But those that propose these referendums, as well those that vote for them, seem to know the truth better than the rest of the American people. Even better than those gay couples.

More ironic is the fact that not everyone is against same gender marriage. The majority of the people under 30 yo are in favor of same gender marriage rights. But today, baby boomers , the flower generation, are much older and they’ve forgotten what they learned, when they were young as their kids are today. As well, it is overwhelmingly clear – that the advocate efforts of some religious groups (#1 the Mormons) are the reason this legislation has been threatened and defeated before (Prop8) and possibly legislation in those states that already passed this constitutional legislation, will be defeated again and again, until this case goes to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will not have any other saying but to speak in favor of the constitutional rights of every American. Just the very same way that inter-racial marriage became protected.

But I have another point in this regard, that is as valid and solid as the previously mentioned. We are not in the middle ages. Science, sociology, history and many other fields had proven consistently that homosexuality is a natural event in our species , records existed since our early days of history, there is nothing wrong with it and going against it, reflects a deep lack of compassion, understanding, fear and plain ignorance. And that doesn’t match our needed progress in any field or history. Or is it human nature to always have an issue to go against and a certain group of people? Specially a minority? There is no evidence to this notion but that the individual that feels, thinks and acts that way, have an internal and very personal issue about what they are against. And their issue has nothing to do with the people they are against, because there is no foundation or evidence to their sentiment. The reason they have no other argument than to use something that is not even proven, such as the Sacred Scriptures they assert. However, it seems “they know the truth and the only truth” but those are against to it, in reality, know nothing. They are just holding their sentiment based on their very personal opinion. A Freudian projection of some sort? Therefore, they feel obligated to fight them at any cost. Also, they take the law in their own hands. They police the order they believe should be, they try to enforce it and they do whatever it takes to keep it that way. And the cost of this illegal efforts is a tremendous waste of money, time, and it damages the establishment, the uneducated and fearful society because it plainly disseminates discrimination towards those that never have done anything to deserve such. This is nothing different from what today is not illegal anymore, such as interracial marriage, rights for women, desegregation, religious freedom, etc, etc, etc, The same items that  were removed from our unspoken “laws” of our ancient past and were nothing less than a disgraceful violation to humanity and harmonious order.

Nevertheless, the most of all annoying aspects of this discriminatory initiative of some religious groups, is that the only argument they present to advocate against gay couples, is nothing else than their moral and religious views. Same that had not be proven by any means in terms of any biblical validation and the separation of church and state suppose to go both ways. No one is advocating about any of the above beliefs or religions, so what is the excuse those jealous have to make their case, out of what has been clearly legislated and protected by our constitution? These referendums that attempt to derail any constitutional right, do not deserve to become a matter of democratic process, because no one has any negative evidence proof this attempt. And is a violation to the liberties that all Americans deserve and are granted. Civil union is not the proper measure to be granted by state governments because such is not a validation of that right and as well, for as long as this right is not federally addressed and corrected, gay couples will continued being unrecognized as law-abiding and deserving people, as the constitution and the law states should be.

I am not attempting to state that (as they like to think and act) I own the universal truth about this issue. Therefore I know better than they do. I am just expressing my own view based on a little more educated place. I am not seeking myself to marry anyone, same gender or the opposite. I do not have a family member that wishes to receive this right. Yes, I know of people who wish to be able to do so but my investment is not based on my own belief or wish. I am just expressing something that once taken care of, for good and enforced to the dot, will deeply and positively affect an area in our world and nation, that has been for the longest neglected and unspoken. And that only is because those against this, are extremely vocal and proactive to enforce their own set of beliefs and the rest of the people prefer not to get involved because – for starters – this is not a business that belongs to anyone but those that wish, aim and aspire to get it legally granted. The very same right that you and I receive and most take for granted. Marriage is about commitment into a monogamous, steady and loving establishing of a family. It is recognized as a right to one of  the basic principles that establish a positive future of a functional and progressive society that up-keeps a nation. Nothing more, nothing less. Those referendums should be denied by the local governments and they should use their resources in something that offers true promises to our democratic process, state and nation.

Shoot, shut, fear, hate but it will change nothing

By Isis Win

“Marriage is an institution that builds character, dedication, trust and love. Everyone should be welcome to commit!” IW

Over the last 20 years, the US has been witnessing the extremes of the spectrum between LGBT intolerance and activism. It didn’t start just 20 years ago. New York City faced the Stonewall Riots in 1969, a quick and decisive start to fighting bigotry, stigmatization, and violence perpetrated against gay, lesbian and transgender people in the city. Those same protests triggered a national movement.
At Stonewall, what supposedly was another moment of harassment, repression and arrests against LGBT people turned into several days of violence in the physical and political realms. Gays and lesbians joined the victims of the New York Police Department, which was protected by all the city authority figures of the time. But the mainstream as well joined the revolts in anger at the unjust, illegal and unconstitutional efforts of the authorities in the Big Apple. The authorities were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the crowds who supported the LGBT resistance.  With the Stonewall Riots, LGBT people had changed their tactics from assimilation and concealment to open protest and rebellion, tactics that, in the long run, stopped the LGBT harassment in that city.
As well, in 1966 at the Compton cafeteria in San Francisco, California, the same situation took place and City Hall was, at some point, surrounded by thousands of people demanding justice and freedom for the victims.
But those riots didn’t stop the many acts of violence against gay and lesbians, and as well, discrimination was rampant in most cities across the US. In rural areas being gay or lesbian was the equivalent of wearing a sign asking to be a victim of a crime of hate, therefore for the longest time, gays and lesbians were heavily closeted.
As well, during those days, the American Psychiatric Association labeled homosexuality as a mental/pathological disease and only after a long study and a voting process, was it removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders list.  Homosexuality went through diagnostic changes in 1974 and 1980, and in 1987, sexual orientation was finally removed from the DSM.  Sexual orientation is no longer considered anything else but a natural fact of Mother Nature. Today, science has been able to reliably establish: the causes for homosexuality and gender incongruence are physical, neurological and bio-chemical events that take place during pregnancy and intrauterine development. It is all part of Mother Nature, and there is nothing to be understood, but rather, it is something to be accepted, respected and honored. It is interesting that a few ancient cultures not only honored them, but placed them high in the hierarchy of human nature.

At the time of these riots, activism started to take new heights and several organizations, strong in both numbers and capital, started to address issues of discrimination and violence directed at LGBT people at a legislative level. The issues were illegal, violating Civil Rights protected by the Constitution. In a few words, those issues were primarily a violation of the Separation Clause of the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution (and consequent amendments) that protect freedom. Freedom, that for some strange reason, bigots ignore, based on their personal beliefs, conflating moral and legal issues, and as well ignoring that the separation of church and state goes both ways. The state cannot mind the church’s business and the church cannot mind the state’s business. But the church is blatantly ignoring this, and in the last 10 years, their money and members have been actively advocating against those rights granted by the Constitution.
Clearly, the Victorian actions of Anthony Comstock  (1873 Comstock Law) and its consequences prevail, even during this age of amazing technological and industrial progress. It is ironic that the US has actively defended civil rights in many countries for so long, but here in the US, LGBT people, their families, and activist organizations have to advocate and work really hard for those denied rights, rights that were granted in the Constitution, but “removed” by intolerant and fearful vigilantes of morality. It is a clear fact that there is no other option at this point but to seek state and federal legislation that explicitly protects those minorities and their rights. But there is a true and dangerous enemy to those efforts. Considering the fact that gay, lesbian and transgender communities are far outnumbered by close-minded bigots, the battle has been taken to a new arena: the judicial world. If and when these issues are brought to the mainly conservative Supreme Court, legislation either will be created to insure LGBT protection or to see that existing Civil Rights based on the First Amendment will be observed, enforced and protected.

In several states, especially California, a group of the Mormon church worked nonstop to derail the right to same-sex marriage and they won, a right that previously was signed and passed into law by the authorities in that state. Legal same-sex marriage came to an end because those rights that took decades of efforts were unsurprisingly fought by the Mormons. It has been established that the propaganda payed for by them cost more than 10 millions dollars. Now Massachusetts is looking at the same scenario in the upcoming weeks. A referendum will be held, and who knows what the outcome will be. Somehow, I am optimistic because that state is more progressive than California.

During the last two elections, and even more so during this one, advocates against those constitutional rights guaranteed to everyone, including LGBT people, are making their voices heard by the political seekers for the official presidential nomination of the Republican Party. They know well that their monies can buy a lot of favors. But as well, two top contenders, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, are Mormons, and they’ve expressed their views against gay and lesbian people. It is amazing and revolting that this nation, which is known world-wide for its defense of constitutional rights, is ignoring the fact that the denial of gay and lesbian rights (much like the denial of the right to abortion), are plain violations of the American Constitution. But as well, no GOP candidate or their supporters have been capable of stating that those issues should not be of campaign significance, but rather, are only personal views of each individual. Because they are religious or moral views, the best of that those antagonistic members of our society can do is to discuss those problems that they see, but not to try to enforce their views through their financial, verbal, or voting power. This constitutional violation is as bad as it would be if those that support gay and lesbians rights were to take their complaints against those churches or religions that attack what is nothing else but the right to live accordingly to everyone’s preferences or choices to the government.  LGBT equality is a case of personal freedom granting every single civil right to every American without any exception.

The US constitution clearly states that every single American citizen is entitled to live freely, express themselves with the same freedom, and that no belief or creed can rightfully attempt to change that. Those that do make such changes should be made responsible and be taken to the court of law, because that vital and constitutional right should be protected at all cost. But instead, politicians make a mockery of that right by playing their cards in such a way as to gain the vote and financial support of those individuals that lack even the required common sense of being a voter. The very same way the government should respect religions, their members and the beliefs of those religious minds, religious or moralist vigilantes should respect our constitution, the same that is the cornerstone of this nation.

We’ve gone through decades and decades of horrendous crimes of hate against LGBT people. Crimes that are only comparable to the suffering and punishment that African-Americans faced before segregation was eradicated, and to what the Jewish people faced at the hands of the Nazis. But this is the second decade of the 21st century. We know way better about human and civil rights and yet we still are attempting to negotiate whether those rights will be observed and enforced? It is even worse, when those rights become part of the voting process to office. How blind must people be to fail to realize that these issues, for as long as they exist, will derail the basic principles of what this nation is about, and not just the LGBT people! In fact, those that are fighting same-sex marriage do so because they judge it immoral, but they are unable to present any substantive proof that such an assumption is correct, and do not even look at the fact that their efforts, by themselves are immoral and go against all the grain of their faith. Even theologians of all venues have consistently stated that there is no entry in the Bible that states such condemnation against homosexuality. Theologians, anthropologists and archeologists have a total different interpretation of Biblical citations, finding that they have nothing to do with pointing to gay and lesbians as undeserving creatures; not by God, Jesus Christ nor any of the apostles. There is no evidence for that. So, what entitles someone on that side of the fence, to take the lead and bring to the table antagonism against LGBT people and homosexuality when there is no true argument to fight it? No, they have no right to do so, therefore they buy favors from the politicians with their money and vote. After all, not even a president of the US can do anything against those rights, because it would be a violation of the Constitution and such can be heavily penalized, even for an US president!
But let’s not forget that marriage right is exclusively about a legal union of two committed people and such come with legal rights, as much as legal obligations, and that marriage was instituted for the preservation of a stable society that contributes to the well-being of their nation. Whether gay and lesbian people are granted that right, or not, they will remain as a couple and their contribution for the country will be alike. The difference will be that marriage rights, such as tax, legal, health and financial benefits are denied to them. So they have to contribute but get no benefit for their contributions? It simply makes no sense but as well, it is plainly unfair and illegal.

Candidates to legislative office will promise you, swear to you, you name it, that they will fight against same-sex marriage, fight the repeal of DADT, and block all rights to LGBT people but they will never achieve any of that. In fact, all they can do is to mess up this process so badly, that in the long run it will end up in the hands of the Supreme Court, which will have no choice but to defend the Constitution.

It is in the best interest of humanity to remove any traces of stigmatizing, discrimination and plain old intolerance. After all, we all have to share our world, nation, neighborhood, etc, but it works better if we all are amicable, rather than not. It is just a matter of time. Meanwhile bigots can spend their fortunes, lobby politicians, buy favors, even take a personal retribution against LGBT people but all their efforts are vain and futile because more and more people are becoming conscious about those issues that not long ago were under the veil of darkness. Not long ago, and for far too long, myths about homosexuality were propagated by those who are unable to find compassion, consideration, understanding and as well who are full of arcane ignorance. So, shoot, shut, fear, hate but it will change nothing. The natural course of human understanding, freedom and compassion will reach almost everyone sometime soon. And you if really hate it, just remember and vote for your favorite candidate and at the end, you will get what you truly deserve. More importantly, LGBT people will get their well-deserved rights.

OCTOBER LGBT History month

While The State of California is sorting out the right of LGBT people to be included as part of the American History at schools, we the entire nation celebrate our history month.

Next to the battle against segregation, women’s right to vote, rights to disable people and war veterans, many of our bothers and sisters had contributed towards civil rights and earned a deserving place among the rest of the population at work, home, place of worship, institutions, public establishments and everything else that anyone else has been entitled to by default. Many had been victims of violence, including the loss of their own lives.

Having a place in the history books is not a gift to anyone but a right to rightly represent the struggles, gains and losses that we people under the LGBT umbrella had endeavored for dozens of decades. This month, October, is the time we celebrate our own heroes and victims.  

We don’t exclusively celebrate our known fallen heroes this month. As well, we celebrate any single individual that in a sound way had contributed towards our cause. But we don’t stop there, as well, we celebrate all the people who never had a chance to see their life flourish and nurtured because they couldn’t manage life with all the tribulations, abuse and repression – that was the highlight of their lives and self terminated their agony because they never were able to find a place to retreat. A place to be their selves and honor the gift of life that any living creature suppose to be entitle to.
But there is more, much more and if you care about it, want to learn about all those souls and lives: Every day of the month, a single individual will be honored. To see everyone log into:
http://lgbthistorymonth.com/
As well, you’ll find additional information at:
http://www.equalityforum.com/GLBThistorymonth.cfm
and if want to see The Five documentaries to watch during LGBT History Month, log into:
http://www.afterellen.com/movies/five-documentaries-to-watch-during-lgbt-history-month

In these three sites you’ll find many other links to more info about this month. As well, several advocacy agencies across the country will stage special events to commemorate this important month, particularly to every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender person. Happy celebration!