Believe it or not, corporate America is changing policies regarding “Same Sex Marriage”.

By Isis Win

Disclaimer: English is my second language and regardless of all my efforts, I fall short to master it in a way that I make myself easy to read. Please, be patient and hopefully you get the idea at the end of my text. However, feel free to leave any criticism, suggestion and comment. That will help me and expedite my learning of your wonderful but no so easy language. Thanks!


No so long ago, there was no clear positive participation from the mainstream to support LGBT issues and realm. Today, this panorama differs drastically from our recent panorama but corporate America is making a grand difference and a dent in the mind of the mainstream. During the past decade several one 100 corporations incorporated policies in the work force, hiring, provided perks, etc, to serve equally to LGBT people. These actions had been implemented by hundreds of them and now, they are supporting Same Sex Marriage. Since corporations cannot change the existing legislation to this unconstitutional denial, they not only opened their doors to LGBT workers and new employed people, but they are enacting policies that provide to their gay and lesbian workers equal services from their providers. Today, several of these corporations allow a gay or lesbian workers to include their beloved on in their health provisions package and benefits. It does not validate the civil right that according to the US constitution every single American should receive, but this is a mighty good start. Although gay and lesbian American workers expect more regarding their right to marry their chosen one, this corporate move very likely will mimic part of the desired goals based on a rightful wish. At this point, LGBT advocates and the related organizations, such HRC are only waiting for the Supreme Court to revise the constitutionality of this demand, the opposition movement, etc, in several states. Experts believe, the Supreme Court will rule out denial of this right based on the value of the constitution. The question will be if this becomes a federal mandate or states are allowed to choose how they will enact this policy.
It is clear the several organizations involved in denying this right will continue to invest their multimillion contributions to campaigns against it. Mostly religious organizations that ironically ignore the fact that separation of church and state does not allow them to attempt to “guide” the government and American people to deny such basic right and based on the Sacred Scriptures. However, candidates at the brink of elections, present their support to this religious battle and clearly to gather the support of their constituents that do not support marriage between the same-sex. This is prevalent on the republican party side but there are a few democrats politicians that oppose to this right as well. The Supreme Court and the White House have a package in their hands to either observe this constitutional right or delay it. On the long run, there will be a day in which this right is observed and no longer is a political issue in the platform of those no scrupulous politicians.
Same sex marriage has been on the table for many years now in the USA. It has created one of the most radical polemics among their opponents and supporters to a point that, when testifying to the media, their arguments fall right away through the cracks when confronted with the civil aspects of this issue. I’ve heard in many talk programs arguments on their part that do not present any other notion but the believe that marriage, “natural marriage” as they call it, can only be allowed between a man and woman. A notion that right away lose the shine they pretend to present in their effort as a part of God’s design, because the religions they use to support their position, as well states clearly, according to their very own interpretations: God intended to seed in his human children forgiveness compassion, generosity, love and acceptance to every one of his children, that would be allowed to enter “Heaven” if repented of their sins. And this cannot be a sin. Being born as God’s design and being incongruent with the established role by humans is an issue between humans, not God’s will. This regardless of the hostile antagonism represented through history, at large, and coming down to the loss of beloved family members, peers and friends and suicide to many. This to a point that, although it is federally and state illegal, LGBT people are harassed, bullied, destitute, physically and emotionally punished. This clear sign not only represents that lack of ability to exercise compassion and generosity to those that in their view lack what life only accepts and support, but as well, the mean streak represented against LGBT through history as the recent disease that killed thousands of people in our nation as the result of HIV and AIDS when they celebrated this disease and deaths. Up to date, thousands of people point this disease as a deserving punishment from God to gay people and consider it appropriate punishment to the case. However, we as well have many more folds numbers of compassionate people who have work constantly to find the means to treat the disease and find a cure. Today, more people survive this disease than ever before.
Corporate America recognizes the fact that LGBT people are as good contributors to the working force as any other human being. They recognize it is of utmost importance that they acquire the very same rights and benefits in their working force as anyone and several businesses include this initiative in their policies. Perhaps one of these days, this right no longer is denied anywhere at anytime, to any deserving member of this minority. Meanwhile, every month dozens and dozens of people and their businesses are moving to that place of support and that reflects the vision of our founding fathers. As well, it represents a higher state of human consideration among the supporters of LGBT people. This contribution of corporate America brings a tremendous positive outcome to our nation, same that at some point will reflect the evolution of our race. Although we are far superior to all other species, for some strange reason, we humans are troubled by this and ignoring the fact that animal life in hundreds of species – exhibit this very same homosexual behavior. Even theologians from all walks of life, beliefs and cultures, attest that marriage between a man and woman is not contemplated in the Sacred Scriptures but it is the result of a bad and manipulated interpretation. In my part, I believe that whatever this is for one or the other side of this issue, one greatly overlooked fact is that no one is entitled at any level, whatsoever, to make themselves the judge, jury and enforcement on the lives of law-abiding members of our society. This a phenomena speaks very eloquently of the poor moral, ethic and legal state of mind of those that not only oppose to this right, but as well desire to force the rest of the world to comply with their own view. The day the stop minding the business of others, as LGBT people actively have represented no to mind others issues through this polemic issue, we may reach a plateau in which we can mingle together and peacefully. Regardless of the differences of opinion, beliefs and lifestyles between us. Overall, we will perform better as citizens, human beings, brothers and sisters, when we exclusively remain faithful to our own choices and allow others to do exactly the same.
Thank you and congratulations to corporate America for taking the right position in this polemic issue and the very same to every individual that supports LGBT people or refrain from participating in a controlling and belittling way against them. These times are a clear indication of what we need the most: To gather our efforts and support everyone towards their well-being, peace and harmony and regardless of who they are. LGBT people care for others without making any distinction of others lifestyle, beliefs, status, etc.

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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.

Primary shaping up, election showing clear signs.

By Isis Win

We are into the fourth year of one of the most difficult times in history of the USA and the American people. The impact of a failing economic system threatened by a crumbling banking and mortgage industry, the largest deficit in history, unparalleled levels of unemployment and sub-employment, and two wars that, although delivering some desired results, in more items failed the “strategy” to address the real issues that prompted them and have created the largest division between American people. For the sake of truth, the start of this tough times are not correlated with the actual regime of Democrat President Barrack Obama. These issues are the result of the previous administration that failed to act timely, to develop infallible strategies, acted impulsively, denied losing ground on any of those issues and lied to the American people from the very start.

Considering that in the political world all sorts of manipulations and lies can take place, it has been extremely difficult to most Americans to arrive to a consensus that could lead to an absolute resolution than will straighten our path. On the contrary, we are more divided than in any other period of the American history and the Republican Party no longer is what our ancestors experienced.
The party became fragmented much before the elections of 2008. During the two regimes of the Bush – Cheney administration, the party failed to address all of the above issues as they were happening. This previous administration achieved the heaviest and strongest power an American regime ever had. Democrats could only challenge Republicans in the arena of debate but in the long run, the administration always presented a “reality” based on their “facts”. Facts that time has shown many important speeches from Bush, were fully false and deceiving. But do not ask a Republican if the previous administration failed at large. They will blame Democrats for any and every single mistake that took place during those 8 years and now. But the facts don’t lie and today, we all are facing the disastrous results of the lies and mistakes that only benefited some of the largest corporations in the country. But the American people still are at bay and hoping that this coming regime will save us from this long agony, something that the Republican primary front-runners have been exploiting to their “advantage”, blaming Obama and his party for the actual reality we face today.

In 2009, Obama’s place was to fix all the inherited problems to prove that he is the rightful person to lead the nation. However, although those problems mentioned above didn’t collapse into further disaster. These problems prevail, something that was expected from academics and analysts because the severity of the simultaneous conflicts. But as well, Obama’s initiative to address one of the most important issues of the country, an issue that has not been addressed for decades, an issue even when Republicans and Democrats put all their eggs in the nest at some point, never happened: The Health Care issue. Obama’s bill has been heavily criticized by the Republicans as a failed and insolvent program to address this toxic situation and has been taken into the public opinion arena – as a sign of failure of his administration. However, the irony of this case is that several of measures included in this bill, are the exact measures that many Republicans presented (including McCain and Romney), supported and advocated in favor of for the last two decades. Yet Obama’s compromise is used today by Republicans as an example of an eroding aspect of the American future.

It takes no effort to look back into our recent years of political and government history. The evidence never disappeared from the popular view but Republicans filtered these facts and pointed them against Obama. Obama’s mistakes. Nevertheless, they override the undeniable facts such as: The attack to the Trade Center. It was a failure of the Bush administration to recognize any possible validity of this attack and they let it happen. As well, the warnings about the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein in a pre-emptive way. Also, the failed policies to return Iraq post-invasion to normalcy by integrating most of what could be, in a heavily and historically ethnically divided nation. That, instead of integrating a nation with centennial history of division, has taken place with uncanny violence against each other. As a consequence, many of those Arab enemies are our enemies now. Today, Iraq has a weak and unprepared army (when it was the strongest in the region) that the US has been training to bring up to speed and will continue doing so for decades to come. It takes decades to train an efficient army. Another undeniable fact is that Bush assured the American people Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction when the UN repetitively said the contrary, that Hussein had close ties with Al-Qaeda and as well said “the invasion would be short-lived and presents no threat or real loses for the American military power”. Five thousand deaths later, a massive cost, and Iraq still is in shambles, we have the real facts on sight.  We know the truth. Just about any Iraqi says they were better off when Hussein was in power. If these facts don’t suffice to account for the failed and fallacious previous administration, the one responsible for the problems we face today, then there is no argument to figure why we are where we are. However, Republicans blame Obama for these problems. But in reality this is an eloquent statement about a divided, biased and arbitrary way of looking our old and known America.  The America that no longer is as remembered before the start of the 21st century. We need to get back to that America for the sake of our future generations.

Not everything is Bush’s fault. On top of the list are: The American people who didn’t question any of those facts as they were happening. The legislative body that failed to obligate the administration, based on the exercise of their – democratically provided – power to demand the evidence and written plan of action. The US armed forces and all politicians that spoke on behalf of the Bush administration failed too. An interesting fact is that among  the top of that list is Sara Palin, that divided many folds more the American people with her biased, uneducated, angry, hostile and extremist “political” rhetoric. The very reason Republicans lost the election. Instead, they gave room to Democrat Obama whose rhetoric was based on providing for the middle class people and taking away power from the corporations that as well, are responsible for the actual status of our nation. It is true, unemployment is rampant because the mortgage failure, but we can’t ignore the fact that millions of jobs moved overseas due to cheap out-sourcing. Those jobs were already missing when we needed them so badly and this displaced a work force that never got the proper training to take high-tech jobs, as Reagan suggested would be the case. Although the Tea Party was born as an alternative movement to the Republicans whose party looks nothing moderate, because of its ambition to seize power, in reality it did more damage to the far right and to the country, than a conscious political benefit to the nation. A clear manifestation that the American people are not happy anymore by being neglected for a long time, left and right Americans are exactly in the same place, and share a place in the same boat.

Today, the American panorama is one of the saddest in American history. Republicans and Democrats fail to join efforts to overcome the shortcomings of a global financial problem, the environmental threat of global warming and ozone depletion, the energy crisis that somehow “disappeared” <due to blindness> right after the oil crisis of the early 70s, our failing educational problem that places us in 20th place ranking world wise in the 2009 Human Development Report – 13th according to the Education Policy Institute (and never even among the top ten any other ranking organization), threatens our fragile safety at home and abroad by terrorists, as well the massive abuses of large corporations that get away with murder and at the cost of tax dollars, the lack of confidence in the American people and the weakening of an economy that still provides the tax cuts from the previous administration. Tax cuts that were put in place when the cost of all our initiatives far exceed our gross product. Isn’t this some kind bribe from our Republican government that blinded us from the truths of what we were getting into? But we “can” blame Obama for all that, as if doing so will fix any of the above problems.

Republicans insist they are the only ones able to address and fix the country. But they throw dirt on each other and accuse each other of unprepared, inexperienced,  unpatriotic and plainly ambitious for the sake of personal benefit and ego trips.

If you take just a quick glance at Wikipedia and their description of the Great Depression, you will find that the solutions to our failed economy of today, compared to those times (massive lay offs and the failure of many banks if not most), are ahead of schedule and we are on the right track. During the next four years we will witness the benefits of this administration initiatives and all of the above will drastically improve regardless of who is in power, but only if the issues that triggered our actual situation never happen again. Romney has clearly shown lacking of any vision and experience to manage this, but his word. He never presented any evidence to the case even when challenged by his own peers. Recently Gingrich accused him of “being a liar”.  Gingrich was asked two or three times the same question and he asserted it. The next presidential period will demand leaving politics behind – to address, really address – what is needed to get back into our pre-21st century status. None of the primaries’ front-runners offer what it takes to do so. Perhaps Obama doesn’t either, but it is a fact that Obama is several folds more promising that ALL the Republicans together. In other words, the upcoming election has been already decided because the American people do not suck their thumb anymore. The American people are fed up with this vitriolic situation created by the Republicans. That is something that the Republicans can be blamed for and they should take responsibility for it. This past year has been clear enough to represent the poor status of the American politics and this effort has been lead by the Republicans and just because they seek to seize power at any cost. But if I am wrong, what a serious situation we will face if the White House lands on the hands of Mitt Romney. Through all my years witnessing politics and all I’ve extensively read, Romney most champions the realm of “out of touch” among all politicians ever in the US landscape. His image, to anyone who is capable of seeing the truth, is nothing less than the same image of several presidential runners that African countries had! Countries that crumbled by a poor notion of patriotism, lack of experience, and vision, with corruption and a lack of a political view that was necessary in their countries. Today, they are worse than ever in their history. Are we heading that way? Lead by deceit, lies, coercion and a promise of a place that will take years to recover?

Although all mentioned is important, what is on top of all, is the sole fact that when we think and talk about the American people, American people means every single law-abiding American. Ethnic groups, sexual and gender orientation, gender, education, financial and social status should not bear any importance when we consider the country. After all, we all are Americans and although our personal well-being matters to most of us first, our well-being depends greatly on the well-being of the nation. For as long as we are divided, we are no longer civilized, and progress only will be a view in a desert that no one habitats, Just like the different Arab ethnic groups that are destroying each other and their countries, as Iraq and the other nations facing social revolutions are. This is what the previous administration left us behind. Division, division, division! Division in Iraq, division in the Arab world, division in American politics and division among us. It is time to truly listen to Obama and make a true and solid effort to conciliate our bi-partisan differences, regardless of anything. What is at stake is our entire nation, and I hope that no one is unable to see that today, the world and our nation is in a fragile state. At some point, hopefully before tragedy strikes again, we will be together so we can become the heroes that have made this is a wonderful nation: the most democratic, healthiest, smartest, richest and most powerful one in our entire world’s history. We are not ready to give up that place yet. This is not the best possible time for it but more importantly: There is no other country prepared to take that place.

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.

The Failure of the Super Committee


By Isis Win

Here we are again facing another failed budget negotiation between the two parties. Another tremendous failure – even if a measure is passed. No party will claim a win, which seems that is the number one agenda. That instead of acting in favor of the country, the American people and the electors that put the Super Committee in power. The question the press has been pounding now, over and over is: should the members of the Super Committee be reelected? The logical, sensible and sensitive answer is a plain NO! But what party are we talking about? Right hands will answer get out the democrats! But on the opposite end, the answer will be, send the republicans back home.

Once again, I don’t care of believe what flag one party or the other one wears. Whether moderate, left or right, republican or democrat, all of them flip – flop with their claimed mentality or ideology and much more when it comes to vote for a bill. Issues and the answers that fix them is my train of thought. However, in this case, as many of the recent ones, I find that republicans are throwing a fit for the sake of insuring reelection. No taxes is their ticket, they think . . . but only an idiot will believe that such is what is needed to address all the complex issues we are facing. The irony of the case is that every single person against any increase in taxes, will state that such will counter work hiring. Hello? If I am a business owner (which I was and am not any longer and guess why?) All I will have to do to compensate for having higher taxes, is to make absolutely sure that my goods or services, will be competitive to the fierce market. A market that is eager, willing and capable of sacrificing something for the sake of staying in business. Even if my taxes are increased (nope, I don’t even make 250K), which I hate the idea, will be totally acceptable because I know well, we are in dire need of fixing many things, among them our deficit and debt. If I would be a million plus earner would be the same. After all, the worse it could do, is to slightly change my lifestyle but just for a time being. Once the country finds a balanced sheet, businesses will go as they were previous to the Bush administration when just about everything was booming quite well. So, yes to taxes! Unless people want to have the cake and eat it. In order to get all we need and want, we have no other choice but to pay for it’s cost. Frankly, I believe a strong and healthy nation offers much better possibilities, even if I am not having the greatest income I wish. The way our country is, there is no true winner. Perhaps only those that have hefty accounts overseas are winners regardless of higher taxes or not. They will remain as rich as they are today.

Cutting benefits to those who are retired and depend on those social services, services that they pay for and work their ass for them; simply is unacceptable. And cutting The Defense Department budget? On who’s mind can that be a positive move? Today when the political and social unrest in the world threatens all nations of the world? If you need a new prescription for your glasses today, don’t wait any longer because the known threats around the world are far worse than they were when the cold war. Perhaps the main difference is that there is no super power threatening us, but what about several nations together? Something that can happen at any moment since the Arab world is much more than unhappy with the US and such will not change while having a strong presence in the region. Soooo is the alternative to move out of the region for the sake of saving tons of dollars and allow the Arabs to become happy? No! Having arm forces that cost multi billion dollars every year is not my wish at all. But the US has taken a role that cannot be withdrawn just like that. Therefore we have no choice but to keep balance, as much as we can – around the world. Perhaps awaken the world to realize that for as long as we remain focused on the “well being” of other nations, instead of their own, we’ll remain screwed. Perhaps Aldous Huxley was much more than a visionary and what we need to do is to have a single country with a single government to rule the entire world. Forgive me for this fantasy but frankly I believe there are much more important issues and agendas on sight. Such as we must watch more closely what our planet is telling us before it is too late.

The worse of this failure is the fact that people’s confidence has been undermined once again and now for more than a decade! And if we don’t change this soon, who knows where we are going to land. No wonder crime has been growing across the planet in disproportional numbers and no country has a good hand to control it. Basically between the people’s division that we see in almost every country in the world for one reason or the other one and the political struggles, are destroying the order that almost every single person wishes to keep. But not many are doing something about it but to complain that they are suffering and also have needs. So is the rest of the world! But we, the US still are in a privileged place that at some point will no longer be and then, what are we going to do? Blame Obama? Or the Republican party or the Democrats?

Perhaps the only people worth any consideration today are our troops overseas and every single person that is Occupying a place to demand a the dialog that politicians are refusing to withhold. Even between their own selves. What a shame!

Unlike Most Marxist Jargon, ‘Class Warfare’ Persists

In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx (above) and Friedrich Engels used the German word Klassenkampfen, which translates as "class struggles." Their critics rendered it as "class warfare."

by Geoff Nunberg
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Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.
This transcript has been published with Professor’s Numberg written authorization. My deepest gratittude for your consent professor.
I believe all readers will connect the dots with the recent declarations from the Republican Party in regards of President Obama’s recent submission of his Labor Act to the Congress. Perhaps a little education in regards of the origin and meaning of Class Warfare will aid a few readers to understand how improper labeling is used to discredit the opponent’s initiative to justify their reaction and vote on the floor. You’ll be the judge.
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“Class warfare” was a dodgy phrase from the outset. In one of the most famous sentences in the history of political thought, Marx and Engels wrote in their 1848 Communist Manifesto: “The history of all society up to now is the history of …”
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That’s where things get complicated. In the original German they wrote Klassenkampfen, which means “class struggles.” But some of their critics rendered it more belligerently as “class warfare.” That was the stock label they put on the bearded socialist agitator in political cartoons. And some socialists actually did use it, while others tried to turn it around to describe the capitalist oppression of labor. But “warfare” more readily suggested the disorderly violence that broke out from below. It conjured up the red flags, cloth caps and barricades of Les Mis, not the measured operations of the parliaments and law courts on the side of the bourgeoisie.
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It was those violent overtones that endeared “class warfare” to the right and spared it the fate of Marxist jargon like “proletariat,” “class struggle” and “the masses.” Even the left has bailed on those expressions. They’re only about a quarter as common in the pages of the New Left Review as they were in the 1970s. But “class warfare” has been on a tear in the language of the right — it’s used five times as often in The Wall Street Journal now as it was 40 years ago. In fact, the phrase has actually become more frequent as the marginal tax rates have gone down. It’s sort of a revenant, a specter that haunts the English language whenever appeals for making the rich pay more are heard in the land.
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Like other dead metaphors, it has to be said just so. It’s “class warfare,” not “class war,” which sounds disconcertingly European, where class isn’t a forbidden subject. In a speech to a Labour Party Conference in 1999, Tony Blair famously announced, “The class war is over.” You wonder how people would have responded if Bill Clinton had said that — “What, there was a war?”
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In fact, “class warfare” is just about the only phrase in American political discourse where “class” can appear without the all-forgiving prefix “middle.” People who level the charge of class warfare never go the logical next step to extol the virtues of class cooperation. That would imply that there actually are classes in America and would undermine the ideal of a land of opportunity. As the story goes, there are only two kinds of Americans — those who are already rich and those who expect to be. That’s why Americans won’t tolerate tax-the-rich proposals that pit one group against another, when we should be all in it together.
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Democrats react by dismissing the charge of class warfare as a tired Republican talking point, or by trying to turn it around on the rich, the way the old Socialists did. During the 2000 election, Al Gore described the Bush tax program as “class warfare on behalf of billionaires.” But the charge does tend to put Democrats on the defensive. As President Obama said when he announced his tax program, “This is not class warfare, it’s math.” But that approach doesn’t always work in politics, where denials often are apt to raise suspicions rather than dispel them — as in “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” and “I am not a crook.”
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Yet these days, the C-word isn’t quite as off-limits as it used to be, maybe because the populist genie has been let out of the bottle. In a speech the day after he announced his tax ideas, Obama said, “If asking a billionaire to pay the same rate as a plumber or a teacher makes me a warrior for the middle class, I wear that charge as a badge of honor.” That may be just stump speechifying, but it also makes him the first Democratic politician who has ever accepted the label and invoked the rhetoric of war against the rich.
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The tone is different on the right, too. The Republican leadership still warn against divisiveness and avoid talking about class explicitly, other than saying that we shouldn’t be increasing taxes on the “job creators” but rather “broadening the base.” But the conservative media and bloggers have been less circumspect about cleaving society in two. Some of them talk about an all-out war between the producer class and the moocher class. And Fox Business ran a series of segments last spring called “Entitlement Nation: Makers vs. Takers.” It isn’t entirely clear who the moochers and takers are, but everybody seems to define them as including the 51 percent of American households who don’t pay federal taxes, along with those who receive Pell Grants and other forms of government assistance.
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This isn’t just about a couple of welfare queens anymore; it carves broader than that. In fact, it recalls another famous sentence from the Communist Manifesto: “Society is splitting more and more into two enemy camps, into a face-off between two huge classes.” It’s true that Marx and Engels would have wanted to draw the line in a different place and switch around those “maker” and “taker” place cards, and of course they were rooting for a different team. Still, they all share the same basic theory of class conflict as the motor force of history. It puts me in mind of what an Italian friend of mine once said: “America, what a country! You have everything in America. You have mechanical bulls. You have early bird specials. You can even find Marxists in America.” He was right about that — and in the damnedest places, too.

A cornerstone has been achieved.

By Isis Win

A major cornerstone has been achieved with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – DADT. The compromise that President Clinton settled for after negotiations to halt expulsion and criminalizing gay and lesbian members of the armed forces in the military in December 21, 1993, has come to an end.

Before Clinton’s compromise, gay and lesbian soldiers were criminally prosecuted, sentenced, jailed and expelled from all the branches in of the military, just because they were homosexual. Many served long jail sentences and all were discharged with dishonorable records that made for them impossible to pursue a career as officers of law enforcement and as well, to collect the benefits they worked for during their years in the military. But DADT was far from being the right measure. The result forced gay and lesbian troops to hide their “sexual preference”, or rather, who they really are. However, for the first time in history, gay and lesbian people were able to apply to service without having to face criminal charges for joining the military. That is, as long as the kept their sexual preference secret. Nevertheless, they still were stigmatized if discovered and it wasn’t uncommon to learn that soldiers against homosexuality denounced them in exchange for benefits and favors. As well, victimization of homosexual soldiers was a fact of life in the forces. Many criminal acts against gay were ignored.

Many Americans considered DADT unjust, unfair and illegal. President Obama during his presidential campaign promised members of the military, their family members, friends and supporters to repeal this compromise and allow all gay and lesbian soldiers to serve the military without having to conceal their personal and intimate sexual preference.

The fight to repeal DADT wasn’t an easy task to undertake. There was antagonism from all venues, particularly from the House of Representatives. Congressmen were concerned about losing their seats in the house because a large number of their constituents manifested opposition towards repealing this measure. It required a massive lobbying on the part of the average citizens who made thousands of calls and sent thousands of letters to the legislative body, The White House and the military authorities. As well, all advocacy entities invested millions of dollars to lobby at all levels for the repeal of this unjust compromise. I am extremely satisfied of being to be one of the millions of people who invested time in making this change to take place.

On the side of the White House, President Obama gathered the military brass to get involved in the making this change. The White House placed all their weight to the military members to make this possible. Prior to the repeal, the military went through a series of considerations to study the possibility and consequences of this change.

DADT never reached a plateau to be considered by the Supreme Court but a number of times it came quite close. Then, advocacy institutions and mainstream people at large, placed a lot of pressure to on the Congress. The Congress just did what they know how to do best: Promise to consider it and possibly vote in favor when the bill would reach the Congress. Personally, I witnessed during a HRC (Human Rights Campaign) visit to my local Congressman (I was one of the HRC advocates) promising to vote in favor of the repeal. But as well, he claimed being realistic, stating that if support from the brass wasn’t there, the bill would never pass. However, my Congressmen never hid his support for the repeal. Perhaps, one of the reasons he never reached reelection. How sad is that?

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell now is a thing of the past. It is history and passing this repeal is not just a mere political maneuver. The brass, at the insistence of President Obama, considered the situation, studied it and passed surveys among the troops to assess their sentiment about the possible repeal. The surveys revealed 80% of the troops supported the repeal. As a result, the top brass opted for training the entire armed forces in regards of to how to deal with any possible scenario that could contradict the passing of the repeal. 96% of the troops passed through this training. Then, top military presented their results to the White House and the repeal was announced.

Leadership in all the military branches, were quite clear to the troops stating that any action against the repeal or gay and lesbian soldiers would not be tolerated. It became a top order and soldiers are to obey orders regardless of anything.

DADT now is history to be celebrated. One battle has been won and many others still are on the burner. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) fights the exclusion of Federal recognition of same-gender marriage. A constitutional right denied to gay and lesbian people.  At some point, DOMA will be brought to before the Supreme Court, where it hopefully will be declared unconstitutional. Federally recognized marriage between persons of the same gender will become another gain in the realm of obsolete civil rights infringements against the people of the United States and gay and lesbian people. Until this happens, however, this is a sad panorama as is. For instance, many Post-operative transgendered people, have to remain legally under their born marker, otherwise their marriage becomes illegal and invalid.

Hopefully, we will reach this needed change soon but it is extremely difficult to predict it due to the actual political situation between Republicans and Democrats. More specifically, those Republicans who are campaigning against President Obama. Opposition to same-gender marriage has become a matter of propaganda against the President. Barring same-sex marriage recognition is based on an erroneous argument denying the validity such marriages as a constitutional civil right. Despite this fallacy, it is has been used as propaganda to stir the conservative population against this right. All based on obsolete and ankylosed beliefs that are no less than a pure reflection of ignorance and fear. Nevertheless, republicans use fear and fundamentalists’ beliefs to catapult their candidacy among the American people. This sad reality not only presents the poor panorama of the integrity of the patriotic obligations of any member in government, but as well, their manipulation of the facts to represent themselves as the best next president. It is evident, people at times tend to become blind and these campaigns, loaded with lack of intolerance and defamation, are clearly a sign of the breakdown of basic initiatives, politics, and policies that supposedly are for the best of the nation and represent the will of all the people of the United States of America. Nevertheless, just like in the era of segregation, they only serve a sector of the population and ignore the one that has been actively seeking for the right change.

It isn’t like the nation is not facing more important and detrimental problems that threaten the well-being of all Americans. In fact, one item that seems to be missed in this political arena of today, is the fact that rich people have paid much lower taxes for many years and republicans use President Obama’s initiative to increase their tax quota to attack him as an unpatriotic American or President. Looking back into our recent history, we can’t overlook the fact that the previous administration made a few vital and drastic mistakes during their administration. Mistakes such as poor planning post invasion of Iraq, the removal of Hussein and the placement of a legitimate regime that will conform to the will of the Iraqi people. These terrible mistakes have cost trillions of US dollars and the loss of thousands of lives. American and Iraqi lives. It is one of the main reasons we have a high deficit today. More importantly, the war in Iraq brought a lack of stability in the Persian region due to the presence of the American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. As if all of these are not enough to concern any politician and American citizen, we are passing through the worst global financial crisis, the same that started right here, in our own land, under the watch of the previous administration.

So what will the presidential candidates do about that, instead of making charges against and throwing dirt on the current administration? It is time for every single conscious adult American to take the gavel in hand and let the presidential candidates know that it is enough of false rhetorical garbage and promises and it is about time to pitch into getting our nation out the hole we already are in. If they claim they can only do that once they are in the White House and cannot do anything before, why would we vote for them? These times demand contributing what we can – as we can, instead of invalidating what others do about it. However, the example from the competing republicans is clear and good enough to invalidate them as a possible next ruler. The bottom fact is that we are – where we are – and we need to change it.
But this is not just about the politicians and their politics. This is about every single individual because after all, we all are involved. Just like the soldiers that offer their own lives for the sake of us. I am glad for them since now, they have the right to be who they are as they are. 60 thousand gay and lesbian soldiers now can relax or better, feel being appreciated by all Americans. Today, we are a better America.