Monday, November 30, 2009

Dick--I Mean Deck--the Halls...

Me: No, I have to... It just wouldn't seem right!
Rich: But it defeats the whole purpose! We're trying to get the house ready to sell, not enter it into a decorating contest!
Me: You know what my grandfather used to say about the undecorated houses?
Rich: Uh...
Me: "Oh, they must be Jewish!" Not that there's anything wrong with that, but you know how I love the holidays and decorating!
Rich: But--
Me: I have to decorate something!
Rich: But--
Me: I've already agreed not to put up a tree so we can sell it on eBay, and that's a huge part of decorating.
Rich: But, babe--
Me: And I'm not putting up the icicles around the edge of the roof!
Rich: Yes, but--
Me: But I am decorating in a "tastefully simple" kind of way.
Rich: (Quizzical eyebrow raise.) Huh?
Me: You know, a little here, a little there. The Christmas plates, stockings on the mantel, a few bubble lights.
Rich: I suppose...
I had already started, you see. With the stockings and the nut cracker soldiers on the mantel, the ancient Santa and reindeer that Mom always had placed in the corner hutch. About seven boxes were strewn across the living room floor with Beaux hopping from box to box to sniff and toy with some of the precious treasures.

Rich: I just thought that--
Me: The upstairs is still being worked on, I need to rerun the wiring, but it will get done--we have all winter to finish the upstairs.
Rich: Yes, but--
Me: And I'm not putting up the village or the train set, so that also saves time and space. (I was really quite proud of this sacrifice I was making!)
Rich: Can I just--
Me: And we'll even, if you don't want to, not set up the Island of Misfit Toys display, just in case that one (jerked finger toward Lil Wet Paws as he discovered stringed lights and Hawthorne stared at him with utter boredom mingled with contempt) gets a little to mountain-climby.
Rich: I just--
Me: It's just a few lights and some of the smaller decorations!
How the hell am I supposed to enjoy my last Christmas in Pennsylvania if I can't decorate?! It would go against all the fuzzy-warm memories of childhood, the sense of tradition, the only bright and shiny time in a long and gloomy winter! I was now on the war path...

Me: I'm decorating, and that's all there is to it! I'm tired of feeling like Scrooge! Thanksgiving was already five days ago! This house is usually decorated FOUR days ago! All the neighbors have their lights up already! I feel like... like...
Rich: I just wanted to ask if I can put up the nativity?
Me: Oh... Why wouldn't you be able to?
Rich: Well, I know it's not exactly your thing...
Me: So? It's your thing! And you have just as much right to put it up as anyone else! I've never stopped you before... Why are you asking now?
Rich: Well, since I was the one who said we wouldn't decorate, but now it seems we are decorating, I just thought... I dunno...
Me: Quit being such a dick and start decking!
Rich: Decking?
Me: The halls? "Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la?" Ever heard of it?
Rich: Okay, okay, I'll start decking!
Ahh... Now it's starting to look a lot like Christmas...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Near the Beginning...:
#14: Shedding Some Light

Near the Beginning: Shedding Some Light
More of Near the Beginning, or use the short cuts to each comic in the right-hand outside column.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Devil is in the Details...

A Sunday school lesson refresher course: Satan is god's enemy; God kicked him and all his buddies out of heaven because, and I quote from that greatest of mythological treasures here:

Rev 12:7-9 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Please note the italicized text: war broke out in heaven. Heaven? War? Surely the two are antonyms!? Why, according to the bible, heaven is supposedly kittens and puppies and rainbows 24/7! War in heaven? That's kind of like finding out Mrs Brady was an alcoholic!

If the bible says this, what else does it have to say about heaven?

Mat 6:20-21 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (No stealing in heaven--it starts wars and breaks your heart, much like your seventh-grade girl friend...)

Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. (Marriage isn't sacred and we're all asexual... I think that counts as tearing asunder, don't you?)

Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (Heaven has an expiration date, much like cottage cheese...)

Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. (Heaven has steroids, next to the party mix of uppers and downers...)

John 12:28 Then came there a voice from heaven, [saying], I have both glorified [it], and will glorify [it] again. (Heaven has a Public Address system...)

John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (Heaven has public housing--talk about your socialism! Of course, if Jesus is preparing it, do you think they'll all be decorated post-exile style?)

Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (Heaven is see-through; good thing we also all become gender-neutral, or peeping-tom-ism would be rampant!!)

Rev 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. (Heaven is not a gated community, and you need to buy the sun glasses in the gift shop before entering, but also:)

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Heaven's gates never close but no one can get in or out... Must be an invisible fence to keep the "bad people" out--or is that to keep the Christians in? Hmm...)
So, let's recap:
  1. God makes angels, Lufy-fer is the most beautiful, there's a war, losers have to leave...
  2. God then makes man, man also disobeys much like the angels before him (so much for perfection begetting perfection), then God has to "sacrifice" (i.e., kill) his kid to redeem them. I guess he figures enough of his creation has been an utter failure and he wants to recoup some of the loss this time through a "redemption process." (Hope he kept his receipts!)
  3. God assures us through "revelation" that this sort of thing (like wars and stealing and disobeying) will not ever happen again in Heaven, and he hopes that by making us "sexless" like the angels, he can keep the peace... (also unlike your seventh-grade girl friend)
  4. Oh, and he hired a very fashionable decorator (Jesus; nepotism is alive and strong in Heaven) to build the new heaven (and your mansion!) with lots of shiny stones and glass.
  5. Once he decides we've "suffered enough," he'll send the kid back to collect the dead and the living that gave him kudo's and who are all possessed by his holy spirit (multiple personalities much?), give them all sex-removal operations (no co-pay, Heaven has a socialistic universal health care system), and let them live in this new playground as long as they promise to give up free will. (Lobotomists are also covered in Heaven's health plan.)
What could possible go wrong with a plan like that?

The devil is definitely in the details...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Near the Beginning...:
#13: Darkness Everywhere

Near the Beginning: Light-Bringing Darkness
More of Near the Beginning, or use the short cuts to each comic in the right-hand outside column.

Clicking on the comic will open it up in a larger window.

Other original comics include the short-lived Something Like That... comic series....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life Sucks So Beautifully Sometimes...

I love you, blog, and here's why--I could bitch a blue streak for weeks on end with nary a positive thought or comment, and you just take it. You never bitch back, claim you feel used and unloved, and you never, never offer so-called "constructive" criticism... Although I can't claim what my millions of non-commenting readers are thinking, at least they have the decency to read and thus, I am comforted by the fact that perhaps some of the misery and too-infrequent joy is at the very least entertaining to some, if not others...
I thought I was getting laid off today--it's never good when the director of HR and your boss call you in just twenty short minutes before the end of the day... I almost wish I had been now...

You see, last week's paycheck is going to bounce. It hasn't yet--I've just checked my checking account balance. But I've been assured in no uncertain terms that this is, in fact, the case. They will cut me a new check... Soon. No ETA on that, but soon. This week's paycheck, however, will only be late. (I was wondering if this was supposed to be the "good news.") Next week's paycheck will also be late, but that should be the end of "late" checks... (Because we plan on winning the lottery?) I kept wondering if this was how they explained the lay-offs and cut hours to the five employees last week... ("We plan on winning the lottery, so this shouldn't last long...")

The only thing I could think of at the time was that at least an unemployment check from the government comes when it's supposed to, and, as far as I know, anyway, doesn't rescind itself one week later! But having never had to collect unemployment before, I only have heresy to go by on that train wreck of a thought... I was thanked for my "understanding" (I'm still a bit unsure what that means in this instance...) and while I do understand that right now the economy sucks the big one (and if I hear one more goddamned cheery-ass reporter tell me "we're clearly in recovery," heads will roll!), I'm still left wondering if I should just cut my losses now and be gone before things get really bad! (Because, you know, this is just a mud puddle on the gold-paved road to financial independence!)
Sometimes I catch myself sneaking furtive glances into the darker corners, looking for the hidden cameras. I've obviously volunteered for some type of psychological experiment in which every area of your life, while not quite collapsing, definitely contracts, squeezing and squeezing until you wonder where your next breath will come from.

Don't get me wrong--we are still a bit off from being homeless, or even completely broke! But from the ruined spring harvest due to three months of rain (thus killing the idea of "stocking up" on food), Rich having not gotten paid for a month and a half when the state couldn't pass a budget, to my parents having to sell their home because my father still can't find work, to having a $10,000 sewer bill staring us in the face as they "install" this state-of-the-art plumbing system in our township, watching my own job go through (death throes?) constricting times financially...

I could go on and make an entire list of the bad year this has been, but that would be an exercise in futility as, not only do I not care to actually think of it all, I also don't wish to type it all either... (Bad year, bad bad year!)

But--do you know me well enough to know what's coming next?--there is a bright spot, albeit tiny and insignificant in the face of the overwhelming darkness in my mind at the moment: You see, I've won something (and therefore, can never claim to be a total loser again!) Back in July when we went camping, I entered a raffle. You know the type, where they have a picture of the big beautiful quilt you could win, 5 tickets for $5, 15 tickets for $10? I always buy these tickets wherever we go, not because I could win (have you heard of my track record?) but because they are always to raise money for a charity or fund that's very worth while, and in this case it was to help pay for a certain person's medical expenses. So while I chicken-scratched some barely legible information on the stubs, I pocketed my half of the stubs and ultimately lost them (surprise, surprise!)

And then I received an email: Hi there! You won a prize in the ________ raffle! If you could please verify that you are Jason Huhs by supplying us with an accurate address... After a few back and forth emails, most of which involved my last name ("Hughes, not Huhs!"--I suppose I am starting to take after my mother more as I get older--the proof is in the chicken scratch...), I found out what I had won:

A rainbow-colored set of bears in a rainbow-colored bag with rainbow-colored straps... Could I win a gayer gift? And after this suck-ass week (month...? year...?), it was totally what I needed... A bright spot.

You just have to laugh... Life sucks so beautifully sometimes...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys..."

As I sip on my morning cup of coffee, I breathe in the fresh country air and watch the horses graze peacefully in the pasture behind my house. The frost lays heavy on the fields, and not a bird breaks the silence as the sun peaks above the Appalachian mountains--more foothills than mountains in this part of the state, if truth be told.

These are the mornings that should last an eternity. Alas, eternity isn't nearly as long as most people think it should be. As the steam rises from the mug and Hawthorne looks for that spot that's just right, I know these moments are numbered, and somehow it makes me appreciate them all the more.

When I used to dream of home ownership and adulthood, I pictured myself reading the paper on a sunny spring morning wearing nothing but a white terry cloth robe, sipping a mug of coffee at a bistro table on a flagstone patio surrounded by plants and flowers; a neighbor would wave cheerfully as he gardened in his own yard; children would be heard in the distance as they boarded the bus for school; a bird would sing happy little notes and tunes. I would reach my hand across to my husband, wearing a black terry cloth robe and drinking tea, his chest hair catching the morning light enticingly, and we would know what contentment truly was. It was sickeningly sweet, this daydream of what it would be like to be an adult living my life filled with Brim, Calgon, and Kodak moments...

The reality is even more beautiful, however, albeit in a by-way-of-Siberia type of way. As I lift the Folgers once again to my lips, I hear through the window the soft sounds of Rich's snoring. A crow caws loudly, sending Hawthorne on a quest to see if he's low enough to be worth chasing. Beaux claws at the screen door, making a paw-print mosaic on the storm windows recently installed to ward off the winter chill which comes regularly now. Having worked for the money that paid for this coffee, the mug it's in, the deck I'm standing on, the animals which depend on me for food and water, the food and water itself... It's not "peaceful," this moment of the morning, but I cherish it nonetheless. So much more alive than I ever dreamed, so much harder to attain than my childish mind could ever have imagined...

A song from my childhood drifts into my ears, something about this train of thought triggering a memory, and I find myself quietly singing, "Mamma's, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys... Don't let 'em pick guitars or drive them old trucks... Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such!" And then the words of the song fade away from my lips. I know my parents had dreams of a better life for us kids, and while I can't presume to know exactly what those dreams entailed, I know the myriad of things we kids put them through--what we put ourselves through--were never in their wildest imaginations as they greeted each of us into the world one at a time. As I think of the current struggles we all face--uncertainty in where Mom and Dad will live, if I will still have a job in another month or two, if my sister will live long enough to see her daughter grow up and get married, if my brother will ever get back together with his wife, if my other brother will have his dream of fatherhood, if my other sister will find the peace she seems to constantly seek...

None of us grew up to be cowboys, but none of us quite made it to doctor and lawyer status either. Nothing seems certain these days, and I am past the times when I could dream without reservation, if only because I've lived enough years to know that reservations can sometimes make dreams more attainable--when its not crushing them out of existence, that is. Reality has a way of teaching you what works, what doesn't, and that ultimately there are just some things you can't control--you can only hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

And while there are certainly jobs I can think of that would be much worse than growing up to be a cowboy (how many kids you know want to grow up to be a barnacle-cleaning scrubber?), I still nurse quite a few dreams which I'll most likely never attain (not least of which would be sleeping with Keanu Reeves!), but there are a few as well on that "doable" list. I may have that bistro set on that flagstone patio yet! Have that perfect cup of coffee while wearing a white terry cloth robe. Heck, I still have time, if I so desire, to diversify my ab into abs! I'm not sure there'll be six of 'em down there when I finally get around to working on that one, but I can still dream...

I call the dog into the house, catch Beaux as he makes his routine morning escape dash through the open storm door, and finish up the last bit of coffee resting at the bottom of my mug. As I plant a soft kiss on Rich's cheek and leave for work, the song once more plays through my head and out my lips, but this time...

It seems a bit more optimistic...:

Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold,
They'd rather give you a song than diamonds or gold,
Lonestar belt buckles and old faded Levi's,
And each night begins a new day,
If you don't understand him, and he don't die young
He'll probably just ride away

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys...
Some dreams can still be made reality... It'll just take a bit more work... And time... And holding on to those dreams...

Having Keanu Reeve's phone number probably couldn't hurt either...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just a Suggestion...

Sometimes tranquility eludes us. This is a simple fact of life. Whether it's because you go back to work after a week off to find out one person was fired, two were laid off, and three others had their hours cut... Or perhaps it's because your parent's house was sold, then it wasn't, now it is, but they're just waiting to hear from someone... Or it might be because things at home aren't progressing as fast as you would like but there's only so much daylight in a day which, of course, is gone by the time I get home from work because the sun goes down at 4:30 pm instead of 9 p.m. like it did three short months ago...

The emotional exhaustion factor is running rampant in all areas of life at the moment, much like my hamster Nibbles used to do in his squeaky little wheel before my previous black cat, Pavement, decided he would be better as nutrition than an electricity generator... (I've lost more hamsters and gerbils that way...) And while Nibbles, Pipsqueak, Buster, Tripod, and a host of other hamsters and gerbils have gone the way of that great Nike shoebox buried in the backyard--as have Pavement and Spot and their tag-teaming terrorism of my pet rodent population--the giant hamster wheel of life for the rest of us continues in its never-ending cycle. Of course, since our electricity bill is supposed to go up by 30 percent in January due to rate hikes, it would be nice if all this running in that intangible wheel would generate a little extra electricity on the side...

Just a suggestion...

Of course, things will get better, such is the nature of the wheel. It just sucks when you realize you've hit the part of the wheel that's missing a few rungs and you stumble for a bit, stub your toes, bloody your nose, that sort of thing.

Before you know it, Mom and Dad will be enjoying their new home, work will pick up, and the renovations to our home will be complete--it just takes time, patience, and a few more spins of the wheel.

(Squeaky, squeaky, squeaky...) Although, if truth be told, a little WD40 every now and then would be nice... Sort of ease us through the really squeaky parts?

Just another suggestion...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Capitol and the Catholics...

The Catholic church of Washington, D.C., has issued the city an ultimatum:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn't change a proposed same-sex marriage law...
Because feeding and sheltering the homeless isn't nearly as important as gay couples getting married, right? Making sure orphaned children are adopted by loving parents isn't nearly as important as making sure lesbians don't tie the knot! It says it right there in the Bible!:

Deu 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
Er... wait... Wrong verse... But you know it as well as I do, dear Christian! The gays can not, MUST NOT be allowed to get married! Jesus commanded it! Remember when he said:

Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
Um... not there, but I'm sure he said something about it! He must have! I mean, homosexuality was rampant back in his day--the Romans and the Greeks! He was surrounded by those perverted homos!

And then Paul--you know, the guy most Christians worship?--HE was very adamant that the poor weren't nearly as important as the gays! He went into great detail saying about how the law of the land was the utmost of importance when it came to Christian/Government relations, like when we wrote:

1 Cor 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Oh... Well, I'm sure he said something about it...

And Jesus' brother, James? If one man was to know what Jesus and god thought of all this gay wedding nonsense, it was he! He wrote:

James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, [and] to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Well, regardless of what the bible actually says, you as Christians MUST remember that your religious freedoms which are not affected by the gay marriage bills in the United States are MORE IMPORTANT than helping out your fellow man. Your religious freedoms are MORE IMPORTANT than being a stand-up guy for your Jesus. What you believe, what your opinion is on civil matters is MORE IMPORTANT than anything else! Even though the D.C. bill explicitly states that "religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings," what the Catholics really fear from this bill (and if you were to ask Jesus, rightly so!) is that "they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples."

God. Forbid. If Jesus were in a grave (and because the Bible says he rose, he isn't!), he'd roll over! Twice!

What is this world coming to, when the equal treatment of human beings trumps religious belief and opinion? I'm sure when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock to escape the religious persecution in England only to start religiously persecuting everyone else that also came here, they never envisioned this! Why, the nerve of our nation's capitol! The unmitigated gall!

Well, not to worry--just like when god threw Massachusetts into the ocean, Vermont was swallowed by a gaping sink hole, and in Iowa everyone was turned into a pillar of salt, Washington, D.C., will have its day of judgment to... I'm sure of it!

Just as soon as god becomes real and takes an interest in the overwhelming persecution of the United States Christian... (even if Christian beliefs and actions stemming from those aren't affected by the law, and even if homeless persons will go hungry and die...)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Fellow American...

Where to begin? As it has been said, it is best, I suppose, to start at the beginning...
There is a reason we won't go back in the closet. As with any other human being on this planet, we are human beings, first and foremost. We have hopes and dreams, fears and failings, desires, ambitions, happy thoughts and sad, and we have lives.

We are brothers and sisters; we are mothers and fathers; we are sons and daughters; we are grandsons and granddaughters; we love and are loved. We eat, drink, laugh, cry, love and hate; we sing in the shower, yell at people who cut us off on the freeway, scream at the television when something pisses us off...

And we do get pissed off. Much like anyone would be when their lives are up for "popular vote."

We are not a nameless mass huddled in a dark corner ashamed to exist, although there are some who would like to make us feel that way. We do not have horns and forked tales and carry pitchforks trying to "recruit" people into the homosexual "lifestyle." As Harvey Milk once said, "I was born of heterosexual parents, taught by heterosexual teachers... If it were true that children mimicked their teachers, there'd be a hell of a lot more nuns running around." Much like red hair, left-handedness, even a white child born to African American parents, we just happen. We are not of the devil, we are not because we were molested as children, we are not some degenerate throw-backs--we are PEOPLE. We come in all colors, exist in all nations, adhere to a plurality of religious backgrounds and traditions, as well as a plurality of orientations. We are born of you, raised by you, loved and hated by you, work with you, shop with you, employ and are employed by you--but we are not a virus, a plague, nor are we lesser than you, my fellow American.

We are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and yes, we are transgendered and transsexual. We are male and female and somewhere between, and we are all human beings with the same inalienable rights. You know us, whether you like to admit it or not. We exist, whether or not you'd prefer to acknowledge it. You are entitled to your opinion, and on most days, any American would be happy to respect it...

But not today.

Today I am angry. If you would have put women's suffrage up for a "popular vote"? It would have lost, and you would have heard that women should just be grateful that God provided them with husbands and children that needed cared for. It was their "proper place," being in the home, without right to land, money, or even a vote to voice an opinion. Civil rights for African Americans? Wouldn't have had a prayer. Children's labor laws? Perish the thought! The Civil War? You know, the one where we fought tooth and nail just for the right to exist as a new nation, to not suffer under horrible taxation laws, no right to trial, presumed guilty unless by some miracle proven innocent? Two thirds of the people living in America at the time of the American Civil War were AGAINST the war!

Because people, ultimately first and foremost, fear what they do not know, cringe from change, find comfort in the status quo. When Kennedy was running for president, the largest fear was that the Pope would run American politics. It took years and years of Catholics running for office before Kennedy even had a prayer of winning! Change comes slowly when people fear the unknown, and I suppose I find small comfort in the fact.

Very small comfort.

But when you know someone who is gay? It's much harder for you to put up their lives for a "popular vote." That's also just another simple fact, do with it what you will. For the longest time, it was thought that homosexuals were the principle perpetrators of child molestation when in fact it is 95% of men who identify as straight and are usually related to the child who commit these vile acts. It was thought that gays were "demon infested"--sadly, something still thought of as true not only in small pockets of the United States, but in countries the world over as well. It was thought to have been "caused" by having been molested, or having a "distant" father or "overbearing mother," none of which is even remotely true. Ask us, we'll tell you. We'll set the record straight, if you'll pardon the pun.

There's a reason we won't just be "happy" to live quiet lives so you can remain ignorant, so you can raise more gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and transsexual children, ignorantly telling them their entire lives that they are wrong, that they are sick, that they are perverts! YOUR CHILDREN! Ignorance is not an excuse. Naivete is no longer an option. That's who were are! That's who we will always be. Your children. And when you pulled that lever to say "We don't want gays marrying!" guess whose happiness and dreams you've just put up for a vote? It wasn't some nameless mass of "gays" four states away and a world apart. It was people you see every day. It was your fellow American. It was your children.

When I woke up this morning and saw the news that Maine voters had overturned same-sex marriage in their state, I was not shocked. "Saddened," perhaps. "Angry" most certainly! But shocked? I hadn't even dared to hope.

But there's a reason I do now. There's a reason I hope once more.

You see, back in the 1970s there was a state-by-state banning of gay civil rights, started by Anita Bryant. State by state she helped states repeal or ban ordinances that protected homosexuals from being fired or denied housing just for being gay. Not based on job performance, mind you, or credit scores, or anything else even remotely objective--back in the 1970s, you could be fired or evicted just for being a gay human being. But, of course, it was the "morally correct" action to make sure these homosexuals didn't have basic human rights (as if denying someone the right to earn a living and live in a decent home could even be remotely spun as a moral thing to do!) And state by state, the moral majority was mostly successful! Just shy of forty years ago, California was the first state to take a stand and say, "We will protect all of our citizens!" and did not bow to the immorality of the moral majority. It became illegal, in 1978, when I was two years old, to discriminate against an individual because of their sexual orientation in the state of California...

Now 30 states protect persons from such discrimination, and by years' end, it should be federally illegal to do so (thus mandatory in all 50 states...) And while I am sad to say, my state covers sexual orientation and gender identity only if you actually happen to work for the state (i.e., it is not one of the thirty states), thirty states is more than the one state almost forty years ago...

Indeed, change comes slowly, but it does come. And as angry as I am right now, I do have that hope that, perhaps in forty more years, it won't just be five states that allow people to share their love and joy through marriage (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire), but all fifty states. In forty more years, I hope that you, America, will recognize what a dumb bachagaloop you've been--putting human rights up for a vote?!

Once you have said it is okay to do to one minority group, others aren't far behind. Hitler, too, had a shopping list. And considered himself quite a good Christian.

Offended by that analogy? Offended enough to rethink your approach to human rights?

After all, I, too, am an American. It's just that I happen to be gay as well. Is that really a reason to tell me I cannot marry the man I love? Is it?

In forty years, look back on this moment, dear voters in Maine. Look back at what you voted on.

You voted to deny a fellow American the right to marriage.

A fellow American.

I hope you feel proud.