Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Two cents on Gay Marriage in New York or elsewhere

The Declaration of Independence states ‘We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’

This is true, but not all men or women are treated equally. The Declaration
of Independence was signed by a number of slave owners. Even in the northern colonies slavery had existed. Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, John Hancock
of Massachusetts and John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
all were slave owners at one time. They bought and sold human beings for profit. (

Yet, while slavery existed it was two Africans who were at the forefront of
the revolutionary struggle against the British. Crispus Attucks, an African
man is known as the "First to Die in the American Revolution" ( He was the first killed by British troops in what is known as the
‘Boston Massacre’ on March 5, 1770

An African man named Prince Estabrook, though a slave at the time was among
‘Minutemen’ who confronted British troops on Lexington Green on April 19, 1775,
the first clash of arms between the colonists and British troops in what became known as’ The Shot Heard Round the World.’ These men sacrificed for a country
did not recognize their humanity. Vermont, the state that I lived in for nine
years was the first to abolish slavery in 1777.

The development of the human race has been an endless quest to advance humanity
to aspire to live to higher goals. And, there is a huge difference between the enforced slavery of a whole race of people; the rapes, wanton killings and brutality committed against them then and continuing until this day, versus
the status that gay, lesbian or transgendered people face.

Yet, violence is at the core of suppressing any people or group. In the case
of African-Americans the violence was/is state sponsored terrorism. Facism.
And, whilst the powers that be have grudgingly made concessions to women. The
Nineteenth Amendment ratified on 18 August 1920, that gave women the right to
vote, came after 70 years of struggle by women's suffrage groups. The wealthy moneyed intersts acceeded to this, but they did not with respect to African-Americans.

Prohibitions on renting to gay,lesbian or transgendered persons has been a
recent phenomenon. The right to marriage is gaining steam in various parts of
the US. Some have said that this is in part an acknowledgement of the 'pink dollar.' That is, the power that being a financial or voting bloc, and
influencing elections can have. Bill Clinton was perhaps the first to curry
favour with the gay community both for money in political contributions, and
for votes.

However, the struggle by African-Americans is different because the
discrimination is based on colour.

I grew up in an Irish Catholic family, and to me religious bigotry seems one
of the longest running of all. In some cases religion has contributed more to
hate than to understanding. The followers of Jesus (PBUH) turned into the
greatest mass murderers in history. If you didn’t believe, then your life
could end quickly.

In the journeys to the New World by Columbus the native peoples were brutalized, raped, murdered, and enslaved. He and his men wiped out whole tribes and villages. The so-called conquistadors were also exterminators. They committed genocide! The conquistadors would approach a village and read out a proclamation in Spanish to the indigenous peoples that gave them a choice; either they immediately convert or be put to the sword. As the native peoples did not understand a word of Spanish they were put to the sword. These were Christians.

Muslim rulers were different. At the end of the last Crusade those western prisoners who were in Baghdad were given a different choice. It was very
different from the one offered to native peoples. The Crusaders were offered
the choice of going back home, or staying. Many decided to stay and convert.
They may have liked the women better;-

Women who are at least one half of humanity have been treated as second class citizens. There was a saying of the Chinese Communist Party when Mao was young;
it is ‘women hold up half the sky.’ I have a daughter who is 26. But, when she
was a child I felt anger at the way society treats women because I did not want
her to grow up with injustices and inequalities.

But, there is one thing that people of different races and religions have always shared agreement on, and that ranges from blatant discrimination, bigotry, violent treatment to death towards gays, lesbian or trangendered women. Gay or homosexual men and Lesbian women have been objects of hatred for who knows how long.

In researching this topic I found to my amazement that in many indigenous
societies and cultures in the western hemishpere gay and lesbian peoples were
not just tolerated, but their sexual orientation was respected in and of itself.
In pre-conquest America gay men and lesbians were known ‘as "two spirit" people.’ That is they were deemed to have ‘a perfect balance between masculine and feminine energies.’ See: The good Christians were the ones to come and make violence, even death an acceptable practice towards people of a different sexual orientation, but for sure things were different in the pre-Columbian Americas.

Presently, the most tolerant of people seem to be the Zapotec of the Oaxaca region of Mexico. ‘In the indigenous communities around the town of Juchitán, the world is not divided simply into gay and straight. The local Zapotec people have made room for a third category, which they call “muxes” (pronounced MOO-shays) — men who consider themselves women and live in a socially sanctioned netherworld between the two genders.’ (

“Muxe” is a Zapotec word derived from the Spanish “mujer,” or woman; it is reserved for males who, from boyhood, have felt themselves drawn to living as a woman, anticipating roles set out for them by the community.’ See:

It is said that some parents in this region hope that their boy will be a girl, that is a ‘Muxe’ of ‘Muxhe.’ The reason is that the parents will have someone to take care of them when they get old.

I had not always been kind or tolerant toward gay people. I particularly
remember driving through Harvard Square shortly before I entered Marine Corps
boot camp in June 1968. There were three of us, and I and the others yelled
out ‘fags.’ I associated Harvard University with communism, and communism with homosexuality. Was I dumb.

On my way back to Vietnam July 1969, Burbank, California
with my cousin Bernadette

Marine Corps training had a heavy dose of racism, sexism and homophobia, or just plain hate toward gay or lesbian people. We were told that anyone in the navy was ‘a fag.’ There was one exception, and that was the navy corpsmen who go into combat with marine units and perform emergency and life-saving treatment.

Before I left for Vietnam my first time our company was called into a formation. A group of marines had been arrested at a gay bar in one of the off-base towns, and the staff called us together to explain this to us before we read, or heard about it. One of the sergeants said that we may wonder how this could happen. He told us that there was a very good explanation. He said that real Marines aren’t homosexuals like the navy, but the reason why these particular marines were arrested at a gay bar was because ‘they aren’t real marines.’

He said that real marines wouldn’t do that, but that some standards were lowered to get people to join to meet the manpower need of the war, and that somehow a few slipped in, passed boot camp and though they’re called ‘marines’, he explained that they weren’t real marines and would most likely be discharged. To this marine that seemed like to make sense. But, Vietnam, and the war confronted and challenged every belief that I had ever had; though it was a slow process.

At the beginning of my second tour in Vietnam I arrived at a near empty fire base, and would soon join my company on ‘Operation Pipestone Canyon.’ But, before I joined my unit I spent a night or two at the firebase. I was with two Vietnamese soldiers. At one point one reached with his hand towards my crotch. I stepped back quickly, raised my rifle, moved my hand away from the trigger, and switched the safety off so he knew. The other soldier, frantically translated for his friend, and said that he thought I was nice and was wondering… I raised my rifle again, and when they back off I lowered it.

I shudder when I think about that day. I am saying this so people know what I was like, and how f**ked society can be. I was a product of my religion, family (which wasn’t bad about this issue), and military training, and my peers.

It was in college during the 1970s that I had different encounters with gay and lesbian people. One was my teacher, and he was a faculty advisor to our radical student newspaper. As a counsellor, and later during my law training I came upon studies that indicated that people are born with their sexual orientation. But also along the way I got to know people at work who were either gay or lesbian, and I taught me children to be kind to all people. That none is better than the other.

It was during my time in Vermont that a woman I knew who was also a teacher once told me that some of the best teachers were gay men or lesbian women. She had been a teacher herself for almost ten years.

Finally, I was a part of a very ,very ugly incident in Amsterdam in which a biological woman verbally and viciously attacked a transexual woman sex worker.
I was sitting outdoors at Hill Street Blues coffee shop on the Nieuwmarkt, Amsterdam. There were two transsexual sex workers on break sitting at a table
to my right. Within a minute of my sitting down a woman on my left sitting at
the adjacent coffee shop stood up and held her boobs, called to the transexual woman and said ‘My boyfriend likes a real woman; not your type…he likes a real woman. She ran her hands up and down her corpulent body as she said this.

The woman she was talking to, Jacintha (I don’t know if that’s her real name)
tried to ignore her, but the other woman kept going on about it. Jacintha made
a few very good comebacks, and then the biological women got nastier. She held
her breasts and said ‘these are real; not fake ones like yours.’ It went on,
and when the woman Jacintha gave better than she got the woman got nastier.
People walking by, and sitting outside were watching. It was a public spectacle.

I aksed the woman to stop, and told her that I was sitting here and did not want
to listen to the crap she was saying. I asked her to keep her comments to her
side of the divider (that separated both coffee shops where her boyfriend worked). But, she kept going on.

The woman tried one more time saying ‘My boyfriend likes a real woman; not your type.’ The transsexual woman stood up and pointing toward her boyfriend said
‘Well honey I get a lot of men like your boyfriend who like to come down to me
and s**k my c**k!’ I noticed that the boyfriend seemed a bit uncomfortable.

It was then that I reached deep down into my repertoire of skills and pulled
out a favourite I learned from the time I lived in Boston. It’s what I call a
‘back-handed compliment.’ I leaned over to her and her boyfriend, and I looked
at the woman and while pointing to Jacintha I said ‘she is a very nice person,
and she has a beautiful soul.’

Then, looking at the mean woman I said ‘And you have a very, very beautiful
soul. You’re a very nice person, and I can see how lovely your soul is; it’s so beautiful. But, every time you say those nasty and vile things to her you take
that beautiful soul of yours and rub it back and forth in the dirt, mud and filth of the gutter, and you and your soul a way to nice for that. But you keep rubbing it in the dirt, mud and filth of the gutter when you say those things to that woman.’

I have a way of saying something that is not nice while smiling as if i'm giving
a genuine conpliment. I often butt in on behalf of a person being put down.

The woman looked at me very confused because on the one hand I was saying
something nice about her, but something about what I said didn’t seem nice.
Her boyfriend got up immediately, and said ‘we’re leaving!’ I put my hand out
to shake and said have a nice day. My other hand was on a milkshake ready to be used as a weapon. But, he said ‘I don’t shake hands with people.’ And, just to
rub it in I said ‘Oh, that’s too bad; we were just getting to know each other.’

His fists were cocked, and I would have welcomed the opportunity. That’s a bad
side to me. He was about 30 years younger. The strange thing about it was that
the biological woman was nothing to look at. And, her boyfriend seemed to want
to leave before I dished out the ‘back-handed compliment.’

If she did not stop with the ugliness I was going to tell her boyfriend ‘either
you shut her up, or I’ll put a dog muzzle on her.’

Before this happened Jacintha, went inside the coffee shop and could be heard

What I found in just a short bit of research is that transgendered persons, especially transexual women have an elevated death rate beyond the verbal attack that I witnessed. The 2011 Human Rights Watch World Report of 2011 stated that in Honduras 'At least 19 transgendered persons have been killed in public places since 2004; many more have been injured in beatings, stabbings or shootings.'

As a measure of the abuse and violence heaped upon transexuals in particular is
this video Hate-crime beating at McDonald's (

a transexual woman Chrissy Polis was subject to a brutal and unprovoked beating
at a McDonalds. As the attack went on, by two women McDonald's staff members
stood by and watched for several minutes. It was a middle age woman who came in
and tried to stop the attack, and was smacked herself. The following is a video
of a meeting between the victim and her guardian angel so to speak.

McDonald’s Trans-Bashing Victim Chrissy Polis Meets Her Guardian Angel this is available at Youtube

So, to me, it’s really none of my business if two people, be they gay men or lesbian woman want to marry as an expression of their love for each other. Many Christians will attack this new law, but they forget what Jesus (PBUH) said ‘Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye, but not notice the beam in your own eye?...Thou hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’

And, he also said ‘Judge not that ye shall not be judged for with what measure you judge it shall be measured to you again’

To me it is good when others are allowed the same rights that others enjoy. It is up to God to judge us.

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