in a strange place right now — the world is turned upside down
with anti-gay amendments left and right and religious extremists seem
to be attempting to move our democracy in the direction of a theocracy.
Liberal and moderate politicians are running scared and afraid to vote
in favor of the very causes that prompted them to run for office in the
first place, as threats of retaliation come from even the president himself.
Amidst all the darkness surrounding us right now — I found a couple
of particularly uplifting coincidences on the political scene:
Kansas mayor says he is gay
Outgoing Lawrence Mayor Mike Rundle, announced April 13 that he is gay.
He said he made the announcement partly because of a statewide vote in
favor of an amendment to the Kansas Constitution banning gay marriage.
“It is with dignity and pride that I acknowledge that I have been Lawrence
mayor and in all likelihood, Lawrence’s first gay mayor,” Rundle
said after finishing his one-year term. The announcement was greeted with
applause from the audience and fellow commissioners.
Rundle indicated that he was well aware of a “whispering campaign” targeting
him since he first entered politics in 1987.
Rundle told the audience he did not acknowledge his sexuality earlier because
he wanted to keep the political focus on his quest for good government
and he wanted to avoid triggering prejudice that might detract from that
“I think, perhaps, that is less of a concern today than it was 18 years
ago,” said Rundle.
Republican state senator acknowledges he’s gay
Minnesota State Sen. Paul Koering (R-Fort Ripley) announced April 13 that
he is gay and that many of his legislative colleagues have known about
his sexuality for some time.
In interviews published by the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune, the Brainerd
Dispatch and a web log, therawstory.com, Koering said he had faced questions
about his sexuality since he joined senate Democrats in defeating an attempt
to force a floor vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
“I’ve always felt like my personal life was just that — personal,” Koering
told the Brainerd Dispatch.
He decided to publicly acknowledge he is gay because the questions were
taking up time that he preferred to spend on his legislative activities.
“It’s hampered me from doing the real work that I want to do here,” Koering
told therawstory.com. “I just felt that I need to talk to reporters
and say ‘Yep, I’m gay, so what?’ and now that’s
done, let’s talk about the real issues, good-paying jobs with health
care benefits, talk about issues that affect families and people in their
It’s refreshing to know there are a few politicos out there in the
world that aren’t too scared to let the world know it’s okay
to be openly gay. Why, shucks, you can even be a senator or a mayor.
Fact of the matter is, though, there are a lot of people that don’t
feel that way. They would prefer that we hold our tongues and accept the
role of second-class citizens.
One such “shining” example is “Americans For Truth” President
Peter LaBarbera, who recently spoke out against “Day of Silence,” a
student-led day of action for those who support making anti-LGBT bias unacceptable.
Participants take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the
discrimination and harassment.
In response to this effort, LaBarbera said that a “Day of Silence” simply
does not go far enough and called for extending the idea to a “Decade
of Silence” for pro-”gay” advocates in our nation’s
places of learning.
“Parents are sick and tired of pro-‘gay’ liberals using the
trusted school environment to promote homosexuality and gender confusion
as normal to impressionable children,” LaBarbera said. “We
know we speak for the majority of American moms and dads in calling on
pro-homosexual activists to extend indefinitely their voluntary ‘silence’ in
This is just the kind of rhetoric that makes my blood boil.
So what do we do?
We declare war on the theocrats who want to change everything our country
We can do that by becoming involved, listening, watching and responding.
If you’re not politically active — now is the time to be. When
you’re listening to right wing babble from crazed maniacs like Neil
Boortz or Dr. Laura — call them on their misinformation campaigns.
If you’ve got the constitution to grin and bear it through any news
on the FOX network, note the right-wing overtones or propaganda reports
and call and complain.
Theocrats have been slowly organizing, over the past 25 years and have
amassed a considerable amount of power. Still, we outnumber them.
More Americans believe in separation of church and state. Most Americans
aren’t running around screaming about the dangerous impact of same-sex
unions on heterosexual marriage. We need to be just as vocal as this minority
that is trying to hijack our way of life.
And just like the mayor and the senator — if you’re not out
already — you need to come out.
In the words of Howard Dean at a recent Democratic Party gathering, “Are
we going to live in a theocracy where the highest powers tell us what to
do? Or are we going to be allowed to consult our own high powers?”