Supreme: Marriage for All (I Hope)

Old Entry Alert: I wrote this about a week ago and forgot to finish it. I wanted to say something about it, but don’t feel like rewriting everything!

Same-Sex Marriage is headed to the Supreme Court (USA)! How exciting that this is probably going to be resolved once in a for all. I know that the cases in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas are in appeals court at the moment and I hope that they’ll come out with a positive outcome. It would be nice just to be able to go to any state and have it the “law of the land”. I’m pretty surprised that the USA has progressed so much over the past few years. I went from me having to LEAVE the country I was born in just to be with the person I loved because Australia has the option for same-sex couples to stay together here. Now, I could just go back to the USA and get married in not only a handful, but 36 states (and Washington, DC)! AND I could have my partner stay with me there for good based on the marriage. Australia is still lagging behind much of the developed countries which is a little sad. With a guy who is still stuck in the 1950s running this country, we’ll have to boot him out before we see any real progress. Most Australians are getting pretty impatient now. But, this whole thing was about the USA, so I’m not going to go into a huge tirade about Australia. It’s just very exciting and maybe one day when I move back for good, I can live in a country where I can be with the person I love and have it fully legalised.

I am really hoping for the best outcome and really hope, if it comes to it, and I think it will, our Republican overlords won’t trash it the first chance they get. (They can’t really, can they? Once it hits the Supreme Court that’s it right?)

Oh, and Mike Huckabee and Cecil Bell, Jr? Fuck the both of you.

Anti-Discrimination

Yesterday I posted something yesterday about a wedding planner’s refusal to plan a wedding of two women. Today, I woke up and read a story about a Denver bakery who refused to make an anti-gay-themed cake. Then I started thinking, why would I cheer this woman on for doing the “right” thing and just let the wedding planner get by? It’s not and a few people (some offline) have told me that my thinking is out of line. I can see this now. Cosette wrote a comment to me that really made me think but here’s the part that got to me:

“What makes one form of discrimination more acceptable than another? … We don’t let discrimination slide just because it’s someone’s belief.”

Yes, and that’s absolutely true. Discrimination in any form is an awful, terrible thing. I wouldn’t want to, or expect anyone else to, be put in the position of dealing with it. I have friends of different cultures, gay, transgender, straight, and it always pains me to hear stories of them being the object of someone’s discrimination.

I do feel a bit embarrassed but I won’t delete what I wrote because I can’t keep pretending that I didn’t write these things when I did. I am human and okay, I don’t really think about things before I type. (I also don’t proofread or edit very much either – so my grammar can be quite messy too.)

I think it all boils down to “Treat others how you want to be treated” and I know that I wouldn’t want to be treated badly just because what I look like, who I love, where I am from, or what I [don’t] believe in.

(Un)Comfortable With The Gays

This morning I read something about a lesbian couple shopping around for a wedding planner and this wedding planner said “…Due to my  strong personal belief I do not feel comfortable planning a wedding for lesbian couples.”

I realise that I’m probably going to get sneered at for saying something like this but feel like I really need to because a majority of the people in the Facebook comments were absolutely appalled that this kind of thing could ever happen, especially in 2015.

To me, this is something similar to asking a mechanic to make me a birthday cake for 100 people. Maybe this mechanic does have some mad baking skills but then, what if he or she didn’t? Is it okay for that mechanic to say “You know what? I haven’t baked many cakes for 100 people before. I can barely make one for 4 people”? Yes, it is okay for them to say that.

I could then throw a huge fit about it and say well, I demand you bake this cake for me right now and I’ll pay you handsomely for it. Sure, this mechanic could bake me a cake but would he or she be putting their heart into it? No. That’s because it’s not something they’re comfortable with. Maybe I’d get a really crappy cake.

Okay, so that is a bit extreme, but maybe a little unrelated. Let’s substitute the word “mechanic” for something like “Japanese sushi chef”. Sure, the chef could possibly make a cake–but are they any good at it? Maybe. Maybe not. I wouldn’t know unless I was told.

Basically, I wouldn’t want someone planning my wedding if they weren’t comfortable doing it for any reason. Sure, I’d be disappointed, hurt, and maybe a little angry at first, but then I’d move on and find someone who is happy to plan it and be paid.

Regardless how far gay rights have come over the years, there are always going to be people who don’t agree about a ton of stuff on the matter. That’s life. I also wouldn’t want them to be forced to do something that they don’t want to (though, in my opinion, the experience may be enlightening but we’re talking about religion, most likely). Not everybody will be okay with two people of the same sex and that’s okay. That’s life.

What I do have a problem with, may I add, is when stores, restaurants, or any public, everyday service refuse to provide a service based on the look of someone whether it’s two people of the same sex holding hands or someone who may be from a different culture. This shouldn’t happen. I would never want to be told that I can’t have a burger because I’m standing next to a caring, loving, handsome man.

Discrimination is a terrible thing. I know this may be one form of discrimination against the LGBT community when it comes to weddings and people’s religion. It’s not the right thing to do, but I would much rather have a planner that is HAPPY to plan my wedding than one who is forced to do it because they have to or feel like they have to.

Shit people will exist and some of them can’t be swayed to even acknowledge that two people who love each other and being the same sex, can be married. Believe me, I have been there and found it to be way too energy-intensive and wasteful of my effort.

Another thing I noticed in the news is that Kevin Hart says he won’t play a gay man in a movie. People are getting upset over this as well. I don’t see any harm in him acknowledging that he doesn’t want to play a gay man because he’s not comfortable doing it. It’s understandable. Again, it goes back to the point with the mechanic and cake. Shouldn’t he be comfortable in the roles that he plays in movies? Sure. He has that choice whether he wants to do that. It doesn’t make him bad or evil. It just makes him honest. As far as being afraid of what people will think, that’s totally understandable. As a gay man myself, it would be gut wrenching to see someone play a role of a gay man badly. :) Really!

If I missed something or said something extremely nasty, you’re always free to school me using the comments or by sending me a message. I am forever learning and may miss an important point of view.

Texas Marriage Equality and Bad Politicians

I think I was a day off! That’s the problem with the 17 hour gap between Melbourne and in Texas (most of it, anyway). I’ve been pretty excited to hear anything I could about the possibility of the ban of same-sex marriages being lifted for good but I don’t think I’ve heard much of anything yet. Apparently, it’s Friday in the USA still. :)

Texas Gay Pride - YEEEEHAW!

What I have heard about is about jerks like good old State Representative Cecil Bell drafting a bill that says if any clerks issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, they won’t get paid! I don’t believe for a second that this is going to fly. He probably knows that. The rest of the developed world knows that as well. This is another example of some old fart going around saying that his opinion is the only opinion that matters. Forget the fact that there are many same-sex couples in Texas. He doesn’t want it to happen, so let it be so! I’ve visited this guy’s Facebook page and he’s pretty preachy. He sure says “God Bless Texas” a lot.

What this guy fails to recognise is that not everybody lives by the same religious principles that he does. He shouldn’t push that on other Texans but he does because he’s afraid of change. And sadly, so are a lot more Texans because they haven’t really gotten out to talk to someone who actually is with someone in a 40-, 50-,  or 60-year relationship with someone of the same-sex. They don’t understand what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone and be deeply in love and have that love completely ignored legally. They don’t know what it’s like to go through the struggles that we go through as gay men and women. They don’t care because they have read in old, outdated, ancient texts somewhere how awful it is.

Let me just say now that religion is not bad and I’ve said time and time again that I think people do need something to believe in if they choose to. What I have a problem with is when some of these religious fanatics come telling me that I’m going to bake in hell like a Christmas ham because I love someone of the same sex though I save lives regularly. They use this scare mongering to make me believe that I am some horrible person for a relationship I am in with. I don’t believe that. I know that I am a good person who follows the laws, pays my taxes, and shows compassion. In MY belief system that doesn’t make me go anywhere terrible. Now, who knows what’s going to happen after I die – I don’t know, but I like to think that it will be like a wedding cake buffet with lots of spaghetti and meatballs… and the family members and friends who passed away will be there. I can’t really disprove anything so I can’t be nasty and say that all religions are terrible. They do create some really good people but it also molds the terrible ones as well.

I am not sure what all the objection is about and why same-sex marriage is still a serious issue at all. I just don’t get it. Don’t like gay people being married? Don’t marry one! It’s really that simple. Don’t get so worked up over things that have absolutely zero effect on you! (I know it’s probably not YOU, but if you’re homophobic, it might be you.)

I love who I love and I will continue to love who I love. I have no regrets in that. No threats are going to change that and even if same-sex marriage (I actually like to call this equal marriage but haven’t through this weblog entry.) doesn’t go through Texas soon, it will. Mark my words because Texas in the minority now. How embarrassing!!!

Good luck with the marriage equality, southerners!

Slip an Extra Shrimp, no, Prawn on the Barbie For Me

I was around 4 years old when this advertisement for Australia came out. I can’t say that I remember it very well (if at all).

For some reason, there is quite a lot about this video that makes me a bit queasy. Why? Sometimes when I go back home, people attempt to copy the accent (very poorly). They start using all the Australian slang in one go. At that point, deep inside, I am rolling my eyes and using tons of energy restraining myself from slapping them.

I’m gonna post twice in a few days because I’m pretty sure that I’ll post something about the Texas/Louisiana/Mississippi appeals court (if something comes out of it).

Love is Love: Let’s Do It, Texas

Wow, I didn’t realise that I haven’t posted here since the new year began! So far, it’s been okay except this week I managed to get a piece of dust lodged in my eye so I’m having to wear glasses. I sat on them so they’re a bit bent out of shape and look terrible in public – plus, they don’t really stay on my face when I look down. Maybe I should get one of those glasses cords? (No.)

A few things have me excited now like the fact that Florida has become the 36th state to legalise gay marriage. No, I’m not from Florida and this doesn’t affect me directly, but it also becomes the first state in the south-south that allows it. That gives me a little bit of hope that one day, Texas will allow the same.

But wait, later this week (hopefully), on 9 January, oral arguments for cases that allow same-sex marriages in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are set to begin. I am really hoping this will be the end for equal marriage being on a state-by-state basis and open up the whole country for the basic freedom to marry.

I don’t know whether I will ever have the opportunity to get married, but if I do, I would love to be able to do it in my home state where my relationship will count towards something rather than being completely ignored.

We have to remember that this was one of the main issues why I moved to Australia. Though Australia hasn’t legalised marriages by same-sex couples, I am hopeful and confident that it will soon. I don’t know whether it will with the current government and its 1950s attitude. I’m not really sure what the big deal is.

I will be pretty excited to see what is going to happen with Texas though and I’m really hoping that the appeals court will not delay the inevitable and just allow people to be together.

(Yes, British/Australian spellings. Otherwise, I see red lines and get bitched at for posting stuff with spelling errors.)

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Melbourne-Australia-New-Year-Eve-FireworksThe year of 2014 is almost over (in a minute or two) and 2015 is coming soon! I hope you all had a great 2014 and let’s hope that your 2015 is even better!  Let’s hope BOTH of our new years are simply wonderful.

Instead of making a list of the stuff that I want to accomplish next year, I decided to generalise it and post the following on Facebook:

It is New Year’s Eve and it is time for that little speech of what I will do differently starting tomorrow. I am not, nor is my life, perfect and there is always room for improvement. I will strive to be a better person in all aspects. Vague enough to work, right?

I was gonna say that I wouldn’t post much on social media sites like Facebook but I started that a few months ago. If I stop using these sites, will my productivity improve? Maybe I should disable chat or something there? Not sure.

I am also hoping that 2015 will be the year where equal marriage is a reality in Texas. I’d really be happy if the supreme court just makes it effective nationwide. We will see!

(Psst: I’m not at the computer right now. This was written a few weeks in advance… then edited the day it was posted!)

Merry Christmas

parolHi there ladies and gentlemen. I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas… or Happy Holidays… or whatever.

Stay safe and sane!

What’s with the picture? They’re Philippine parol lanterns.

In November 2001, I went to Manila and saw all the beautiful Christmas stars. I was afraid that if I bought one, it would break by the time I came back to Australia. I would tell my Filipino friends that I loved the stars and a few of them got me a small one. When I’d move, one would break which makes me really sad.

Filipinos are some of the most high-spirited people at this time of the year. Some of them have been nice enough to invite me to Christmas dinners and such. They’ve been pretty good to me over the years. I just wish I knew more over here like I did in the USA. :)

So happy holidays, everyone!

Little Annoyances: Badges and Numbers

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only person that is irritated by the little badges on my applications on my iPhone. You’d think that I’m only irritated by a home screen full of badges, like this picture:

iPhone badges (not mine)Yes, I know this isn’t the newest operating system, and blah blah blah, but you get the point. Heck, you probably know that AT&T doesn’t exist here in Australia. So the image isn’t mine. I took it from somewhere.

Even if I see one of these things, I want them to disappear. I regularly spend time out of every day only making ALL the numbers disappear. Some of them are chat programs with new messages. I have a bad habit of just opening that app, then clicking on the message, then exiting the application. So yes, I forget to respond. I think a few people think that I just like ignoring messages. No, it’s the red circle with the number that I don’t like.

I know that it’s also possible to make them go away completely. The sad thing about that is that I do like to know something is there if I need it. I’m a little weird, I know.

Something else that’s not so great is that when I open some of these chat apps, it tells people who I don’t necessarily want to talk to that I have opened my app. Not so good when I’m hiding from a certain ex of mine!

Speaking of chatting applications, one of my favorites is Viber. I like having it available on every device I own. :)

Returning to Normalcy

The last few weeks have been absolute hell for me. The last two weeks have been quite emotional and it’s probably not something that I want to go through for a while. Without saying too much, I basically had to do one of my Australian “duties” since the school semester was over and I had no excuse to get out of it. I guess that’s all that I can say about that.

What I discovered is that I really don’t like the 9-5 grind. I really don’t. It makes me thankful that I do shift work instead or that my schedule is flexible enough to take time off that I need.

I started thinking about slowing down my weblog posts starting next year and just going low-key on social media. I probably will stop posting so much on social media but I still feel as if I need some sort of therapy. It used to be my podcast (which I’m sure I will never return to now) and now I guess it will be my weblog for now.

Another reason I want to stick around is that I am very hopeful that equal marriage happens in Texas. I don’t know 100% if it will happen, but I am really hoping it does. I think, honestly, it’s only a matter of time before all the states say “You know what, we’re losing the battle here, let’s do it.”

On that topic, and I know this sounds awful, I am a bit afraid to go back to a Republican-controlled USA. It’s kind of like the people who said that they’d leave the country if Obama were president. (I’m about 99.8% sure most of them didn’t.)

That’s all that I have to say for now. :)