The World's New Gay State

Indifference to Injustice is the Gateway to Hell

That’s right, I said it.  It doesn’t matter if you are a believer in the afterlife, or a believer in “Supreme Beings” or if the “hell” in question is a condition in this life when we settle for less than the best of humanity has to offer. 

I think of this quote and how it might apply to the current tizzy over the development of a mosque in lower Manhattan.  Such a fuss is being made.  Sadly, it takes a silly development such as this to rouse the passion of some and to stir the media frenzy of too many talking heads.

I’m surprised at how many people in the past have misunderstood my stated position on the mosque.  Or perhaps they were intentionally blown out of proportion for some calculated purpose.  In the USA, it is clearly within the rights of the group to build a mosque and having cleared local zoning issues, for any powers to deny them their right to build a mosque would be an injustice as I see it.  More importantly, that’s how the U.S. Constitution sees it.  No clear thinking American should deny the right of the Muslims to build their mosque at 51 Park Place.

Still, the Muslims in their theocentric wisdom must hear the message loud and clear:  the mosque should not be built at 51 Park Place.  Yes everyone knows they CAN build it, far fewer believe they SHOULD build it.  I fall into that category.  As for all of the posturing taking place on both sides of the issue, the circus and poor behavior of those staunchly opposed to the mosque displays the worst about America and they fall squarely in the trap of Muslims who  want to create an American boogeyman.  I am embarrassed by the behavior of Americans whipped into irrational behavior by the current events and the protestations in lower Manhattan.

To be clear, the building at the center of the controversy, two blocks from the World Trade Center,  is not really “worlds away,” as some like to describe.  Two blocks from anything is still in the immediate neighborhood.  In this case, being two blocks away from the World Trade Center placed it close enough for the landing gear and a wheel from  one of the jetliners to crash into the roof and side of the building.  This collateral damage makes the site an actual part of “Ground Zero” in my estimation.

Even in highly congested Manhattan, two blocks away is still close by.  Ask any Manhattan resident and they will say ones  “immediate neighborhood” tends to be 4 or 5 blocks from our location in either direction – at an absolute minimum.  For more active residents, taking myself as an example, my neighborhood is approximately 10 blocks in any direction.  That would be 20 blocks from the far northern tip to the far southern tip of my “neighborhood.”  According to New York’s grid pattern, 20 blocks equals one mile, give or take.  Manhattan is comprised of dozens of such neighborhoods, like a string of pearls on a necklace, one after the other.  My favorite video store, which I patronize regularly is nine blocks from my Manhattan apartment.  It takes me all of 8 minutes to get there on foot if I’m in a hurry.  A more leisurely stroll might take 10-11 minutes.

So, the proposed mosque, being two blocks north and a half block inwards, doesn’t not even come close to being what has been described as “world’s away.”  And here is where the argument is relevant.  There are tens of thousands of survivors of the 9-11 attack.  Many go to work in that neighborhood every day.  The walking wounded are all around us.  I happened to be downtown that day and survived and did many others.  For tens of thousands of us, the scars we carry with us from September 11th are invisible.  But these are wounds that are with us day and night nearly a decade later.  Psychologically or emotionally, many of those who experienced the attack  in person (not on television from a safe, unknown distance,) may never fully recover.  For many of us, we have lost a decade of our lives in the way our world’s were altered.  Nearly a decade later I pass Ground Zero and shake my head in disgust at all of the tourists, primarily Americans who come to gawk.  Especially just after the attack, when the streets reopened to civilian traffic, tourists were having their picture taken and the ensuing excitable frenzy resembled Carnival more than it did a burial ground.  Shameful then and it is shameful now.

Out of consideration for so many people who continue to live with the trauma of the attack, the mosque, if it had “community interests” in mind, above all else, would agree internally, out of “sensitivity” to the community and to show grace and tolerance and understanding, to do the right thing and move the mosque beyond what is still considered the immediate neighborhood.  The leadership of the mosque project, if they were attuned to the feelings of the community and if they wanted to do the right thing, would have tabled the project before it started to circulate among the media outlets.  It tells me the mosque leadership either does not have the better interests of the community in mind or that perhaps this is all one big publicity stunt.  Now after weeks of negative reactions from both the public and the media, mosque leaders can claim to take the high road but that the exercise exposes just how narrow minded and bigoted America really is!  You see!  They’ll say…there is no freedom of religion in America!  “We pulled back the curtain and showed the world the reality!” mosque leaders will scream.  I can already see this playing out on Al Jazeera and media outlets throughout the Middle East.

New York City as a geographic territory is larger than 300 square miles.  New York City is larger than 51 separate nation-states that are scattered around the globe.  There are countless other places to build their mosque in New York City.  The Governor of New York, Gov. David Patterson even offered to give the Muslim community other land for free to satisfy any slighted notions.  Free land in New York City?  What other group gets an offer like that?  Yet the group is determined at this stage in the development to pursue a mosque directly in Ground Zero.  If they insist on building another mosque in the downtown area, as other mosques already exist, it should follow the cultural definition of a neighborhood and out of respect for those who survived the heinous attacks and out of respect for all of those who lost a loved one, move their mosque at least eight more blocks away so that it is not in the immediate vicinity.  Finally, for those who don’t know, downtown Manhattan is not exactly the home of a large residential Muslim community.  People would have to commute into downtown to use the facility.  This is important to recognize, because it shoots a hole in the argument that having the mosque at 51 Park Place is a necessity.

In Manhattan, like many other urban cores around the world that have been centuries in the making, we walk among the ghosts of those who have fallen before us.  Nearly every square block of lower Manhattan represents some ghastly site, some atrocious act.  Men and women who died but whose mere existence and struggles were simply swept under the carpet of history.  In Manhattan, London, Beijing or any city – take your pick, countless numbers have died and without wealth, fame and or prominence were not even worthy of a footnote in history books.  Walking along the streets of Greenwich Village, I pass countless row houses and townhomes and think how many people inside those walls took their last breath and closed their eyes for good.  I walk past shops where robberies, kidnappings and murders occurred and not even a plaque memorializing the events hang on the wall.  People want to forget the horrors, yet death, history and signs of rebirth are all around us.  In one hundred years, when all of the survivors of the World Trade Center attack are dead, the events of September 11th may seem like a footnote in American history.  And in 400 years if America as we know it still exists, the horrors of 9-11 will undoubtedly be supplanted by more recent, more horrifying events that capture the public’s attention.  That – THAT, would be the perfect time to build a mosque within the neighborhood of Ground Zero.

Some have compared the building of this mosque to the Japanese building a “cultural center” at the entrance to Pearl Harbor, Newt Gingrich among them.   Others have rightfully asked if the Germans would allow a Youth Center for Aryan teens to be built across the street from Auschwitz.  Still other examples beg the question if an American Museum of Military History would be tolerated at Ground Zero of Nagasaki or Hiroshima and lastly, what would be the reaction to the Celtic League of Western New York should they choose to celebrate the courage, personal fortitude and the freedom of defending American liberty of one Timothy McVeigh and erect a statue to him across from the sight of his Oklahoma City bombing.  Many on the far left have criticized such comparisons.  I am prompted to throw my martini at my flat screen when Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann  ridicule mosque opponents as hateful bigots too closed minded to accept tolerance and diversity in a greater world.  I am especially disappointed with my Gay sister Rachel Maddow.  In the third edition of “The Gay State” which was released this summer, I proclaimed Ms. Maddow as “one of the greatest Lesbians in the history of the world.”  She, of all the talking heads, as much as I adore her and support her right to condemn others by virtue of her place on the airwaves, should know much better.  Rachel Maddow, a Lesbian scholar and professional; no empty-headed suit is she; knows full well that no group in all of the recorded history of the world has done more to savagely brutalize, murder, oppress and obliterate the global Gay community as the hate-filled Muslims.  Frankly, the Nazi’s killed fewer Gay people than have the Muslims.    I at least expected fairness from her, knowing the atrocities the Muslims have been capable of.  But her unbridled  political correctness and uncontained elitism is preventing her from seeing all sides of the issue and handling it fairly. 

So as I write this and you, gentle reader, digest my words, know that  I merely am trying to explain and flush out my answer to readers who have reacted negatively to my earlier statements.  However, I have not changed my position in the slightest and I stand by my earlier posting on the mosque debate.  My concern in writing is not to dictate what the American policy should be.  My concern is what the policy would be in our Gay nation-state.  In our Gay nation-state, mosques, just as all houses of worship, will be allowed if the followers of a particular faith desire one.  As I have already stated repeatedly, more damage has been done to my people in houses of worship than any other singular type of facility in all of  world history.  So in our Gay nation-state, no religion will be allowed to spew their hateful venom on our shores.  They can preach the best they have to offer, but we will not allow them to bring their condemnations into our new homeland.

Furthermore, churches will be required to keep their messages sequestered within their houses of worship.  Like our military, and soldiers like the clergy, will remain in their barracks or churches until called upon.  They will not and cannot pollute the greater good of society with their narrow theocentric views.

All faiths will be welcome in our Gay nation-state.  Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam will be welcome as will every other religion, great, large or small.  And hundreds of other, smaller faiths will receive the same welcome mat.  Quakers, Amish, Animists and Wiccan’s will have their edifices  from which to speak of love and the betterment of humankind within their houses of worship.  If a group of believers bow down and hail the Slinky toy, it is their choosing and no concern of the government.

Throughout the world, some cities enact zoning to keep problematic industries from sprouting up in otherwise pleasant neighborhoods.  Toward that end, just as some cities keep their strip joints and hoses of “exotic dance” and brothels in certain districts, we will enforce a similar policy to keep all religious houses in one district or zone.  We will establish this zone from the very beginning of our Gay nation-state so this zone will be given its due prominence, affording ease and convenience to all worshippers.  We will build this zone to complement grand houses of worship and the small centers of niche religions.  I personally favor an enormous circle with a magnificent park in the center.  IT would be very contemplative, soothing and soulful place.  ON the outer ring of the circle would house all of the religious compounds.  Cathedrals of every order would be built where congregants could practice their piety.  Religious campuses and schools would be built side by side, allowing for greater tolerance and understanding among them all.

We envision a house of Catholic worship will be next to a compound for Taoists.  The Presbyterians will have a splendid center next to the practicing Sunnis.  A Jewish Synagogue  would be built next to a home for the Amish.  And so on and so forth.  Side by side.  In fellowship and mutual respect.  No one in our Gay nation-state will be allowed to feel slighted when it comes to religious freedom.  Yet we will reserve the right to establish boundaries of physicality and where such reverence will be performed for the general public.  As all of these world’s religions jostle about to show they follow one true God, let them begin by making concessions and accommodations to one another.  I believe the Gay society, more than any other society in the world, understands the necessity for tolerance and the need for sensitivity.  The Muslims, just one of many religions, could stand to learn a bit about fellowship and tolerance from us.  Otherwise, this whole kerfuffle about the Ground Zero mosque could have been avoided.  They should no more build their mosque adjacent to Ground Zero than the Gay culture would insist on building a Gay Social and Cultural Center next to an elementary school in the most conservative town you could think of in, say South Carolina, Mississippi or Oklahoma.  Obviously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Gay culture or Gay society.  But we all know our building such a facility next to an elementary school would only serve to enflame the parents and members of the school.   We are sensitive enough to the feelings and perspectives of others that we would not choose to disrupt and damage others to make a point.  We could even build a Gay church next to the elementary school, but again, why?

Finally, as for the quote that serves as the headline to this article:  “Indifference to Injustice is the Gateway to Hell.”  The quote is from artist Harriet Feigenbaum.  It can be seen etched into the New York State Supreme Court building and might be a warning to those who will not stand and defend their rights.  The Gay nation-state, as in the United States, we will defend our citizens and their right to worship freely and as they choose.  But no group, and to the Muslims of lower Manhattan, I now speak directly to you; no group will be allowed to use their pious doctrine to browbeat their fellow citizenry into having its religious doctrine shoved where it isn’t welcome.

And that I hope, is my final word on this subject.

Advertisements

Gay Nationalists Vow To Teach Muslims Importance of Tolerance

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 13, 2010

Contact:  Jack Flannigan                                                                                           

Press Secretary                        

The FIGS Party                                                                                     

Old Chelsea Station, #2                                                                        

New York, NY  10113

 

Gay Nationalists Vow To Teach Muslims Importance of Tolerance

(New York, NY)          The international Gay community has been coalescing in recent years to establish the world’s first politically autonomous Gay-majority nation—state.  Under the banner of the FIGS (Free, Independent Gay State) Party with their President Garrett Graham at the helm, the organization is opening new offices in New York.

          Weighing in on the 911 Ground Zero revitalization efforts, the organization expressed a desire to support the neighborhood rebirth, in lieu of being geographically closer to its activities with other international bodies associated with the United Nations.  To further the organization’s outreach objectives, the international body representing the global Gay community is seeking a location in close proximity to the World Trade Center site as well as the proposed Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center.

          “Officials with the FIGS Party stated the international Gay community is declaring they stand shoulder to shoulder with all democratic, freedom—loving citizens of the world who  bow their heads to all of those who perished in the 911 attack on liberty,” according to Jack Flannigan, Press Secretary.

          The FIGS—New York headquarters will eventually become the New York Consular offices for the international governmental body.  According to FIGS President Garrett Graham, “We see this as an opportunity to increase dialogue and understanding within the Muslim community.  If Islam is to be a “great religion,” as it likes to call itself, they must stop their savage violence and discrimination against our people.  The global Gay community has endured hatred, executions, crimes against humanity and brutal oppression at the hands of the Muslim’s for thousands of years.”

          America offers the world a freedom of religion that is a shining example of tolerance.  It should inspire all of us to forgive the Muslims for their heinous atrocities against us, for their actions are rooted in ignorance and they know not what they do.  Nor should we judge them, as in time, from a higher power, they will receive their own fiery brand of justice for the unending persecution they have foisted upon our people.  Hate, especially when cloaked in religion from the posturing pious, must be eradicated.” Graham said.

          According to Jack Flannigan, the FIGS Party Manhattan offices will become a beacon for the global Gay culture and will showcase the finest it offers up to the world.  We can foresee our stylishly attired “hostesses” at the doorway, greeting all of our neighbor’s morning, noon and night.  What we can do to expose the religious, indeed all people, to the best our society has to offer, will surely pave the way to improved global relations, Flannigan stated.  They are proposing the international Gay cultural center be named after Mark Bingham, one of the 911 hero’s who prevented United flight 93 from possibly crashing into the US Capitol or the White House and instead brought the plane down in a rural Pennsylvania field.

          The FIGS Party continues to negotiate for suitable leasing terms.

#   #   #

For additional information, contact

Jack Flannigan, 347-949-3747

Should Israel Exist?

Israel, Palestine and the Gay Doctrine.

The answer to whether Israel should exist is unmistakably and unequivocally  yes.  Israel should exist and has every right to exist.  May it thrive and prosper like few other nations in history.  Unlike many others who take a stand on the Israeli solution, I think too many posture and pontificate without having anything at risk in the debate.  As a leader of a people – the Gay community and an elected leader of the FIGS Party – the Free, Independent Gay State Party, I can tell you that the issue is anything but a sterile academic debate when it comes to freedom, independence and the very survival of a people.  And unlike so many who take a stand on Israel, I am not among the chorus who say the solution to the Middle East involves the relocation of Israel.  As a people, they have all ready been grossly and unjustly wronged.

Having said that, let me be very clear.  Any group – any minority that has been wronged, should be made whole and then some.  My people, the people of the Gay State for instance, are due for the opportunity to be made whole by the entire international community.  It should be made whole and then some.  Its conditions deserve to be improved upon as never before.  Does it even the score for thousands of years of savage and brutal oppression?  No, it doesn’t.  It does however, give the oppressors an opportunity to finally do the right thing and make amends for the past injustices they have wrought on the Gay people.

The Israeli’s on the other hand, have been made whole, but they have not yet received their “and then some.”  The international community and Israel’s Middle East neighbors in particular, need to atone for the treatment they have foisted on the Israeli people.  And in the spirit of equality and fairness, just as the people of the Gay State need to be made whole and then some, Palestinians deserve nothing less in fair and equitable treatment.   As any reader of “The Gay State” all ready knows, I do not favor an approach that involves degrees of equality.  Even in the most enlightened and progressive nations on Earth, Gays are still very often treated as first class taxpayers and second class citizens.  We know that in large swaths of the American landscape, Gays experience nothing short of the internationally regarded “American Gay Apartheid.”  This incremental approach to achieving equality is wrong-headed and ultimately doomed to fail.

So what does the international community do to address the Palestinian issue?  What would you want if YOU were left to endure a life of squalor and poverty amid a prison-like confinement that batters the human soul?  I don’t know of one Israeli family that would trade places with a Palestinian family.  The Palestinians need to be treated – deserve to be treated humanely.  No one – Gay, Israeli, American, nor any other people would want the unspeakable conditions forced on the Palestinians to fall upon them.  The disgust is how the international community merely turns a blind eye to their unimaginable suffering.  This is a war for justice and humanity and as always in these wars, few heed the sense of urgency.  Toward this end, the Palestinians need to be made whole and then some.  Every day that the world hesitates in solving this dilemma, more extremists and more terrorists are created.  This writer says slash a portion of the revenue pumped into the military industrial complex and instead spend the money building bridges, enhancing communities and lifting children up to a place where they can see a brighter future for themselves.

The issue in most practical terms, boils down to land and freedom.  The land will not be land taken from Israel.  This is clear, obvious and non-negotiable.  The people of Israel have all ready been sufficiently wronged by international powers who have made a colossal mess of things.  Instead, the land for the Palestinians will be land bought and paid for by the international community.  How many billions of dollars will the international community invest to solve one of the world’s great injustices and in the process bring true and lasting peace to the Middle East?  Conversely, which nation is willing to step up and be willing to cede a portion of its land for a very handsome price?    Jordan?  Egypt? Syria?  Or perhaps somewhere a bit more exotic; Libya, Iraq or Saudi Arabia for example?  Some say the Palestinians, like old prisoners, do not easily leave their cells.  They will not go quietly from their ancestral homeland.  Like countless others who left their homeland to provide a better life for their children and like so many American’s who have no sense of place, it is now the Palestinians who need to relocate to offer a fresh start for its families and a brighter future for its children.  The Irish nearly emptied their homeland a century ago in search of a new start.  At this moment, the citizens of Nauru and Kiribati are leaving their homelands in droves to make a new start as their homelands sink into the Pacific.  Many more nations will face similar fates in the years to come.  Similarly, the Palestinians need to exit the refugee squatter camps they call home and build something new and grander than they have ever had.  Beautiful homes, excellent schools, modern healthcare and employment awaits the Palestinians in their new homeland.  There is no shame in starting over.  Doing so may be the unique American optimism but conditions may well prove to be better than ever before.

There was a time in the late 1800’s when the location of a future Jewish State was considered in far-away Argentina or even the Orient.  Had the Jewish State followed through on Theodor Herzl’s concept, they might not be in the Middle-East and the world would not find itself in such dreary circumstances.   An infrastructure should be built and the Palestinian’s given a chance to prosper according to their own drive and merit.  This is a new beginning that will vastly improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people for generations to come.  For example, for the people of the Gay State, we want nothing more than the politically autonomous territory where we can be left to live in peace and to live according to our ability and drive.  If we as a people should utterly fail, we have no one to blame but ourselves.  The Palestinians deserve nothing less.  Palestinian parents will finally be able to provide their children with safety, freedom, modern conveniences, a sense of peace and liberty, and the ability to allow their children to grow up and experience the joy and prosperity we all wish for our families.

I think all parties agree the current scenario is unpalatable all the way around.  All parties should be made whole and then some.  For all of the suffering and past injustices, the international community needs to step up and do the right thing.  This might well be the last best chance to secure a lasting peace that could transform the Middle-East.

In the 21st century, is humankind mature enough to realize that some cultures do not blend well with others?  That nations around the world subject our Gay citizens to life imprison or sentence them to death because of who we are and who we love is all the evidence the we need.  We also surely must admit that humanity is not yet mature enough for diverse societies to coexist within one state.  Many claim the Israeli’s should be condemned for their ongoing aggressiveness.  Many say the Palestinians are a front for terrorism.  For my people, the Gay people, one of our thirteen Gaymandments is forgiveness.  We work on forgiving those who continue to attack us, even after Gay people have endured thousands of years of mistreatment.  Without forgiveness from both the Israeli’s and the Palestinians, the festering wounds from the ongoing hostility will prevent both sides from reaching a greater and higher plain.  Therefore, let us agree to separate, peaceably, fairly for the betterment of all peoples involved.  With a free and prosperous Israel, a free and prosperous Palestine, all of humanity can exhale.  As for Israel, it should exist and be allowed to thrive in peace.  So too should the Palestinians and even the Gay State which I proudly represent.

Another Politician Caught Spewing Anti-Gayist Hate Speech

On the heels of another defeat for our Gay people in Hawaii, this old clip came to my attention. 

You’ll want to spend/invest the 3 minutes watching this.  When we fool ourselves into thinking most non-Gay people are enlightened enough to be on our side, this is a reminder of the type of garbage that comes out of their mouths when they think they can do so safely, sequestered among their “own kind.”

Keep in mind that this woman, an elected official, has been reelected since this audio tape was released and showed what a contemptible person she is.  Her constituents agree with her and clearly are no friend of ours.  She will remain seated with the Oklahoma state government until she is term limited in 2016.

Click on this link below.  It will take you to exgaywatch which I found by way of YouTube.

http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2008/03/open-forum-anti-gay-diatribe-by-oklahoma-representative/

Rep. Sally Kern, (R) Oklahoma City,  Let me speak directly to you.  I pity you.  No amount of “misinterpreting” by your enemies and no amount of “mis-speaking” by you, can alter the sad truth about just how jaded and corrupt your soul is.  And Oklahomans, you should be ashamed of yourselves for keeping this woman in office.   Is she really the best representative of your people.  Does she in fact, represent what you are?  Are you hateful, ignorant anti-Gayists?  Are there no other issues more important to you than taking away fhe freedom and equality of your fellow Gay citizens?

In our Gay State, we wouldn’t allow this sort of speech to be used against Blacks, Catholics or any other minority group — not  even against non-Gay breeders such as yourself.  Your comments only serve to expose your soul is sick, diseased, filled with hate and ignorance.  May God have mercy on you, Sally Kern.  Between Gov. Lingle of Hawaii and now you, I see a pattern once again emerging of public leaders, this time women, who need to find an “enemy” to focus upon.

For Gays Everywhere, it’s a “Blue Hawaii”

There’s little to cheer about when it comes to Gay life in paradise.

It’s official.  After decades of battling for Gay equality, Hawaii can be written off.  This is especially poignant, after years of deluding myself into thinking Hawaii was different.  Last night, the announcement was made that Gov. Linda Lingle , a Republican, would not permit the passage of same-sex civil unions in her state, on the grounds it would be too similar to traditional marriage.

Many of you can remember as I do, that Hawaii was the first state to have it’s legislature, more than a decade ago, meet to  consider domestic partnerships and civil unions, at a time when no other state had even approached the debate in a serious way.  In the end, whether through lack of political will or courage, the government left the fate and freedom of an entire people, in the hands of the voting populace.  An overwhelming 60+ percent of the voters struck down the measure.  When, I wonder, will collective human consciousness acknowledge this atrocity and make it right?  If the federal government of the 1960’s had left the fate and freedom of African-Americans in the hands of the general voters, where would the USA be with it’s human and  civil rights record?  If the fate and freedom of millions of African-Americans was not left in the hands of the voters, then why is the fate and freedom of millions of Gay-Americans approached differently?

I am very familiar with the Pacific cultures.  Generally, as a regional group, they are socially conservative and place profound importance  on family bonds and children.  In many Pacific nations, the very existence of Gays is outlawed and can result in harsh criminal penalties.

Many Hawaiians like to refer to themselves as “cosmopolitan.”  It is a reference to a varied ethnic and ancestral heritage.  It’s not uncommon to meet someone, who may to an untrained eye, simply be considered or referred to as an “islander,” when in fact, very few people have any traces of Hawaiian in their bloodline.  They may be part Samoan, Filipina, Chinese, German and English but by birth in the US, also be American.  And as I mentioned earlier, Hawaii remains the only state in the USA where Caucasian European-Americans form only a minority of the population.  They do not however, live the lives of a typically oppressed minority.  Their power comes more from a base in finances than any other aspect of life.

So why, after all of these years, is Hawaii still impotent in delivering the basic right to its people?  The answer is, as is often the case, based in religion.

As the clock ticked away for the Governor to make her decision, thousands of religiously inclined gathered to let their numbers be known.  They didn’t protest, they didn’t display any hostility.  They simply stood in silence.  Some sang hymnals, while reaching upwards towards the Heavens, while every one of them wore white shirts with badges saying “iVote.”  The implication of course, is that politicians will face the wrath of the pious if they allow the pro-gay civil unions bill to pass.

So yes, Hawaii has a long tradition of religion.  For the many years I kept a home in Hawaii, I had thought to myself thousands of times and openly expressed it nearly as often, that the missionaries that settled into Hawaii a little more than a century ago, have successfully made a colossal mess of things.  They tainted the culture and its effects remain to this day.

I have to wonder how Gov. Lingle can sleep at night.  The first duty in justice and democracy is to care for those who live their lives on the margins.  The majority of Hawaiians had nothing to lose in this fight.  Those who will suffer in her inaction will continue to be denied the freedoms of the majority.  The message in Hawaii is loud and clear — Gays are NOT free and equal citizens in Hawaii.  They can gather as they wish in their private homes, but don’t expect proper society to openly acknowledge they have a place at the human table.  Their relationships and the human desire to have a family will not be recognized as valid.

The message is Homosexuals can exist in Hawaii and even prosper to some extent, but no more than their Heterosexual masters are inclined to allow them.  The “Cavalcade of Disappointment” has just made another stop and this time, it was in Hawaii.  Earlier this year it was Maine and before that, New York.

I no longer conceal my contempt for our oppressors as if it’s a mere disagreement.  No.  It’s much worse than that.  These evil-doers are only the latest perpetrators in a very long history of shunning, belittling and discriminating against my people and our very rights to freedom, liberty, democracy and equality.  Another generation of our Gay family is ostracized  from fully participating in the human experience.  How many more Gays will die never having felt the joy of acceptance?  Of belonging?  And participating without hiding behind closed curtains not even a sad, distant and haunting memory? 

The irony is the shame falls squarely on the non-Gay majority.  May God have mercy on Governor Lingle and her soul.  I wonder when we are gone, who will they subject to their injustices?  When we are living in peace and equality – and enjoying far more liberty “over there” than was ever possible in Hawaii, we will not look back wistfully, for we’ll know what we left behind was inhumane and unworthy of our people.

Nellie’s and “The Land Of Confusion.”

Posted in FIGS Party, Gay independence, Gay State Promotions, GLIFAA, LGBT Politics, The Gay State by thegaystateblog on June 25, 2010

The other night, upon settling into my Washington DC quarters,  I went for a stroll around the neighborhood.  It was a hot, balmy night and Foggy Bottom was at its best.  I walked all the way up to DuPont Circle where I bumped into an old friend at the Starbucks.  We caught up on the current of each other’s lives and before long, jumped into a cab together and went over to Nellie’s Sports Bar.

I’m not giving away any secrets here, so there’s no need to worry.  Once or twice a month GLIFAA meets at Nellie’s.  GLIFAA stands for Gay and Lesbian In Foreign Affairs Agencies.  GLIFAA members are usually with the State Department but they do attract many admirers.  And over the years many other groups within the LGBT community have made Nellie’s their “third place.”  Anyone and everyone who is Gay and with the CIA, NSA, embassies and intelligence communities and even Capitol Hill types also gather at Nellie’s for something more that your run-of-the-mill mixing, mingling and camaraderie.  I’ve been a regular for longer than I can remember, but I’ve been away from Washington more often than I’ve been in town as of late, so it was wonderful to be back.  I urge you to check it out, if only for fun.  You might just meet a man who could kill you with his thumb.  You might meet a secret agent, a double agent or a real life Bond.  If you’re a Jock, you’ll definitely find yourself feeling right at home.

If you’ve never been to Nellie’s don’t judge it by this.  The music is a perfect mix of new and old.  And as I was getting ready to leave, on the screen was one of those classic music videos from the 80’s.  Probably half of the customers in Nellie’s on this night probably weren’t yet born when Phil Collins and Genesis performed “The Land of Confusion.”  The video featured these creepy puppets resembling all of the international players in politics and pop culture  during the Reagan years.  Hugh Hefner and the Pope.  Reagan and Thatcher.  Michael Jackson and a cast of a hundred others.  It certainly captured the mood of the culture at the time.  And in many ways, for all of the scrambling and diversions, little has changed and only in small ways has the world improved.  We should be entitled to expect so much more for the state of humankind in the world. 

Here is the link to see the Genesis version of “The Land Of Confusion.”   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZtWABLuWHo&feature=related

In the 80’s just as all throughout the history of military science, troops are trained to be fearless, to persevere and to be willing to march off a cliff if doing so benefits a greater good.  Troops in the early 80’s sang cadence proclaiming they would be dead by the summer of ’85.  It probably steeled them to the potential inevitable.  Anyway, some of the older agents watch this video and reminisce.  Fast forward to 2010 when a heavy metal band (debatable – if my 10-year-old niece likes them) named Disturbance does a remake of “The Land Of Confusion.”  Watch this and compare it to the original.  It seems much darker and menacing, with one rag-tag superhero.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6KXgjLqSTg&feature=related

The lyrics go something like this:

I must have dreamed a thousand dreams and haunted by a million screams.

But I can hear the marching feet, of moving into the street.

Now did you read the news today, they say that danger’s on our way,

But I can see the fires still alight, and burning into the night.

Well there’s too many men, there’s too many people, making too many problems and not much love to go ‘round.

Can’t you see this is the land of confusion?

This is the world we live in and these are the hands we’re given,

You’ll never let us stop trying to make this a place worth fighting for.

Now Superman, where are you now?  It seems everything’s gone wrong somehow.  The “Men of Steel,” “The Men of Power” are losing control by the hour.

This is the time.  This is the place.  So we look to the future and there’s not much love to go around.  Tell me why this is the land of confusion?

This is the world we live in and these are the hands we’re given.  You’ll never let us stop trying, to make this a place worth living in!

Remember so long ago when the sun was shining.  And the skies were bright all through the night and the sound of your laughter as I held you tight.

So long ago…

I won’t be coming home tonight.  My generation will put it right.  We’re not just making promises – you know – we’ll never keep.

There’s too many men, there’s too many people, making too many problems and there’s not much love to go around.  Can’t you see this is the land of confusion!

This is the world we live in and these are the hands we’re given.  You’ll never let us stop trying to make this a place worth fighting for.

This is the world we live in and these are the hands we’re given.  STAND UP and let’s start SHOWING just where our lives are going to!

Music certainly has the power to move us and jar loose some long forgotten memories.  Tonight has been a wonderful indulgence for me between the meetings of the ALA Conference.  It’s very late, the sun will be up in a few hours and I’ll be due back at the convention center.  I hope you are well.  Goodnight and remember, make it a world worth living in.

The Godfather of the Gay World And Building Bridges.

Posted in FIGS Party, Gay independence, LGBT Politics by thegaystateblog on June 24, 2010

Elton John, international super-star and Gay icon, long recognized as a “Secular Saint,” and a modern day man-of-the-people has spoken.  And he expressed a sentiment that would do us all well to follow.  

A firestorm of controversy flared up when word got out that Elton John agreed to perform  at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding ceremony to bride number four.  Rush Limbaugh?  Really?

To many, a performance for Limbaugh was seen as giving a performance for the “enemy.”  Many have asked that even if John was receiving the reported one million dollar (US) fee for the performance, it couldn’t be that he did it for the money.  Did he?  Could he?  Would he?  Ok, even John deserves to make a living.  Beyond the burdens of being the leader of a global people, the man has to pay his bills, right?

Elton has been a lightning rod throughout his public life, accompanied by tumult and controversy.  The world still loves Elton – even those who couldn’t see past the paid gig.  But forgiveness is a part of our Gay DNA and one of our 13 cherished “Gaymandments.”  But how exactly did this performance advance the global Gay condition, some are wondering?  That’s not the right question, even of the Godfather of our Gay world.   Limbaugh had a global super-star perform at his wedding.  Our detractors will always say that our man “sold us out” for the sake of a paycheck.  Where’s the upside to how we can rationalize this?  To begin with, Elton has done incredible good to support all of our people.  No one can question his generosity.  I say he should take the money,  put it to good use, however he sees fit.  And frankly if Elton didn’t perform, there would be someone else.

Elton John has reportedly said that he now has a new philosophy.  “Life is about building bridges.  Not about building walls.”  I find it to be life affirming and a beautiful way to go through life.  I have used it for years and it’s reqarding to hear Elton utter those words.  One would figure that a less caring and feeling man might not open his heart to seeing life in this way, so good for him.  I wish more of us would view life through this lens. 

Let me repeat it again because I like the sounds of it so much: “Life is about building bridges.  Not about building walls.”  Just think about it…how can each of us go about our day saying that we have worked to build bridges and not walls?

For me, I see great value in reaching out and building bridges to those who have been less than benevolent to us through history.  But we will build the bridges from our new Gay homeland, from our own position of strength, where our freedom has been secured.  The world will see us differently when we are from a position of strength.  As long as we as a people are viewed as servants, dependents and “lesser-thans” we will not be building bridges from strength but from dependency.

So readers should begin by not questioning or second guessing Elton’s decision to take a paid gig at Limbaugh’s wedding.  He will continue to use his resources to support our Gay community as he chooses.  We hope he will continue to support The Gay State and the FIGS Party as we move forward in building our bridges from a position of strength in a new Gay homeland.

Foreign Policy. Failed States. Reality Check: How Bad Are They?

Posted in FIGS Party, Gay independence, LGBT Politics by thegaystateblog on June 23, 2010

I admit to the charge of being a bleeding heart.  But when you read this article, ask yourself: are you content to throw up your hands and say this is simply the way of the world or do you, based on your experiences and understanding of economics, believe there is a better way?

When you read some of the country comparisons, you will be disgusted to see how the poorest of the poor stack up against the United States.  Now the United States has slipped terribly in the last twenty years, but compared to so many others, obviously, it could be a whole lot worse.  For our Gay brothers and sisters in wealthier nations with standards of living higher than the United States; countries like Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada and Denmark; the degree between the haves and the have-nots is only all the more striking.

Click on this site to read just how dire the circumstances are:   http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/06/21/how_bad_are_they?page=0,0

Lastly, I want to encourage you to read the Watch List: Four Countries in Big Trouble.  The four countries include Guatemala, Honduras, Nigeria and Iran.  Nigeria and Iran are seemingly drowning in oil but we know  the boom and bust cycle of nations that live and die by commodities and natural resources.  Guatemala was my home for several years, the country was in desperate need for a make-over and I was there to build orphanages.  Rival drug gangs battled the government for supremacy and again, humankind lived up to its ability to disappoint.  And Honduras — what can be said of the nation that has become the most violent land in the Western Hemisphere for our LGBT family?

Take the time to read this:  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/06/21/watch_list?page=0,0

I’m heading out to wander the streets of Foggy Bottom and grab a nightcap.  I hope to meet some of you at the ALA show.  I’ll provide more details on schedule particulars tomorrow.  Goodnight.

12 Degrees of Failure. How does a weak state become a failed state?

Posted in FIGS Party, Gay independence, LGBT Politics, The Gay State by thegaystateblog on June 23, 2010

When I look around the world, I see that 100 percent of existing nations are non-Gay nations and non-Gay governments.  We are discriminated in nearly 100 percent of them but to varying degrees.  A handful of governments have made great strides to support their Gay citizens.  But a full 94% of all people around the world live in states that have made a colossal mess of things; sometimes just for the LGBT citizens, but often for the peril of all citizens.

I often mention in speeches and talks, some of the countries that currently exist that have an abysmal record.  Don’t tell me we as The Gay State  cannot do better than Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Nigeria or Haiti.  We as a people can harness enormous potential from our people all over the world.

Click on this link to read an article that I just came across on my way down to DC for the ALA Conference.   It is found on June 22, 2010 inside Foreign Policy.  If like me, you are a nerd for statistics and rankings, this article will be of interest to you.  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/06/21/12_degrees_of_failure

A Thank You Note from the desk of Garrett Graham

Posted in Book Distribution, FIGS Party, Gay independence, The Gay State by thegaystateblog on June 22, 2010

The last several weeks have been extremely busy since we launched the book.  I have been on the move even more than I anticipated.  Within a few hours I leave to return to Washington DC for the Summer Conference of the American Library Association.  The purpose of the event is to allow librarians from all over the country to gather for training, networking and to learn about new works, such as ours.

As America struggles with its bloated bureaucracies and shrinking budgets, towns and countries throughout the US are cutting expenditures wherever possible.  This means certain literary works that are out of the mainstream are among the first to get axed from the library purchasing.

At libraries, both public and private, everyone from staffers to Requisition Specialists find themselves in the scope when they spend resources on particular works that inflame the old guard.  “The Gay State:  The Quest for an Independent Gay Nation-State and what It Means to Conservatives and the World’s Religions” is just such a work.  I have known, as every LGBT person knows, that we are best tolerated when we don’t make waves or offend the majority.  After countless centuries of my community being brutalized by the non-Gay majority, I felt I had no alternative than to be as blunt and as clear as I could be in my assessment.  And that blunt, frank and unambiguous language comes at a price.  This can be the result when you displease the masters.  But the belief that we are deserving of liberty does not suffer when acknowledging our freedom requires honesty.

And now when I arrive in Washington, I will attempt to explain to those who are under enormous budgetary constraints that I do not wish to whip up further intolerance merely for the sake of causing commotion or a media frenzy.  I am merely stating the truth and calling out by name the groups who have sought to destroy our communities since time immemorial.

So in this moment of calm, let me offer a very heartfelt thank you to all of you who have supported the cause and purchased the book.  It has been educational and enlightening to see so many of you buying multiple copies for friends and colleagues.  I want to encourage you to continue to purchase from our website for discounted pricing.  However, I want to encourage you to also purchase your copies through Amazon.com so that our rankings on their website will rise. 

We are all working to create a better world.  We all are striving to let the world know that our Gay brothers and sisters in every darkened corner of the globe deserve liberty and justice.  Our work will not produce an immediate conclusion but the efforts will continue and we will not accept anything other than full Gay equality around the planet.  Your purchasing “The Gay State” will further our ability to help transform lives.  For your believing in us, I can’t thank you enough!  Together, we are moving our work and our community forward.

Sincerely yours,

Garrett Graham