The same week the United States made history, when millions of people turned out in mass numbers to flip the Republican switch to Democratic and elect Obama, it seemed for a moment as though our country took ten steps forward for equality. Yet at the same time the United States took three steps back as the GLBT community lost the marriage ballot and adoption rights in California, Florida and Arizona.
In the year 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 which prevented the state from recognizing gay marriage by a margin of 61.4% to 38.6%. Eight years later on Election day fully 48% of Californians rejected Proposition 8. The numbers were not enough, but it was a massive shift in popular opinion regarding increased acceptance of the GLBT community and their civil rights. Only fifty-two percent of the voters of California voted to deny the GLBT community equality, less than voters in years past.
One organization that signifigantly impacted the supporters of Proposition 8 voters was the Mormon, Latter-day Saints (LDS) church. The LDS church contributed a significant amount of money and effort to endorse proposition 8 in California via its network of church, media, and community outlets to propose discrimination under the law for 18,000 GLBT married Californians and their families, a violation of their 501 (c)(3) status. Which should now be revoked, for them or any other religious organization that fails to remain nonpartisan.
"In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying)."
Why do religious institutions lobby for Constitutional Amendments banning gay marriage but do not lobby for legislation banning pedophilia, divorce, adultery or prostitution to protect the "sanctity of marriage?"
Ninety-percent of pedophiles are married men. The Mormon church supports legislation for the legal marriage of 14 year old girls to significantly older men in Utah and persists in pushing legislation to lower the age of consent in other states. The founder, Joseph Smith was a polygamist known to have a minimum of 30 wives, many of whom were already married to other living men. Smith's criminal sexual behaviors reveal that he was in fact, a pedophile. He married 14 year old Helen Mar Kimball when he was in his 30's and then he proposed marriage to another 12 year old girl, fortunately he did not get his hands on her. Attacking gay marriage is an easy step for LDS in order to appeal to homophobics to make their church, and their pedophilia beliefs and pending legislation appear more mainstream. They continue to spend millions of dollars in Hawaii and throughout the United States in attempts to keep gay marriage illegal. They also encourage so-called "experts" from their church owned Universities to testify that gay marriage threatens heterosexual marriage. When in truth their attack on gay marriage is a distraction from their own embarassing past and an inability to support legislation that prevents the marriage and rape of young girls at the hands of pedophiles.
For every 100 people, 72% of the entire United States population gets divorced every year. The gay community is not the cause of divorce or a threat to the sanctity of marriage as some may believe. Adultery is, according to Statistics on Cheating Spouses,” published by Eagle’s Nest Publications, “60-70 percent of adultery victims are women” while “30-40 percent of adultery victims are men.” Adultery is usually one of the top reasons cited for divorce and with modern technology and readily available sex partners, it doesn’t seem like this trend will slow any time soon. One in 20 men admit to cheating on their wives, one out of 22 women admit to cheating on their husbands. One in three men take off their wedding rings when they go out with the guys. Nearly 70% of men have engaged in prostitution at least once and 50% of United States prostitution clients are married or cohabitating. With eighty percent of men who cheat getting caught, it is ironic that American citizens so commited to protecting the "sanctity of marriage by supporting Proposition 8," remain so lax on our Constitutional Amendments concerning adultery. In other countries, the punishment for adultery is execution. If this were true in the United States, the Government would need to invest in building more cemetaries because they would be making a nice mint off of, "two-for-one adultery admission."
Even more perplexing to me as a minority, is the fact 70% of African-American voters in CA voted 'yes' to Proposition 8. A community who should understand based on historical experience why the Seperation of Church and State exists in the first place; to prevent religious persecution and oppression. When political decisions and ballots are cast for Proposition 8 based on religious beliefs, it is a violation of the Constitution. When Goverment and Religious Institutions are not kept separate and independent from each other but instead pollute the waters of civil rights and justice with discrimination, we have a major problem. It is a sad day indeed when minorities whom were once oppressed, those minorities who voted 'yes' on Proposition 8, now choose to condone the oppression and discrimination of the GLBT community based on the same religious scriptures that were once used to justify slavery for thousands of years.
"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit...." including the entire GLBT community. 1 Corinthians 12:13
Dishonorable is when a religious institution, or a member of their congregation, someone you know personally and respect; neighbor, co-worker, family member or friend votes "yes" on legislation like Proposition 8. Helping to pass legislation that denies the GLBT community their civil rights but still smiles to your face, professes to speak for God, insists is still your friend, yet shoots all of us with religious arrows and then stabs us in our pink triangle...all the while holding up the flag of hypocrisy, not unconditional love. What is the GLBT community to do when a majority of citizens denies us our civil liberties?
What we have always done; love unconditionally, take a non-violent stand, come together, march, rally, hold demonstrations, share our personal stories, continue to fight hate , choose wisely our spending habits and learn from our ancestors;
" During the Boston Tea Party, the government looked to taxing the American colonies as a way of recouping their war costs. But it was the Crown's attempt to tax tea that spurred the colonists to action and laid the groundwork for the American Revolution. The colonies refused to pay the levies required by the Townsend Acts claiming they had no obligation to pay taxes (state) imposed by a Parliament in which they had no representation. In May of 1773 Parliament concocted a clever plan. They gave the struggling East India Company a monopoly on the importation of tea to America. Additionally, Parliament reduced the duty the colonies would have to pay for the imported tea. The Americans would now get their tea at a cheaper price than ever before. However, if the colonies paid the duty tax on the imported tea they would be acknowledging Parliament's right to tax them. Tea was a staple of colonial life - it was assumed that the colonists would rather pay the tax than deny themselves the pleasure of a cup of tea. The colonists were not fooled by Parliament's ploy. When the East India Company sent shipments of tea to Philadelphia and New York the ships were not allowed to land. In Boston, the arrival of three tea ships ignited a furious reaction. It was now early evening and a group of about 200 men disguised as Indians assembled on a near-by hill. Whopping war chants, the crowd marched two-by-two to the wharf, descended upon the three ships and dumped their offending cargos of tea into the harbor waters."
Welcome to the new and improved, "Gay" Tea Party, where members of the GLBT community fight back with their dollar; pay taxes only to states that support our civil liberties and financially support only businesses that provide gay-friendly workplace policies, including health benefits for same-sex partners, and philanthropic programs that support local and national gay organizations. Together, we will send out a message;
" The GLBT Community will not be treated as second-class citizens because our tax dollars are not classified as 'Gay' they are 'Green.' If we have to pay our Goverment and State Taxes equally to heterosexual citizens, then we demand Equal Civil Rights. No GLBT Civil Rights. No Taxes."
According to Robert Witeck and Wes Combs, the authors of "Business Inside Out: Capturing Millions of Brand Loyal Gay Consumers, "Gay buying power is estimated to be $641 billion. Research indicates that GLBT people do not earn more, on average, than other Americans, but that they have more disposable income because fewer are raising children."
The GLBT community is growing and is definately armed with puchasing power. The 2000 United States Census counted 601,209 same-sex umarried couples. That is a 314 percent increase from 1990 when the census counted only 145,130 same-sex unmarried partner households. GLBT consumer studies show gay consumers want to spend money with companies that have progressive policies towards their GLBT employees. According to the Prime Access, Gay & Lesbian Consumer Survey, " 68% of gay and lesbian consumers said they are more likely to buy from a company they considered to be gay friendly. 8% of adults in a general population panel identified as gay or lesbian, reflecting conventional wisdom that 8-10% of Adults are Gay."
GLBT Purchasing Power can make a difference, so please join the "Gay" Tea Party by making the Corporate Equality Index your new gay friendly shopping guide. Published by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. To be considered a gay friendly business one must offer domestic-partner benefits to their GLBT employees and meet an equality rating. Print it out, (all 92 Pages) make copies for your friends and if the Brand you are shopping for is not in the index, then you have the choice whether or not to make purchases from them. We encourage you to vote with your dollar and support companies who treat the GLBT community with respect and equality. If your favorite brand is not listed, then take a few minutes to visit the brand website when you get a chance and email the President of the company a letter about how you would like them to support the GLBT community.
Uniting as a National GLBT shopping team and by utilizing our GLBT and Straight Allies purchasing power, we can also send another powerful message;
"Support GLBT Civil Rights or Lose Our Business and Our Money."
No matter the opposition, $641 Billion is still a nice chunk of 'Gay' change. GLBT Civil Rights are entirely obtainable if we are willing to change how we spend our money and are more conscious about where we spend it.
Here a few of the Gay Friendly Brands that support the GLBT community:
Gay Friendly Gas: British Petroleum, Chevron
Gay Friendly Vehicles: Bentley, BMW , Cadillac, Chevrolet , Chrysler, Dodge, Ford , GMC , HUMMER , Infiniti, Isuzu , Jaguar , Jeep, Land Rover , Lexus , Lincoln, Maybach , Mazda ,Mercedes Benz , Mercury , MINI , Mitsubishi , Nissan , Pontiac , Rolls-Royce , Saab , Saturn , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Volkswagen , Volvo
Gay Friendly Travel: www.gayguide.net
Gay Friendly Companies: Bravo, Apple, Showtime, HBO, Absolute, Levi's, American Airlines, American Express, Motorola, Cadillac and Sears, Intel, Ikea , Subaru, Gap, Nordstrom, Nike, MGM Mirage, Merill Lynch,
Not Gay Friendly: Wal-mart, Dunkin Donuts, Cracker Barrel, Exxon, Samsung, Abercrombie & Fitch, J.C. Penney, Juicy Couture
Sources: Gay and Lesbian Families in the United States, Prime Access Gay and Lesbian Consumer Survey, Fortune: Courting the Gay Consumer, www.gaywheels.com, Looking for Love, Anatomy of an Affair, Divorce Statistics, Mormons, The Oldest Profession,