Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gays of Our Lives

I've decided to "out" myself ... but not for what you think. Yes, I'm a lesbian ... but if you've visited Yikes! before you probably already know that. What you might NOT know is that I'm a closet "Days of Our Lives" fan. Yep ... watch it every day when I get home from work.

The program starts with a recap of what you just saw the day before, and then a hint of what's to come. I'm not familiar with other soaps, but the hint is usually enough for Day's fans to know the story line -- almost line-by-line -- for the rest of the show ... but I digress.

As the shows signature graphic appears you hear the voice of Dr. Tom Horton -- actually MacDonald Cary, who passed away about a decade ago or so (no actually dies on Days, unless they die in real life ... but I digress once again). Anyway, Dr. Tom says ... "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Lives" ... music UP!

Over the years I've sort of adopted this as a way to reference things that take place within the LGBT community. You know ... the Gays of Our Lives!

Like the story of two lesbians kicked out of an I-Hop for kissing. Not the type of lesbian kissing seen in really bad B movies ... the kind of lesbian kissing where if you didn't know they were lesbians you might think it was someone kissing their sister. I'm sure there is a joke in there somewhere, but it's getting late.
“It was a kiss I would share with my uncle,” Blair Funk told me. Except it wasn’t her uncle she kissed. It was her honey, Eva Sandoval.
What makes me crazy about this is WHO CARES if two women -- or men -- exchange a peck on the cheek. Did the earth suddenly stop revolving? That they were tossed out of a public venue also makes me crazy, because in Grandview, MO -- as in most states -- there is no legal protection for lesbians and gays from this type of discrimination.

These days it’s rare for gays and lesbians to be denied service in restaurants for acting like who they are. Blair assures me that she and Eva did nothing that wouldn’t have been appropriate for a man and a woman to do at a dinner date. No heavy makeout. No groping.

However, incidents like this one are not unheard of, and the people affected often can do nothing about it.

There is no federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Neither Kansas nor Missouri are among the few states that protect gay people from being discriminated against in areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.

Kansas City does have an ordinance protecting gays, as do St. Louis, Columbia and University City. But if you’re anywhere else in Missouri and you’re gay,
you can legally be denied service in restaurant. Landlords can refuse to rent you a place to live.

You can even be canned from your job on the suspicion that you’re romantically inclined toward members of your own sex.

“Many people are shocked to hear that people can be fired from their jobs for being gay or being perceived to be gay,” says Julie Brueggemann, executive director of the Missouri gay rights group Promo.
There was an incident a few years ago in Indiana, my home state, where an employer fired one of their employees, the employee tried to challenge the firing, and the employer said the person was fired because he is gay. Who knows whether or not the person ACTUALLY WAS gay, but the employer knew that if he made that charge the person fired would have NO LEGAL RECOURSE.

These incidents point to why we need a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

++ Size Matters

They say everything is bigger in Texas. Well guess who has the BIGGEST GAY CHURCH in the country? You've got it ... TEXAS!

... the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas makes one Texas-sized claim that few would expect in the conservative Bible Belt state -- it says it is the world's biggest gay church.

"I think this shows that God has a tremendously great sense of humor," said senior pastor and rector Jo Hudson.

On a more serious note, she says the church, affiliated with the United Church of Christ, is a spiritual refuge for gay people of faith in a region associated with more conservative brands of Christianity.

"Because we are in the Bible Belt we have a lot of people of tremendous faith," she said in an interview.

"But a lot of them have been alienated and rejected by their faith community, which is fundamentalist, so they hanker for a place where they can encounter God," she said.

The United Church of Christ -- one of the 'good guys' -- has 1.3 million members in 5,725 U.S. congregations. UCC is known for its traditions of diversity and pioneering action on social justice.

The Republican party and their Religious Right supporters, on the other hand, have a "gay agenda" of their own. Groups like Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, the Christian Coalition and Falwell's (im)Moral Majority have all used gays and lesbians to demonize for dollars. And you can tell it's about time for another election when Republicans roll out state and federal marriage amendments. (It's amazing that evangelicals haven't realized that Republicans only care about the sanctity of marriage in even numbered years ... 02, 04, 06, 08.)

But enough of all this, what I really want to know is will Shawn and Belle ever get back together? Is the evil Stefano really alive? And, where's John?

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