Tom Gregory

Tom Gregory's Blog Archive

The Church's Stranglehold on the New York Times

The real question about marriage equality, and the church's stranglehold on America was dodged in today's NYTimes.

Philip Galanes, in his Social Q's column, addressed a question posed by marriage equality activist David Bohnett. The question as printed in the NYTimes:

Wedding Boycott

I am at the forefront of the battle for same-sex marriage. Lately, it feels like too big a compromise to my values of fairness and equality to accept wedding invitations while my partner and I aren't allowed to marry. Do you think it's reasonable to decline wedding invitations, with the explanation that I wish the bride and bridegroom much happiness and look forward to the day when my partner and I have the same legal rights as they do?

David, Beverly Hills, Calif.

But Mr. Bohnett's question as edited was missing this crucial point (bold text):

I have been in the forefront of the battle for same-sex marriage equality. Our recent setbacks are discouraging, but we've made tremendous progress in the last decade and I believe it's only a matter of time until we achieve full marriage equality at both the state and federal level. It feels like too great of a compromise of my core values of fairness and equality to accept a wedding invitation, particularly one held in a church of a faith that has actively worked against marriage equality. Until my partner and I have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples, do you think it is reasonable to politely decline wedding invitations from family members and friends, with the explanation that I wish them much happiness and look forward to the time that my partner and I have the same opportunity to marry ?

David Bohnett, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Mr. Galanes' response:

So, like a wedding cake hunger strike?

I hear your frustration, and your impulse doesn't strike me as wholly unreasonable.

But it may seem awfully selfish to the wedding bouquet set: making their big day all about you. I bet you would engender more good will, for yourself and your cause, by celebrating the happy couples and explaining (in a congratulatory card, perhaps?) how deeply you wish you could share their joy with your own partner -- not to mention the myriad rights and privileges that come along with something borrowed, something blue.

But if you truly can't be happy watching Granny pinch the centerpieces, just say so. It may still be on the selfish side, but a bride and bridegroom may be more inclined to understand.

Mr. Galanes' answer may have been the same, but editing out the faith-based aspect only serves to deny the reader the full impact of the church's financial role to support harmful discriminatory legislation.

One can only wonder if the inexorable decline of print media is somehow tied to a culture that saves column space for the sake of expediency and tidy answers.

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Jan 23, 2010 | permalink | comment | rss subscribe via rss

Beverly Hills Schools: Live Here or Get Out

Due to Prop 13's plague on the California's budget, after June Beverly Hills will no longer receive $6239.00 per out-of-district child who attends its schools. If a January 12 vote by Beverly Hills' School Board goes as planned, after this school year, out-of-district students will be sent in back to their home districts. (Mostly the underfunded LAUSD.)

The board will allow next year's out-of-district juniors and seniors to finish the rest of high school at Beverly Hills. Next year's eighth graders can also finish out middle school with their classes. That leaves approximately 280 students currently in grades K-9 needing to depart their class or move into Beverly Hills to comply with the law.

No more new students are being permitted into the Beverly Hills school system -- both sides are in complete agreement over that point. But the question has been born -- Should the school board let the students currently in the BH system stay, even though their parents are paying taxes to a different district?

It's a sticky situation with emotions running high all around this trend-setting town. All I have to ask: what's okay about five people living in a one-bedroom apartment so they can go to Beverly Hills' schools?

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Jan 10, 2010 | permalink | comment | rss subscribe via rss

Joan Crawford to James Cameron: "Even I Signed Autographs" (Video)

I know we buy petroleum from a terrorist nation or two, but must Americans give this guy our dollar?

Read the story here.

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Dec 30, 2009 | permalink | comment | rss subscribe via rss

Corrected: TIME's Person of the Year

Parody image of Lloyd Blankfein

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Dec 17, 2009 | permalink | comment | rss subscribe via rss

Brokeback Mountain Reclaims the American West

In July, at the Museum of the American West, The Autry National Center (The Autry) installed the iconic intertwined shirts from Brokeback Mountain (BBM). The shirts are center-stage beside the costumes of John Wayne, Kate Hepburn, Steve McQueen, and Clint Eastwood. It's an easy fit -- great goes with great, but if clothes could talk, their arrival was the biggest "guess who's coming to dinner" moment in Los Angeles schmatta history.

The Autry was never naïve to the role of LGBT people in the early frontier, but 'the love that dare not speak its name' remained virtually mute in the American West. Apart from the stereotypical cowboy with his cowhand silhouetted alone on the long trail, heretofore-rural America wasn't the geography for such talk. With the shirts holding fast on their walls, The Autry has opened up a line of progressive, informative, bigot-fumigatin' dialogue.

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Dec 17, 2009 | permalink | comment | rss subscribe via rss

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