The Politics of Gay

Yesterday President Barack Obama spoke out on the topic of gay marriage.  The President said that he believed all Americans should be afforded the right to marry, including gay Americans.

Thank you Mr. President, I appreciate the acknowledgement!

Quite frankly the President’s support won’t do much for my life.  At this point I am old, fat and not very desirable, so my marriage choices are pretty limited.

However, I do believe this is an important step for our nation’s future.  I want the next generation of gay Americans to have this right that I was never afforded, I want them to know that they are valued as much as any other citizen be it black, white, straight or gay.

I want a young man, whom I love more than life itself, a young man who bravely came out to his family at 17; to be able to live his life proud and never feel like he is a second class citizen.   I want him to know how proud I am of him and I want him to be able to pledge his love to another man one day in front of the entire world.

Let me go on the record and say it up front… I didn’t CHOOSE to be gay, I was BORN gay.  I can honestly say, if I had been afforded a CHOICE I would have NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER chosen to be gay.  Life would have been much simpler without carrying the gay card around.

Imagine living a life hearing someone yell “FAG” across a parking lot.  Imagine how it feels to have a friend turn against you because his friends want to know if he is a queer for hanging out with you.  Imagine what it is like to have people make ignorant and thinly veiled comments about your word choices as “flowery” or imply that because someone else is gay that you automatically side with them….. hey, buddy just because someone else is an idiot too does that mean YOU are going to support them?  Guess what, we aren’t all made from the same cloth!  Being gay is not a CHOICE, I would ever make.

HOWEVER, let me also say, I love my life and quite frankly have grown to a point in my life where if you have a problem with me being gay, it is YOUR problem, not mine, so deal with it.

For 48 years I have led a productive life.  I have contributed to society and I have done my best to respect those around me.  I have worked hard to honor my family, my friends, my country and my employers, I think for the most part I have done that.

I have been elected to public office by my Town, I hold a prestigious job within my company, I lead a workforce and I do all this as a citizen who does not have the same basic civil rights as other Americans.

For many years I fought with the idea of gay-marriage.  Like the President my opinion has evolved.  My faith makes it difficult for me to be gay, some in my faith believe my being gay condemns me to hell… again, their problem not mine!  Seriously, is there anything worse than a judgemental Christian?  WWJD!?!?!?!

My faith held me back for many years and kept me from fighting for this basic right.  For years I confused marriage with religion.  Marriage is a covenant between two people and their God, not between two people and their religion.

For me, marriage has nothing to do with faith, I do not believe ANYONE should be able to make my Church marry a gay couple, but I also don’t believe that in the land of the free and home of the brave that I should have a basic civil right withheld.   This is not about religion, this is not about faith, this is a simple debate over civil rights.

So now the President has weighed in with his view.  A viewpoint that he says has “evolved” over time.  While in the past he has stated without fail that he was opposed to gay marriage.  Yesterday, May 9, 2012 the President of the United States of America publicly came out in support of gay marriage.

If I were a cynic, I may say that the President is now speaking out for gay marriage because it is an election year.

If I were a cynic, I might say that the President wasn’t in favor of gay marriage when the majority of Americans opposed it in opinion polls, however now those polls have reversed and the President’s opinion has reversed as well.

If I were a cynic, I may point out that the President waited until the beginning of a Presidential campaign to voice this change of heart.  An election where he needs to activate the youth vote, the largest voting block in favor of gay marriage.

If I believed those things I would be a cynic, I choose to take the President at his word.  However, I feel it is important that I ask the President some tough questions about his conversion.

Mr. President, why did it take you until the beginning of a Presidential election cycle to make this conversion.  When you promised us hope and change, this is the type of hope and change I expected in your FIRST year in office, not your fourth!

Mr. President, you mention that you have staffers in committed gay relationships and you feel their commitment is equal to the one you share with the First Lady.  Are we to believe that you never had gay staffers in these types of relationships when you were a state or US Senator?  Did you never know a committed gay couple when you were at Harvard?  In the entire City of Chicago, you never had gay friends, never had friends who were in a committed gay relationship?

Mr. President, thank you for speaking out on the topic of gay marriage.  Thank you for believing that I should have the same Civil Rights that you do… thank you!  Mr. President I will always appreciate you for taking this stand.

With this said, being gay is not what defines me.  Being gay is part of my life, it is not the totality of my life.  Mr. President, I am a Christian, a son, a brother, an Uncle, friend, American and yes, I am gay.

For me the “evolution” of the President is too little too late.  I voted for President Obama in 2008, I believed him when he said he was a voice of hope and change.  Quite frankly now, I believe he has been a President of smoke and mirrors.

I see this “evolution” as just the most recent time I have been disappointed by President Obama.

I am insulted that the President of the United States will use my civil rights to pander for votes.

I don’t want to be a party to the politics of gay and I believe that many other gay Americans stand with me on this.  I resent the President for making my civil rights a campaign issue.  If he had believed my civil rights were important enough to stand up for in years 1 – 3 of his term I would have a much easier time believing his latest transformation.

The politics of gay is what divides our country, just like the politics of abortion, gun control, the death penalty and eduction reform.  These social issues are STATES issues, they have nothing to do with the Federal Government and should be treated as such!

Every election cycle the political parties do what they can to divide us with these issues, when are we the American people going to stand up to BOTH parties and demand solutions to the problems that affect our entire nation.  If we can fix the big issues that affect us all, these individual social issues will most likely be resolved as we move forward together.

The future of America is more important than a single issue, WE THE PEOPLE must start looking at the overall picture and not just ourselves.

It infuriates me when people vote based on party and party alone.

When I hear someone say “I won’t vote for him because he isn’t pro-life” it angers me.

How can I be angry at others if I allow myself to vote on this one issue alone?  As an American, I believe it is more important that we look at the candidate in totality  and find the one who can best address the issues that ail our country and place our vote there.

I first voted in a Presidential election when Ronald Regan was running for reelection against Walter Mondale.  When I go into the voter’s booth I vote for the person I feel will best represent my country and help us move towards a more perfect union.  I am a registered Independent, I have voted for 3 Republicans and 4 Democrats (Clinton twice) and this year I will vote for Mit Romney.

I can’t support this President, although he suddenly finds it in his heart to support me.  I can’t allow my precious vote to be held captive by a single issue, too many people around the world have died for the freedom to vote.  While this basic Civil Right is something our country MUST embrace, using it as a political football is not the way to make it happen.

This basic civil right will be afforded to all Americans when we decide to come together as a nation and rebuild the fabric that originally made us great.  We the people, have to stop being used as scape-goats, by BOTH parties,  for political power and stand together for the common good of our nation.

This election year, I will stand for Mit Romney as President of the United States.

I respect anyone who chooses to vote for President Obama and will respect him as our nation’s President for as long as he holds the office.  For the hope and future of our nation, I can only pray that we all begin to have that same type of acceptance, when that happens the Civil Rights that we all seek will be found.

Downtown in Bloom Photos

Here is a sampling of some of the amazing things being shown this weekend at Downtown in Bloom.  The event is Saturday and Sunday, March 31 and April 1 at Downtown at the Gardens.

As you are looking at the photos remember, all of these gardens and displays are temporary, they will be gone on Monday….

Downtown in Bloom is Almost Here!

Downtown in Bloom is my favorite event each year at Downtown at the Gardens.  In our second year, this year’s event will transform Downtown into lush tropical landscapes, water features, garden market, artists and much more!

Many of the area’s most respected landscape companies will be on-hand creating large garden displays.

Attending landscape architects for this year’s event will be:

Halo Pond and Garden

The Breakers Palm Beach

Tranquil Waterscapes

ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance

Synthetic Turf International

Palmieri of the Palm Beaches

Denton Pond and Landscape

Additionally, this year the Downtown Charity Walk has been added to the event programming.  The Charity Walk consists of seven local non-profit organizations displaying a visual presentation within a 10×10 space.

Guests of the property will “vote” for their favorite displays with donations to the organizations.  All monies raised by the organizations will help them to further the important work the provide to our community.

Downtown at the Gardens will match the top “vote” recipient with up to $1000 and second place up to $500.

Local non-profit organizations participating in this year’s event include:

Quantum House

Salvation Army of Palm Beach County

Little Smiles

Resource Depot

Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens

The Bob Swanson Give A Life Foundation

The Whole Planet Foundation

 

Additionally, over 50 booths filled with plants garden supplies and artisans will make up the Garden Market.  Entertainment will perform on the Lakeside Stage in Downtown Park; a Demonstration Stage in Centre Court will offer tips for planting your garden, entertaining outdoors, cooking with fresh herbs and more!  Make sure to visit the Kids Zone in Carousel Courtyard and stop in for some great shopping at the stores and restaurants of Downtown!

Downtown in Bloom, is presented by Downtown at the Gardens, Seacoast National Bank, Knight Electric, Tranquil Waterscapes, Unico, Celedinas Insurance, ValleyCrest and Southern Waste Systems.  Media partners include WILD 95.5FM, MIA Radio, WJNO and KOOL 105.5FM; Florida Weekly is the newspaper of Downtown in Bloom.

Discover YOUR Downtown at Downtown in Bloom, this weekend; March 31 and April 1!

ArtiGras is this weekend….

ArtiGras is one of my favorite events each year.  Produced by the incredibly talented Suzanne Neve and Stewart Auville.

In its 27th year, ArtiGras is one of the best run and well attended events during the South Florida Festival Season.

Still quaint, not over-hyped and based on quality….. make sure you visit ArtiGras this weekend!  The show runs Saturday – Monday.

www.artigras.org

Florida Weekly