Jul 17 2012

Scouts

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The Boy Scouts has been making big news today with the announcement that they had a super secret committee to study whether to allow gays in Scouts. And unsurprisingly the outcome was a big fat no. I could talk about all of the clear flaws in their reasoning. That since the committee was super secret it would have been impossible to get input from diverse view points and therefore the output of the committee was determined before it even started. Or that the reasoning talking about gays should be left to the mom, dad, and their spiritual advisors even though simply letting gays into Scouting would not force a discussion about gays in scout meetings. Here is a very good article about why the BSA’s release today is a complete sham.

But what I actually want to talk about is a more personal story. I am an Eagle Scout, and Boy Scouts had a tremendous impact on who I am today. If I were not in Scouts I do not believe I would be as self sufficient, responsible, or as far along in my career as I am. Therefore I really care about Boy Scouts, even though I vehemently disagree with the leadership. Honestly, if the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America actually followed their own Scout Oath, I would probably still be involved in Scouting today.

So anyway, a couple weeks ago I was eating dinner with some acquaintances and one of them brought their son along. Their son just started in Boy Scouts a few months ago and is a very good kid, even if his mom does not want to admit it. I started talking to her son and we talked about Boy Scouts and he was all excited about summer camp which he had just gotten back from. It came up that I am an Eagle Scout.

His mom heard me saying that I am an Eagle Scout and got really excited and wants me to mentor him through his Scouting career. She is a single mom and her ex-husband is not one that would help him out in Scouting. This left me in an awkward situation. I am happy to talk to him outside of the Boy Scout setting on Boy Scouts, but due to their policy I will not actively participate in his troop. I am unwilling to hide the fact that I am gay, just to help kids gain life experiences through Scouting. As I said, if it were not for BSA’s policy I would be actively involved in Boy Scouts today.

The issue of me participating in the troop did not come up in the discussion, she indicated she just wanted to be able to have him call me and talk to me about Scouting. However, it brought to the forefront my desire to help an organization that I cannot help.

Jul 05 2012

Business Support

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Whenever a company comes out and publicly supports gay rights you hear a bunch of prognosticators, most of them right wing, saying that business should not be getting into gay rights. That gay rights have nothing to do with business and that it may actually hurt their business. You heard this with Starbucks. You heard it with Microsoft. You hear it every time a company comes out for gay rights.

I know I am only one person, but it really does matter to me. I personally do not like the products Home Depot carries, and prefer Lowe’s when it comes to a home improvement store. However, Home Depot has a much better gay rights record than Lowe’s does. The HRC equality index gives Lowe’s a 15, and Home Depot gets a 75. Home Depot put a float in the Denver gay pride parade and Lowe’s does not even provide health benefits to gay partners. So even though I like Lowe’s product a lot better, I almost exclusively shop at Home Depot. The only time I go to Lowe’s is when somebody gives me a gift card to them.

Yesterday, I decided I needed a new printer. I went out with the plan of shopping around for the best printer at the best price. The first place I walked into was Office Depot. When I walked in I noticed on their front door they had a big sign that says Office Depot supports the Born This Way Foundation. Right then I decided that if a company is willing to say with a big sign on their front door that they support gay rights, then that is a company I want to support. I bought a printer right then and there without shopping around solely because of their very visible support for gay rights.

I boycott all sorts of companies over their stances on gay rights. I boycott Lowes, Chick-fil-A, Tinseltown Movie Theaters, and more solely because of their stance on gay rights. I can get everything these companies offer at somewhere that supports gay rights, therefore I do not shop at them.

Granted some companies are so prevalent that it is impossible to avoid them. Companies like AT&T and Target which have mixed records.

If a company supports gay rights they are generally going to gain the younger more educated crowd that has discretionary money to spend. Yes they are going to lose some customers too, but generally speaking those customers are going to be older, less educated, and not as affluent.

Jul 02 2012

Long Week

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It has been a long week in Colorado Springs with the Waldo Canyon Fire. It burned into town last Tuesday with a speed that I did not think was possible. I rarely get scared, but Tuesday night I was scared even though I knew that if my house was to burn 50,000 other houses in Colorado Springs was going to burn too. Unfortunately, I know at least 2 people who’s houses burnt down and 1 who’s house was damaged.

Tuesday night, I actually went out to dinner and the restaurant I was at got evacuated. A lot of people were panicking which is about the worst possible thing you could do in an emergency situation. The most important thing to remember when in an emergency is to stay calm. If you panic you put yourself and everyone else around you at risk.

Anyway, I do not want to dwell on the fire. Things are finally starting to get back to normal in Colorado Springs. My house is safe and I will be back posting.

Jun 20 2012

Denver Pride 2012

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A little compilation from Denver’s Pride parade. Missed a little bit of the good stuff when I ran out of space on my camera and frantically tried to delete some junk. But here is the most interesting part of what was truly a boring parade.

Jun 18 2012

Observations from Pride

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I went up to Denver yesterday with a few friends for PrideFest. Well more for the Pride Parade than the actual festival. It was hot, and rather than sitting in 95 degree heat to listen to some music and browse a bunch of vendors we left shortly after the parade.

The parade was an exhausting 2.5 hours. And most of it was 2.5 hours of boring. But I did notice a few big things.

  • Pride parades are done for gay guys. You see a bunch of scantily clad guys, and virtually every lady you see in the parade is a drag queen. There are almost no scantily clad girls in the parade for the lesbians to ogle.
  • You know it is an election year when half of the parade is made up of politicians. It seemed like every Democrat in a 4 county radius was at the parade.
  • Despite all of the politicians most of them will not interact with the common folk. They walk down the center of the parade route surrounded by their supporters. As soon as the parade is over they are gone and do not stick around Pride. The one politician in the parade that I actually saw talking to people and canvassing was Stephen Ludwig, and he is the only politician I remember from the parade. Because of this I have gained an immense amount of respect for him.
  • Surrounding municipalities sent representatives to the parade saying that they recognize that gays are part of the community and deserve to be respected. The Aurora police were at the parade, and did a hilarious escape skit.
  • Denver had both police and fire representation. In Colorado Springs we have neither. The police are there, but they are there only to close the road, not to actually be part of the parade.
  • Finally, but certainly not earth shattering, Pride Parades have become corporate behemoths. All of the floats are either politicians, gay bars, hair salons, gay friendly churches, or corporations like Coors Light, Home Depot, Noodles and Company. You hardly see any protest groups that are actually protesting for gay rights. This also makes the parade a boring thing to watch as their is very little to actually rile up the crowd.
Jun 14 2012

Marsha Looper

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My last post I talked about how the Republican’s who claim to love their gay sons but are against civil unions do not really love their gay sons, they love the power that being in political office gives them. Yesterday I read even more proof that Marsha Looper one of the politicians I talked about loves the power more than she loves her family.

Of the $64,000 Marsha Looper has raised recently, she donated $52,000 of it herself. She spend $52,000 on what is essentially a job search. If that is not evidence enough that Marsha Looper loves the power that having political office gives her more than anything else in life then I do not know what is.

She could have bought two cars, helped the homeless, sent somebody to college, or a whole lot of other good things with that money. But rather than do anything good with it, she spent it to keep her job. She spent $52,000 to keep a job that only pays $30,000 per year (plus a per diem). And the really sad thing, that is the amount as of 2 weeks ago, it has probably gone up significantly in the past 2 weeks.

So do Republican’s who have gay sons, but do not believe in equal rights and equal treatment really love their gay sons? No, they love the power the political office gives them.