Sunday, March 27, 2016

All You Need Is Love - Don't Discriminate Against LGBTQ

The Missouri Legislature is reconvening Monday. The Senate, after forcing the cessation of a 39 hour filibuster, passed SJR 39, a measure specifically targeting members of the LGBTQ community for discrimination.  The measure is going before the Missouri House. Stop SJR 39! There are many brave legislators, both Republicans and Democrats, who oppose this legislation. Missouri religious freedom is already protected by several Missouri statutes, the Missouri Constitution and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Don't be fooled. This resolution, SJR39, is designed to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. This is not who we, as Missourians, are.

Remember the Beatles, who were ahead of their time. All you need is love.

All you need is love, all together now
All you need is love, everybody
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Courage of The Missouri Democratic Senators #NotInMyState

It was my privilege to listen to the 39 hour filibuster of Missouri Democratic Senators who tried to prevent the passage of SJR 39, a joint Senate resolution that purports to "protect" those with a "religious" objection to same sex marriage by establishing an amendment to the Missouri Constitution. Mind you, these protections were not merely those rights to religious freedom already protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. SJR 39 is much broader. In essence, people who disapprove of members of the LGBTQ society could be free to discriminate - refuse to sell products, rent housing, refuse employment, etc., if they claim being gay, lesbian, or trans-sexual is against their religious beliefs. The First Amendment already protects religious acts. For instance, a Catholic priest need not perform a wedding of a Jew and a Hindu in a Catholic Church. Weddings, funerals and such can be part of a religious ceremony, and are thus protected. No, the Senate Majority sought to include non-religious activities, such as baking wedding cakes, etc. So sad. This legislation, which seeks to put the matter to voters as a Missouri Constitutional amendment, is reminiscent of the Missouri Constitutional Amendment 12 years ago purporting to ban same sex marriage. That amendment is now unconstitutional because of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell last summer. What an exercise in futility based out of fear, insecurity and hate.

How the prejudices of some play out in a sad display of the worst of human weaknesses. We try to stop what we fear. In the past, people claimed inter-racial marriage violated their "religious" views and states declared those marriages illegal for many years. Those laws were an embarrassment. Why we try to control the behavior of others and force them to conform our desires is beyond me.

The 39 hour filibuster was so life-affirming. These Senators talked on and on. Not one of them has declared him or herself a member of the LGBTQ community, but they had their LGBTQ brothers' and sisters' backs. They stood up to protect their constituents, all of their constituents, not just those in the majority. That is what makes our country great, we protect those in minorities. We abhor fascism.

The Senate majority effectively stopped the filibuster by using a little use technique and the measure will likely pass, for now. The Missouri Constitution will probably be amended, because that just takes a majority of Missouri voters.  The LGBTQ community is not in the majority. This demonstrates why the actions of the Democratic Senators was so important, and so heroic. With a little time, and a lot of wasted public taxpayer dollars, the amendment will be found to violate the U.S. Constitution and eventually the majority will have to accept that everyone need not believe one way, need not feel one way, need not love one way. We are in the midst of a new civil rights struggle and ultimately justice will prevail.

Thank you to all of those brave Senators, who talked for 39 hours in hopes of furthering justice and protecting others. Than you Senators Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Kiki Curls, Jason Holsman, Joseph Keaveney, Jamilah Nasheed, Jill Schupp, Scott Sifton, and Gina Walsh. We need people like you.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fighting Migraines -To The Bravest Woman I Know

Imagine feeling pain every single day of your life. You wake up with a dull ache behind your eyes that shoots inward to your brain on steel needles when you gaze upon the sunlight. As the day wears on, your head begins to throb. Sitting close to a perfumed woman makes you gag. Loud noises create stabbing feelings on the top of your head. The pain distracts you, but you persist. You go to work even though you hurt and you love what you do, caring for animals, dogs and cats, who are so innocent and pure. You try to keep up with your schoolwork, even though the glare from the computer screen makes your eyes ache and grow tired. You must memorize the anatomy of animals, take the tests, get along with your peers and make sure you and your husband make enough money to pay the rent, feed the animals you foster, and take care of the dogs and cat you have adopted.

You cannot stop, because if you do, you might not be able to start back up. Secretly, you fear that if you stop, giving up will become too tempting. But, you miss classes and work hours. You've explained what's going on to your boss and to your teachers. You worry that those in charge won't understand. Only those close to you can see the pain in your eyes when the migraine is in full force. Otherwise, you look normal. You gave up going to the Royals games and even movie theatres because the bright lights and booming noises have become unbearable. But, your boss and teachers don't know how different your life has become from theirs.

You hope they understand. You hear other students and co-workers are complaining about your attendance. You crave compassion, but realize those without health issues cannot understand. You fear that federal and state laws for people with disabilities are little real protection. You understand how others might resent you, and it depresses you. Oh, to be pain free.

You don't know how you happened to get the short end of this stick, and it really doesn't matter. Life is what it is. You are not going to give up. Pain be damned. But, pain sure makes life hard. You need to distract yourself. There he is, that big white dog you love. One kiss from him, as he sits in your lap, makes it all seem wothwhile. Onward.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Drumpf Presidency - What Would the Neighbors Think

You know that feeling when your house is in disarray and you don't want anyone visiting. You don't want anyone outside your family to find out that your furniture needs some polish, or that there are grease marks on your kitchen walls. Plus, what if you are arguing with your spouse because he likes to watch TV in his tidy whites with his Boulevard Pale Ale bottles strewn across the coffee table, next to the greasy papers and food wrappers thrown throughout the floor. What if your weird Uncle Luther is there, with his dirty white tee-shirt, two sizes too small, with his butt crack protruding over his low-slung jeans. You like to lay prone across the big stained beige cloth recliner eating peanut M&M's and watching Real Housewives of Hollywood. Your pregnant sixteen year old niece is hiding the cigarette she's smoking outside the backyard door, while the beagle humps her boyfriend's leg as he reclines on the couch.

This is America with Donald Drumpf in charge. Do you really want those Parisians or Londoners, with their cool manners and haughty judgments coming a' calling. They are all in their fancy clothes and discerning palates, walking into the rotten food smell of the living room, or the indescrible stench of the bathroom. Angela Merkel wants to drop by. What do you do?  Do you want the world leaders spying the disgrace your country has become with Boob Donald Drumpf in charge. I am listening to the Drumpf on the tube right now. Oops, just dumped some beer on my nightgown and spilled the M&M's. Please let me wake up from this nightmare.