Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. We Stand Defiant and United. A Word Press Production.

The Camille Levesque Centre

Canadian Same-Sex Marriages Growing At 5 Times Rate Of Opposite-Sex Unions

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And WE are TWO of those 45,300 people…

by The Canadian Press

(Ottawa) Same-sex unions are growing at five times the rate of opposite-sex ones according to census numbers that also reveal, for the first time, the number of gay marriages in Canada.

Some 45,300 couples, both common law and married, reported as same-sex in the 2006 census, up from 34,200. Those numbers represent a 33 per cent surge since 2001, while heterosexual couples grew by just six per cent in the same time period.

The historic Statistics Canada query on same-sex marriage, coming in the wake of Parliament legalizing such unions in 2005, revealed 7,465 gay and lesbian marriages.

That’s considerably lower than numbers reported by the now-defunct advocacy group Canadians For Equal Marriage. The group, based on its own research of municipal records, reported last November that 12,438 marriage licenses had been granted to same-sex couples since provincial courts began recognizing such unions in 2003.

The census relegated same-sex marriages to a write-in category under the questionnaire’s ‘other’ box _ a move that raised the ire of Egale Canada. The national advocacy group responded by urging its membership to list their relationships as husband and wife.

“One box for everybody,” is how executive director Helen Kennedy described the group’s position.

“People are people and people just want the same things out of life. Your sexual orientation should not matter.”

Anne Milan, a senior analyst at Statistics Canada, stands by the accuracy of the census data but concedes the limitations of relying on the answers people provide.

“It’s the first time that we’ve asked same sex marriage so it’s really a benchmark number,” said Milan, who added it’s “difficult to say” what effect Egale’s dissent had on the numbers.

“Future census releases will allow us to compare the count and see what’s happening.”

The fact that the question was being asked at all shows that “people are getting on with their lives, which was fundamentally what the whole debate was about,” said Michael Leshner, a lawyer and one of Canada’s first legally married gay men.

“It’s really a debate that hopefully has run its course… We’re just part of the boring middle class now,” Leshner said.

According to the census, same-sex couples accounted for 0.6 per cent of all couples in Canada. That falls in line with numbers reported in the United States, New Zealand and Australia. More than half, or 54 per cent, of same-sex married Canadian spouses were men.

Some nine per cent of same-sex couples had children, more commonly in female unions (16 per cent) than male ones (three per cent). Children were present more in same-sex married couples (16 per cent) than common-law ones (eight per cent).

Clarence Lochhead of the Vanier Institute for the Family says the gay community’s successful fight for marriage reflects the desire to be accepted in the larger community.

“To the extent that you can think of the homosexual community feeling that they’re marginalized populations, I don’t think it’s all that surprising that they would want access to those forms of unions that are recognized in a much wider social community sense,” he said.

Ontario became the first province to legally recognize same-sex marriage following a 2003 decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal. Similar decisions followed in British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, and New Brunswick.

On July 20, 2005, Canada became the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium. Spain and South Africa have since legalized gay marriage as well.

“As my spouse Mike Starkel always says, we won. There’s nothing they can do, we won,” said Leshner.

©365Gay.com 2007


For the Bible Tells Me So …

For The Bible Tells Me So – Trailer

For more information go to: For The Bible Tells Me So…

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Can the love between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate? Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, Dan Karslake’s provocative, entertaining documentary brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture, and in the process reveals that Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based almost solely upon a significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation of the Bible. As the film notes, most Christians live their lives today without feeling obliged to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath or eats shrimp (as a literal reading of scripture dictates).

Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families — including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson — we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard’s Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

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Labels … Let us Reflect on them …

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Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass…
The Beginning of The Holocaust

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Work Makes You Free …

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A Survivor from Buchenwald

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Yad Vashem – Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial

 

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Auschwitz – Concentration Camp

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Red Ribbon

The Red Ribbon – Synonymous for AIDS

Pride Flag

The Pride Flag – Proud Symbol for all things Gay

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The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt – For all those who died from AIDS
My friends,My family, My brothers and sisters…

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The JEW – The Star of David used during the Holocaust …
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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz

 

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The Homosexual – Also Used during the Holocaust …

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A Young Man – Hungarian Jewish Boy –
From Fateless, the Motion Picture

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The Label Chart Used By the Nazi Party within
the Death Camps and Concentration Camps to
Identify people…
Location, Ethnicity, Area, Orientation, Religious Affiliation

 

There weren’t only Jews in the Camps…

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The ACT UP slogan for Gay and AIDS circa 1980

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What Would Jesus Do???

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This is my Label – I earned every hour of it, with Pride…

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We Should Be Proud, but we should remember what labels have done to millions world wide over the Decades. I think it is time to move past them, to stop labeling and Outing people. I think we need to learn to live together PEACEFULLY in order to stop the killing of ALL people around the world…

THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER – SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET!!


ACLU Charges TSA Official and JetBlue With Racial Profiling

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Website link and story here: 

JetBlue and a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official, identified as “Inspector Harris,” would not let Raed Jarrar board his flight at John F. Kennedy Airport until he agreed to cover his t-shirt, which read “We Will Not Be Silent” in English and Arabic script. Harris told Jarrar that it is impermissible to wear an Arabic shirt to an airport and equated it to a “person wearing a t-shirt at a bank stating, ‘I am a robber.'” The American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the TSA official and JetBlue Airways.

It is a dangerous and slippery slope when we allow our government to take away a person’s rights because of his speech or ethnic background,” said Reginald Shuford, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program. “Racial profiling is illegal and ineffective and has no place in a democratic society.”

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Learn More >>

I’ve had this blogger on my read list for some time, along with Baghdad Burning, since the war in Iraq began. I happened upon Raed’s blog today and saw this latest entry and I thought I’d share it with you, since it is relevant and appropriate. You can click on the link above and find out more.


Clinic Update …

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I finally got to talk to the doctor this evening and he confirmed that it was a simple case of hemorrhoids. And that I should be ‘soaking’ and using my ‘creme’ that I have already. There is no need to worry about gastro issues. We get back to regular life tomorrow.


AIDS virus is a “double hit” to the brain: study

Red Ribbon

God, I have a headache now !! 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The AIDS virus damages the brain in two ways, by not only killing brain cells but by preventing the birth of new cells, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

The study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, helps shed light on a condition known as HIV-associated dementia, which can cause confusion, sleep disturbances and memory loss in people infected with the virus.

It is less common in people taking drug cocktails to suppress the virus, and why HIV damages brain function is not clearly understood.

The virus kills brain cells but it also appears to stop progenitor cells, known as stem cells, from dividing, the team at Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of California at San Diego found.

“It’s a double hit to the brain,” researcher Marcus Kaul said in a statement. “The HIV protein both causes brain injury and prevents its repair.”

The cocktail of drugs known as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART that treats HIV does not infiltrate the brain well, allowing for a “secret reservoir” of virus, said Stuart Lipton, who worked on the study.

HIV-associated dementia is becoming more common, as patients survive into their older years.

Working in mice, the researchers found that the virus directly interferes with the birth of new brain cells from stem cells.

“The breakthrough here is that the AIDS virus prevents stem cells in the brain from dividing; it hangs them up,” Lipton said. “It’s the first time that the virus has ever been shown to affect stem cells.”

The culprit is gp120 — a protein found on the outside of the AIDS virus, the researchers found.

“Knowing the mechanism, we can start to approach this therapeutically,” Lipton said.

“This indicates that we might eventually treat this form of dementia by either ramping up brain repair or protecting the repair mechanism,” Kaul added.


AIDS virus is a "double hit" to the brain: study

Red Ribbon

God, I have a headache now !! 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The AIDS virus damages the brain in two ways, by not only killing brain cells but by preventing the birth of new cells, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

The study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, helps shed light on a condition known as HIV-associated dementia, which can cause confusion, sleep disturbances and memory loss in people infected with the virus.

It is less common in people taking drug cocktails to suppress the virus, and why HIV damages brain function is not clearly understood.

The virus kills brain cells but it also appears to stop progenitor cells, known as stem cells, from dividing, the team at Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of California at San Diego found.

“It’s a double hit to the brain,” researcher Marcus Kaul said in a statement. “The HIV protein both causes brain injury and prevents its repair.”

The cocktail of drugs known as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART that treats HIV does not infiltrate the brain well, allowing for a “secret reservoir” of virus, said Stuart Lipton, who worked on the study.

HIV-associated dementia is becoming more common, as patients survive into their older years.

Working in mice, the researchers found that the virus directly interferes with the birth of new brain cells from stem cells.

“The breakthrough here is that the AIDS virus prevents stem cells in the brain from dividing; it hangs them up,” Lipton said. “It’s the first time that the virus has ever been shown to affect stem cells.”

The culprit is gp120 — a protein found on the outside of the AIDS virus, the researchers found.

“Knowing the mechanism, we can start to approach this therapeutically,” Lipton said.

“This indicates that we might eventually treat this form of dementia by either ramping up brain repair or protecting the repair mechanism,” Kaul added.


Clinic

I called the clinic this morning, and I can’t get in – they are too busy. I am waiting on a call back as I write this: 10:30 a.m. I’m not gonna freak, but take it easy in any case. Maybe they can fit me in later today. If not tomorrow. As long as another episode does NOT happen, I am going to stay out of my head.


Bloodletting …

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I guess I need to rewrite this post and try to explain the “bottom line.” I ate very lightly over the past few days. Monday night after a weekend of little substance I had a steak and potato dinner. Which is all well and good.

Today, when I went for coffee with my “peeps” I had a couple cups of coffee as usual.

Anyways, I went to the restroom to relieve my bladder and I “moved” but this afternoon’s movement was accompanied by “Blood” a lot of Blood!! More blood from a location that isn’t usually an issue for me. I freaked out. I invited Ms. Nikki into the bathroom with me because she works at the General so she knows about these kinds of things.

The bleeding stopped. We went on to the meeting. There was no more bloody paper after that one occurrence. What was it? I don’t know. I haven’t had another “movement” since this afternoon. And no more blood – in any case.

Tomorrow I am going to go to the clinic and drop some labs – as it is time, and while I am there I am going to see the doctor and let him tinker under the hood and tell me if I need to be worried or not. I’ve never had gastro-intestinal problems before so this might be just a cranky hemorrhoid and not something much worse.

I did have the maxi pad conversation with Ms. Nikki, as she took a handful of paper products from the restaurant to make sure if I had bled again, I’d be prepared. I’ve never had Men-strual issues before.


Sunday Prayers …

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It has not been a very good day. In fact, it has been a hard day for many of us who work with others. Last night, in the midst of dialysis, Karl’s father had a heart attack. We have worked over the last two years to help Karl grow into the man he is today. But family illness has dogged him for a long time. From addiction to illness, minor issues to major health crises. It has been a long haul for Karl to find himself standing where he is standing tonight.

Dad has had one foot in the grave and one foot on the proverbial banana peel for some time, and his strength has surprised the best of us who have walked people to the door many times. It seems he just won’t let go. And I wonder if that is a good thing? The end is imminent – imminent that it is close, but the road is foggy ahead, and a visual confirmation is not yet available.

This morning when I woke up there was a simple email, please call – it’s rather important. So I did, finally, after getting a hold of friends who are close to Karl as well, seeing he might have called Mike and Tom prior to calling me. We had a conversation about the news and I had some info to work with.

Karl and I have had many conversations about the “what if’s” and taking care of the kids and his role as man of the house should his father died. Knowing his mother’s propensity to turn to pills and the bottle, Karl must be prepared to be isolated in his dealing with everyone since he doesn’t have an ally there in Katy. I have done my best to prepare my friend for the inevitable.

There may come the day when we have to say “enough of this” it is time to let him go into his heavenly inheritance. I know that family will hold onto him until he is so tired that holding on becomes too much for him and he will die. Tomorrow an angio-gram will be performed and dialysis will continue. And I asked my friend, “at what point do you say this is enough?” he responded with – “that isn’t my decision to make!” I have spoken to Karl once this afternoon and again this evening, and all is well right now. Dad is stable and will have tests done tomorrow.

So we pray:

Oh God in whose merciful love
we abide,
hear the prayers we ask of you
and in your wisdom make the way clear
bless those who are grieving and worrying
help those who are sick and heal those you can
We know the end is nigh for one we pray for and
we ask your mercies upon him that you would comfort
him and bless him and if it is your wisdom that you call
him home, be gracious with your hand
and carry your servant back into your healing presence
where there is no more pain and suffering.

We ask all these things in the name of Jesus Christ
your son, who lives and reigns with you in the union
of the Holy Spirit – One God forever and ever.

Yesterday evening I had dinner at the home of Jacob and Angela. It was a nice time to talk about projects and writing. I haven’t had the energy to do anything because I am not feeling all that hot tonight. UGH!! I went to bed early last night and spent the better part of today in bed sleeping. As long as I have the quiet time to myself, I am going to make the best of it.

I’ve been craving rest as of late. With all that is going on – I have to take care of me as well. Angela is going to help me produce a book of the writings that I commissioned for my birthday, the Tanka from Angela, the short story from Ben and the Totem writing of Cooper. I have to write the introduction and the back page, yet and as well, get my business cards finished. We had no agreed on what they would look like yet, although I did think about it today, and I think I have found the correct title for them.

We spoke yesterday about me applying for a position in the school board as an aide for kids with aspergers and autism. Each child gets a sum of money from the government each school year and I decided that I would like to offer my services to the school and to Jacob, that is why I have to get my CV and my business cards finished soon. You will find that I added new categories to my writing. We will be writing about aspergers and my work with Jacob so that others can come and read and maybe participate in my building a community here for my kids.

I spoke at long length with Chuck (he’s on the blog list) the other day about my work with Jacob and his wisdom on the subject is invaluable. So in the coming months we will be adding new medical content to our writings to include aspergers and autism. I encourage you, my readers to share this new information with those who might need to read it and hopefully we will begin building a resourceful list of information and contacts for people to utilize in their own lives.

I posted some news earlier today. I was touched on the report of the death of Merv Griffin. When I was a child, my maternal grandmother watched specific programs, The Price is Right, and Merv Griffin. Not to mention the soaps which were great tools to teach language. I guess I had some early education in French and English. For many years during my early childhood many Merv Griffin shows were part of the social lexicon of television, and as the years progressed at least one of his creations was on one tv or another in my house. Mr. Griffin did a lot for many with his shows and his time of television himself. He will be missed.

Eternal Rest Grant Him and may Perpetual Light Shine upon Him.

I know that there is at least one young man who reads this blog every day, so we have come to learn yesterday. So this is my advice for the day. It is ok to chill out and to relax, in fact, after a day of excitement I would spend some time thinking about the day and what I have learned. Spend some time talking to your mother about all that you did. Never let anger guide you, always keep it in check. Behave yourself and be good to your mother because she loves you and so do I.

Know that I think about you every day. And I pray for you as well. I work very hard to understand you and I want to help you SUCCEED and that we shall in time. There is no rush – and we have every opportunity to grow and to work together.

So my apprentice, be good to yourself and your mother.

Let us pray for Karl and his family, because they need our prayers tonight. Let us pray for those who minister to them, Michael and Tom, and the many we do not see in Texas, let us call on God to do what he needs to do in this very trying time.

May God bless us and keep us safe
Until the morrow…

until pen meets paper again,

I leave you with my prayers.

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Medical Update 7-24-07

Red Ribbon

I have been on this drug regimen for a month now. Today I saw the doctor for the first time since I started them. My T-Cells are sitting at 1186 and my Percentages are at 34% which is phenomenal. My bad cholesterol dropped from 9.8 to 3.4 in trends over the last 4 lab draws.

I feel good. Aside from a little gas, and a little morning sickness here and there, I am in fine shape. My “doc” was out, so I saw a doctor who was in the clinic and he was pleased with my labs. He told me that 40 was no big deal for him. And I am way past my expiration date. So I am keeping my impending birthday next Tuesday in perspective. He told me that for him, 50 was a big deal. So if we follow The Aging Model:

  • In our Twenties – we are exploring life and ourselves
  • In our Thirties – we are finding the rhythm and we are supposed to find the way
  • In our Forties – we are ready to put all that knowledge into action for certain
  • In our Fifties – we are ready to live out our calling, having done all that self study
  • I hope that I am aging gracefully and the way I am supposed to…

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Laugh Out Loud

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Courtesy of: The Ministry of Pleasure. (NSFW)

An 85-year-old man was requested by his doctor to obtain a sperm count as part of his physical exam. The doctor gave the man a jar and said, “Take this jar home and bring back a semen sample tomorrow.”

The next day the 85-year-old man reappeared at the doctor’s office and gave him the jar, which was as clean and empty as on the previous day.

The doctor asked what happened and the man explained,

“Well, doc, it’s like this – first I tried with my right hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing. Then I asked my wife for help. She tried with her right hand, then with her left, still nothing. She tried with her mouth, first with the teeth in, then with her teeth out, still nothing.

We even called up Arleen, the lady next door and she tried too, first with both hands, then an armpit, and she even tried squeezing it between her knees, but still nothing.”

The doctor was shocked! “You asked your neighbour?”

The old man replied, “Yep. None of us could get the damn jar open!”


DR O'Malley Emmy Nominated!!

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 YAY, Dr. O’Malley is nominated for a supporting actor Emmy !!!

Congrat’s T.R.


DR O’Malley Emmy Nominated!!

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 YAY, Dr. O’Malley is nominated for a supporting actor Emmy !!!

Congrat’s T.R.


Friday the 13th …

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Photo courtesy of: The Ministry of Pleasure

Last night I got to bed wayyy to late to function this morning. After watching some Hilary Duff last night. Anyways, I got to bed around 2:30 in the morning and sat down with some veggies and French baguette while reading Anne Rice’s “Pandora.”

This morning the alarm clock went off at 9:00 a.m. and my body wasn’t having any of that, so I went back to bed until 3 p.m. My medications are making me a little sick to my stomach, I’ve got potty issues, and I feel like I am pregnant because now I am getting “morning sickness!!”

It is a comfy 22c here in Montreal – with clear skies at the moment although the possibility of thunder storms are in the forecast tonight. Where everyone else around North America and Canada are sweltering in the heat – it was 38.8 in some areas of B.C. yesterday!! Yikes!! The breeze is blowing and the sun is on its way down down and evening is about to start.

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We’re going OUT for dinner tonight and then a Movie, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.