These “right to discriminate” bills, which would let just about anyone discriminate against just about anyone because God, have been popping up all across the country, but is there someone co-ordinating all this behind the scenes?
Becca Morn at America Blog may have the answer:
As reported by Al Jazeera America: Cornerstone in Idaho, the Kansas Family Policy Council, and the Center for Arizona Policy, which supports the bill there, are all part of a network of 38 state “family policy councils” pressing for these laws under the umbrella of Citizen Link, the advocacy arm of the conservative Christian powerhouse Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family is James Dobson’s hate-mill, by the way, now headed by Jim Daly. Another backer is the American Religious Freedom Program, headed by Brian Walsh — who disingenuously claims these efforts are nothing more than trying to ensure that priests and florists don’t have to participate in Big Gay Weddings. And the ARFP sounds familiar, that’s because it’s part of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think-tank and lobbying organization run by Ed Whelan, former Reagan official in the DoJ and also former clerk for Justice Scalia.
The fact that it’s legal to discriminate against LGBTs in many states is nothing new. Twenty-nine states already have some form of ‘religious exemption’. But now this AFRP group has drafted its wide-reaching bill, and according to reports in the Wichita Eagle, has been shopping it around to state legislatures around the country. Brian Walsh, executive director of the ARFP, which supports religious freedom measures, acknowledges that his group consulted with the legislators on the bill, but he says that lots of other groups did as well: “We gave them suggestions and they took some of them.” Walsh says that ARFP was contacted by legislators who wrote the Tennessee bill and that the group frequently talked to legislators in South Dakota about “religious freedom” but not the state’s specific bill. Julie Lynde, executive director of Cornerstone Family Council in Idaho, one of many state groups that are part of Citizen Link, a branch of Focus on the Family, told Al Jazeera America, “We’ve been involved in working on the language” of the Idaho bill. Another member of Citizen Link, the Arizona Policy Center, has been active in supporting the Arizona bill.
And why are these proposed laws written so broadly? Becca thinks that’s the point:
In my opinion, Whelan’s organization didn’t write a sloppy bill to shop around. I believe the bill does exactly what it means to do, which is something the far-right conservatives have been itching to do ever since the first sweeping civil rights bills were passed in the 1960s: Repeal them. Not just some, and not just to enable anti-gay and anti-trans discrimination, but all of the equal rights laws. Using ‘religious freedom’ as the cudgel to roll back women’s reproductive freedoms is just another prong of the attack.
It’s a great article, going into detail on all these laws, including some I was unaware of. Read the whole thing to get a better idea of what’s lurking below the surface of all these “right to discriminate” bills.Add a comment Add a comment
Before December of 2013, Duck Dynasty was a network’s dream: an inoffensive, semi-scripted reality program that received little attention outside of its core audience but still attracted millions of viewers. By any standard, Duck Dynasty was a smash. The season 4 premiere drew 11.7 million viewers. Even for a buzzed about scripted drama like Scandal, those numbers would be big. For a cable network, they were enormous.
The Duck Dynasty stars and A&E also cashed in on merchandising and branding, with their likenesses being found on anything from sweatshirts to coffee mugs and even a Chia Pet. This is an operation that could’ve chugged on for years, continued to make money for its network and stars, entertain the core audience, and be pretty much ignored by the rest of us. The nice smooth ride then came to a screeching halt in late 2013 in one of the biggest network PR Blunders in recent memory.
In an interview for GQ magazine, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson had some extremely incendiary things to say regarding gays and the bible. When asked by reporter Drew Magary about what constitutes “sin” he stated: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers–they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
Add a comment Add a comment
As the song says, "it's that most wonderful time of the year..." but if you are buying gifts for the techies in your life, it's also one of the most trying times as you decide what to buy them, how much you want and need to spend and whether or not you can afford everything they want and if not, what to do about it. That said, here are a few of our suggestions, starting off with one we'd bet you will be shocked to read: Do not buy an iPhone or any phone for a gift.
Why not? As much as we adore Apple and proudly use our iPhone 5S, the issue with anything attached to a contract (most phones) is, well, that contract. If you buy say an iPhone for someone, you will need to know if they are AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or even have a contract existing. You also will need to sort out all the rest and you will commit them (or you if it's a family member on your "family plan") to at least two veal's with that phone. If you simply MUST buy them an iPhone, instead may I suggest an Apple gift card with the suggestion they buy a phone with it or go shopping with you the day after Christmas?
That said, there are a lot of other possible tech gifts... For one, I'd love one of the new and much lighter — since I use mine to read newspapers — iPad Air's. These shave about a third off the weight of the older iPads and they have faster processors, a lot better retina displays and more. They are, however, it needs to be said, pricy so don't plan to put one under the tree of every friend you have (unless you have a lot of spare cash, in which case please come sit next to me!) iPad Air starts at $499 for the 16 gig version, but to be brutal, I'd ask Santa for at least a 32 gig ($599) because you will just not be able to fit all your movies, TV, books, newspapers (including this one) and more on that smaller version. Trust us, we know!
If you do not need the very latest and greatest, you can get the older iPad for $399 or the mini from $299 so there is hope for the big heart but small wallet techie givers out there.
Also (and this is heresy but hey I am realistic here) while I am an Apple devotee, there are pads, tablets and their ilk from under $99. Just beware if you do buy one of the less-known (ie: off) brands for someone as a gift that none of them come with AppleCare and that a lot of the warranties are pretty much worthless if you do not know who's backing them up. Be sure that you have a back-up plan if you buy something that's lesser-known. I suggest buying from a reputable store (Best Buy, Costco, etc.) which will stand behind their product if it fails. Not that the off-brands are any less fun than an iPad, but do be aware they have fewer available apps and less computing power than an iPad. You do get what you pay for to a certain extent.
So what if your budget doesn't allow for a tablet? Well do not despair. Everything from jump drives (They can be had for under $10 these days.) to headphones (from $8 or $9 to up, up and up) are nice options. There are also hook-up cables, extra chargers and small devices which fit well into that Christmas stocking. Just be 100% sure that if you pick one of these smaller items your intended recipient has the ability to use it (ie: no pc gadgets if they are Mac or Mac items if they are pc) and that it's something they want and will use. In short, as with all gifts, hang onto the sales or gift receipt and make sure you buy from somewhere established and know their return policy.
I am a lesbian from a small town. Not only are there very few of us here who are my age, but the ones who are here aren't full-blown lesbians. That being said, my on-again-off- again girlfriend always goes back to the same guy when we break up. While she does this I sit and wait for her to come back.
I love her, but when is enough enough? I want to be with her and I give her many chances and she always comes back to me but why does she run to this guy when we break up? Why does she tell me I'm all she ever wants and needs and then leaves to go be with a boy? I'm heartbroken. I don't have any other options to run off and be with anyone else because of the size of our community and I don't know if I would, even if I had the chance. If we break up I will see her over and over almost every day so how do I do this? How do we break up and make it stick?
Small town problems.
“We need to talk." Possibly the worst four words in the human language. No one wants to hear this brief and ominous statement, because more often than not, it’s leading to a break-up.
Everyone has suffered through at least one break-up in their lives. The reasons people part are as varied as stars in the sky — they cheat, they realize that they are unhappy, they realize a relationship is harder than they thought and they don’t want to put in the effort or they merely grow apart. No matter what the reason or who you are, it’s never easy. Sure, we lie through our smiles and say it's no big deal as we hide behind our armor, but beneath the facade of tanned muscles, expensive clothes and feigned self-confidence that make it seem like we’re living our lives like nothing has happened, the broken, splintered hearts lie bleeding.
It could be a relationship of ten weeks, ten months or ten years — the razor-sharp sting is still there. When a relationship ends there's not only the grief from losing someone who is important to you, there is also the pain of seeing all the visions of your life together disappear. Your future is suddenly empty. When two people connect, their lives become entwined. Now, seeing your life stretch ahead of you without your partner means its time to start over.
In the beginning there's the empty hope of denial as you think that maybe it isn’t really the end. Maybe you are just going through a rough patch and any minute now the phone will ring or the text will chirp and you will realize that it was nothing but a silly misunderstanding. But the phone remains silent, mocking you with its blank glass stare. So, maybe you should call or text, right? But when you do, there's no response. That’s when the empty rooms start to close in on you as you wander them like a ghost, the heavy weight of the truth pressing harder and harder on your heart.
Then, the "if only” stage starts. If only I had paid attention to the little things. If only I hadn't been afraid to show my true feelings. If only I hadn't worked so much. If only I could have one more moment, one more kiss, one more chance. But it’s too late. When the cold reality that the relationship is lost forever finally sets in, that heavy pain in your heart spreads and crashes over you like a wave, dragging you down into the darkness.
The stage that comes next is the worst. Days (weeks? months?) pass as you lay in bed staring at the ceiling or the television, seeing but not really seeing, walking through the motions of your life like a wraith until you move to the second tier of this stage. This consists of listening to the saddest songs you can find and crying uncontrollably at the lyrics that remind you of happiness past, the miserable present and the empty future. Fix You by Coldplay is a good choice. My Immortal by Evanescence is also gut wrenching. Someone Like You by Adele is practically perfect. Whatever you prefer, it seems there are more songs about breaking up and being crushed by love's cruel touch than there are songs about the giddiness of falling in love.Add a comment Add a comment
Dear Dr. Fred:
My partner and I have been dating for nine months and there is a significant age difference of 30 years, or better put, he’s old enough to be my dad. This is his first relationship with a man so much younger than him. We are in a committed, closed relationship, and he’s the first person I've dated that I could truly introduce to my family and be proud of. We both live in different states and after the holiday season I am moving to his place. Fortunately, my parents do not live anywhere close. We have vacationed together several places this year, and while my family has heard stories about him, they’ve seen pictures of our vacation excluding “us”. How can I explain to my parents my love for such an older man? They have no idea I am attracted to older men, but they have known for almost a year that I’m gay.
A Young Man
Add a comment Add a comment
One of my two partners doesn't take anything unless the doctor insists. The other takes whatever he’s told and then adds all manner of what he calls "herbals” to his regimen. I fall somewhere in the middle.
Its taken awhile, but I have finally managed to get the one of us who will try most any herbal to provide the doctor with a list of his herbals — which run from Valerian Root for his problems sleeping to Cat s Claw which he says helps fight off the effects of a case of Lyme Disease he got from tick bites some years ago.
Do they work? Maybe, according to the experts. And does the doctor need to know if you or I or my partner takes these herbals? A definite yes to that because those herbals can affect your body and other prescriptions you might have to take. Some of them can even be deadly with the wrong combination of prescription and even over- the-counter drugs.
The truth is, however, that very few healthcare professionals in the United States like answering questions about natural medicine products — the proper name for what my partner calls "herbals". Chances are if you've asked your doctor about herbal products, they probably resisted answering the question and told you to ask your pharmacist. Afterall, pharmacists are supposed to be the experts about medicines, right? Problem is that most pharmacists don’t like answering questions about herbal products any more than the doctors do. Why is that? How could it be?
First off, herbal products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means anyone can market, package and distribute these “medicines” and sell them to you and me supposedly to "fix" or "cure” most any ailment we have.
But wait! There's a notice on the bottles and it says right there that the FDA calls these dietary supplements, not drugs, so it’s the law, right?
Well The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) classified herbs as "dietary supplements” and not “drugs," but all that means is that the FDA is not required to regulate them. [So then why are some naturally occurring plants, like marijuana, regulated by the government? The answer is that marijuana is currently classified as an "illicit drug" and not a "dietary supplement" or a "medicinal ding,” so it is over-seen by a division of the government called the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) though even that is currently changing with several states "legalizing” pot for "medicinal use,” and others for "recreational purposes, though that’s a story for another day.].
But back to those other roots, oils and herbs... Manufacturers of herbal products can make claims about their product’s supposed safety and efficacy, but the claims don’t have to have any scientific evidence to support them (unlike claims made about drugs). The only stipulation is that manufacturers cannot claim that their herbal products diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases. For example, a company can say that their product "improves your mood” but they cannot say that it "treats depression.” Just look on most any bottle and there’s a politely worded FDA-required statement which says exactly that — that the FDA had not guaranteed or tested the product. In other words: it's the maker's word against yours and your doctor's if that herbal will treat, help or do anything positive. And it's your responsibility not to let it harm or kill you with an interaction to something your doctor did prescribe.
Add a comment Add a comment
In the 1950s and 1960s, the United States saw a cultural shift in its approach to civil rights. African-Americans and their allies finally stood together and demanded change. The movement killed segregation, ignited debate about interracial marriage and helped pave the way for equality among races in the United States. Some argue that battle is still continuing.
In 1969, the Gay Rights movement took off after the Stonewall Riots. Forty-Five years later, same-sex couples can legally wed in 17 states (and counting) and more government agencies are granting domestic partnership benefits. But there’s a segment of society that has patiently waited in line for its turn to fight for equality. And that time could be now.
Transgender Americans are finally getting noticed. But that battle for equality could be a good decade or two behind the Gay Rights push. Has the gay community left the transgender community behind, or are the two linked communities actually separate, fighting very different battles?
Add a comment Add a comment
Author’s Note: The following information is compiled from multiple sources including: The Mayo Clinic, the American Medical Association, the American Red Cross, and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. The information included in this article is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any serious medical condition. In the case of all emergency situations and medical conditions, it is absolutely essential to seek the advice of a licensed medical professional. All opinions stated in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GayFresno, its owners, entities, affiliates, or subsidiaries.
“Put a little butter on it!” This phrase is commonly heard in the south just after someone has burned himself on a hot pan. It’s just one of the many “old wives’ tales” associated with first aid. In many cases, there tends to be some truth to the tales, and in others…well, they can do more harm than good. Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed a good deal of “first aid” advice flying across my Facebook feed in response to a few of my more accident prone friends hurting themselves. Some of the advice was medically sound, but most of it wasn’t on par with current first aid standards. Please understand that I’m not saying that someone must run to the emergency room for every scrape, cut, and burn, but what I am saying is that you can hurt yourself more if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are many things you can do at home to handle minor first aid situations. I’d like to take the time to address someone of those instances, dispel a few myths, and give people a better understanding of how to properly handle the situation. And now, on with the show…
One of the most common first aid situations in the U.S. revolves around minor burns. Whether it’s from touching a hot pan or oil splatter, people seem to burn themselves quite often. An average of 3 million people seek medical attention for burns each year, but that pales in comparison to the number of people who treat burns at home. In a recent poll, it was determined that, over the course of a year, 78% of the population of the United States will sustain a minor burn and will not seek medical treatment for it. There are 2 problems with this. Most people don’t know when to seek medical attention and when to handle it at home, and most people do not know how to properly treat a burn. A minor burn (one that does not require emergency medical attention) is less than 3 inches in diameter, does not break the skin, even if it blisters, and does not involve substantial portions of the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, or major joints. If the burn covers a larger area or causes the skin to crack or slough off, seek medical attention immediately. Do NOT pop “water blisters.” If you determine this to be a minor burn, then move on to treatment. Some of the myths surrounding first aid treatment for burns include: butter, vegetable oil, egg whites, vasoline, frozen peas, and ice packs. Stop for a moment and consider what happens when you heat butter or oil? It melts. We fry things in it. Does it really make sense to use that on a burn? Egg whites? Do you know what happens when you heat up an egg? It cooks. Vasoline is very oily and can fall into the same category as vegetable oils and butter. Cellular degradation occurs faster below 90 degrees, so cooling the area with ice packs or other frozen materials is not recommended. To properly treat a minor burn, place the burned area under RUNNING, cool (NOT cold) water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain lessens. If it is impractical to use running water, then immerse the burned area in cool water for the same length of time. Once the pain has lessened, gently blot the area dry. You may now apply an over-the-counter burn cream, such as Aquafor (similar to vasoline, but not the same) or Bacitracin, and cover it with non-stick, sterile gauze. Don't use fluffy cotton or other lint-ridden materials. You should wrap the gauze loosely to avoid putting pressure on burned skin. Bandaging keeps air off the burn, reduces pain, and protects damaged skin. Most people don’t have burn creams in their medicine cabinets, and if you happen to be one of those people, there is something you can do. Always begin with the cool water treatment. Once you get to the burn cream and bandaging step, if you don’t have the proper first aid materials, you can apply a layer of common yellow mustard to the burns that DO NOT immediately blister. The vinegar in the mustard will reduce bacteria of the affected area, and there are some natural pain relieving properties of mustard seed. This should be temporary though and used as a secondary option. Use the proper materials whenever possible.
Another common injury, especially for those of us with children, is minor cuts and abrasions. This is the most common type of minor injury. My grandparents would swear by alcohol and a red liquid called Mercurochrome. Those treatments burned like crazy, and quite honestly, I’d had rather just bled to death. Then of course, there were always the “boil it out with peroxide” comments, followed by “Just let it breathe. It will heal faster.” *BZZZZ* We’ve heard these things all of our lives, but there isn’t a lot of truth in them. Before we get into the first aid, we need to define what a “minor cut or abrasion” is. It’s not as clear cut as you would think. Consult a physician for any cuts and abrasions near or on your eyes, nose, mouth, genitals, or feet (especially if you are diabetic.) If the cut bleeds heavily, has jagged edges, gapes open, is more than ¼ inch deep, or reveals fat or muscle tissue, seek medical attention. If you cannot adequately clean the wound (removing all dirt and debris) or the wound was caused by a rusted object, call your doctor. Deep puncture wounds should always be looked at by a licensed medical practitioner, especially if you have not had a tetanus shot in the last 5 years. If the wound was caused by an animal or human bite that breaks the skin or the injured area feels numb, go straight to the ER. Now, I’m sure your thinking, “I’ve had injuries like that before, and I didn’t go to the doctor. It was just fine.” That may be true, but that doesn’t mean it was the best course of action. In most cases, the cut itself isn’t nearly as concerning as the related infections that can occur from improper treatment. Nails, thorns, bites (animal or human), and cuts from household objects contain microbes (fungi, bacteria, parasites, etc.) that can cause SERIOUS and LIFE THREANTENING complications. Don’t play with your health. Now that we’ve established “minor,” let’s talk about those pesky myths. Substances like alcohol, iodine, mercurochrome, and what not are painful and unnecessary. Peroxide can actually damage healthy cells in the area of the wound, which will slow healing and could lead to other problems. All of those chemicals are harsh and can irritate the wound. First, flush the area with cool, running water removing as much dirt and debris as possible. You may use a mild, anti-bacterial soap on the area as well, but be sure to rinse the area thoroughly afterwards. Next, it’s time to stop the bleeding. For minor cuts and abrasions, blood loss is inconsequential and is secondary to cleaning (First aid for more serious injuries with heavy bleeding is different. For this article, we are only talking about minor issues.) You do not want to apply pressure to minor cuts and abrasions that have not been properly cleaned, as you can cause debris (like gravel and glass) or metal shards to become further imbedded in the surrounding tissue. A small amount of bleeding is necessary and helps to clean the wound. Minor cuts typically will stop bleeding on their own, barring certain medical complications like hemophilia. Small cuts to the head, hands, feet, and genitals will often bleed more than cuts to other areas of the body due to the number of blood vessels in those areas. The face is the drama queen of the body. It bleeds a lot. If the bleeding does not stop on its own within a few minutes, apply gentle pressure to the CLEAN wound with a clean cloth or sterile gauze. Hold the pressure steady. Don’t raise the cloth or gauze to check on the wound, because that could cause the wound to start bleeding again. If blood seeps through the dressing, just put more on top and keep applying pressure. It should stop bleeding in 2 to 3 minutes in most cases. If the cut is on your hand or arm, you can help slow the bleeding by raising it above your head. If it the blood spurts, go to the ER! A squirty cut is not a happy cut. Once the wound is clean and the blood has stopped, it’s time to cover it up. Remove any dried blood around the wound (not on it) with a moist, clean cloth. Don’t blow on it. There are microbes in your breath. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic cream (like Neosporin or Polysporin) to the area. (Some of these can cause a rash. If it does, remove the ointment and stop using it.) Apply a clean, sterile bandage. Make sure that the gauze or pad is large enough to cover the entire wound. You don’t want adhesives sticking to the injury. Change the bandage once per day. Keep it covered. Letting it “air out” can allow infections to set in. Keeping it covered will reducing scarring, prevent infection, and allow the body to heal naturally. Once there is no longer a risk of infection, you can stop using the bandages. Be aware that some “pus” will occur, even without an infection. Yellowish pus seen at the beginning stages of healing is normal and is a sign that the body is creating a scab to begin repairing the area. Thick green pus or pus that has a strong, foul odor can be a sign of a serious infection, and you should seek advice from your doctor. I will also add that ripping off tape or Band-Aids is NOT best. This can reopen the wound. Instead, rub the edge of the bandage with water to release the adhesive. It will come off painlessly. Most minor cuts will completely heal in 2 weeks (5 days for the face). If a cut doesn’t scab over, becomes swollen, or does not show signs of healing in that time, you should see your doctor.
The last of the more common minor injuries are those involving muscles and joints. We’ve all had them. Shin splints, twisted knees, sprained ankles, jammed fingers, and stubbed toes. There are TONS of myths surrounding these types of injuries: everything from “COLD ONLY!!!” to “Just yank it lose” and “Keep running!” Since these injuries involved the musculoskeletal structure, continued use of the affected limb or joints with only make it worse. Jerking and yanking on joints is not a good idea for non-medical folk. Broken bones should always be treated by a physician. Don’t, for the love of all that is good, try and set a bone yourself. You can break it worse, set it wrong, or push bone fragments into the tissue, and possibly perforate an artery. Just don’t do it. Let’s take a moment and define some things. A sprain involves the ligaments of the joints that hold one end of a bone to another. A strain involves the muscle tissue and tendons (the connective tissue that holds muscle to bone). Twisted knees and ankles are sprains, while shin splints and pulled muscles are strains. Believe it or not, jammed fingers and stubbed toes also fall into the category of sprains, though they are typically caused by impact injuries that compress the joints. In the cases of sprains and strains, the average person is more concerned as to whether or not the bone is broken. The truth is, unless it’s a compound fracture and you can see the broken bone, you really can’t tell without an X-ray. Suspected broken bones can be determined by answering the following 3 questions.
1. Did you hear or feel a snap/pop in the injured area?
2. Are you having extreme difficulty moving the injured limb?
3. Does the injured part move in an unnatural way?
If you answer yes to any of those questions, GO TO THE ER. The pain from sprains and strains can mimic the signs of a broken bone, but it’s always best to be safe. If however, you are certain you are dealing with a minor strain or sprain, we treat them all the same way—with RICE! Not rice like the grain though. RICE is an acronym used for the treatment of strains and sprains: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Rest the injured area for a minimum of 24 hours. Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time with 20 to 40 minute breaks between icings. LIGHTLY compress it with an elastic bandage (like an ACE bandage) for a minimum of 2 days. Elevate the injury above the level of the heart. All of these things help to reduce swelling and pain. You should NEVER apply heat to a sprain or strain during the first 24 hours. Heat will cause an increase in swelling and pain. If after the first 24 hours, the swelling is gone, but you are still experiencing discomfort, you may alternate between heat and ice for a few hours. For impact injuries like jammed fingers and stubbed toes, it is best to wrap the finger or toe to an adjacent finger or toe to help with stability. Don’t yank on it or try to “pop it” back into place. It will do that on its own. Expect bruising to occur with these types of injuries. In the case of shin splints, DO NOT keep running. Shin splints are caused by the muscle tearing. If you keep running, you will only make it worse. If you cannot stand or walk, if the pain and swelling persist longer than 48 hours, or if you lose feeling (goes numb), seek medical attention immediately.
So folks, save the butter for biscuits. Remember to CTC! Cut the crap, and “Clean! Treat! Cover!” Use RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. And seek medical attention if you have any doubt about your health or injuries.
As an addendum to the article, I’d like to offer some advice on home first aid kits. Cheap kits are available at most major stores, though they can sometimes be lacking in their overall supply. While many of them will have bandages, gauze, ointments, and swabs, they often do not contain cold packs, syringes, elastic bandages, or anti-bacterial soap. You can make your own first aid kits for a little more money, and tailor them to your needs. You can make them for your vehicle and home. Purchase a small Rubbermaid tote or Lock-Tite box from your local department store. They come in a variety of sizes. Fill them with items that can help you treat minor injury and store them in an easily accessible place that everyone in your family knows about. Items to include are: elastic bandages (ACE bandages) of varying size, a variety pack of Band-Aids, Bacitracin, Neosporin, Aquafor, anti-bacterial soap, non-stick gauze rolls and pads, self-adhering medical tape, a 10 mL syringe without the needle (for flushing), a small bottle of artificial tears, saline solution, a cold pack, a small pair of scissors, tweezers, and latex gloves. You’ll be better for it! Be safe!
Add a comment Add a comment
Conservatives have been flailing this month to recover control of their “religious liberty” talking points after the country turned on Arizona for its “license to discriminate” bill, leading up to Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto Wednesday afternoon. Groups like the Heritage Foundation, the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, the Cato Institute, and Focus on the Family all came to SB 1062's defense, arguing in various fashions that it would do nothing to promote discrimination against LGBT people. At the forefront of this media effort was the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which not only helped draft Arizona’s bill, but provides legal counsel to individuals who engage in such discrimination.
By doubling down in response to the backlash, these groups have sent a clear signal that the fight over “religious liberty” is far from over, even if Arizona proves to have been a turning point. Here’s a look at the rhetoric they’ve used over the past two weeks to suggest that “religious freedom” somehow requires the privilege to refuse service to the LGBT community — in particular, marrying same-sex couples — and why it doesn’t hold up.
What Is “Discrimination”?
At the core of this discussion is a fundamental disagreement about what “discrimination” is and what “discrimination” is not. It’s no secret that stories of bakers, florists, and photographers being punished for refusing service to marrying same-sex couples is what motivates these bills; proponents admit as much. But they don’t actually think of that refusal of service as discrimination.Add a comment Add a comment
You Can Make a Miracle Happen on Kids Day Tuesday, March 4, 2014!
Join team "Gay Fresno" as we help this worthwhile cause!
For the past 27 years, Children’s Hospital Central California has benefitted from the thousands of volunteers that hit the streets every March to sell the special “Kids Day” edition of The Fresno Bee for $1. By participating as a Kids Day volunteer, you not only help Children’s Hospital raise important funds, but also help valley residents learn more about vital healthcare services and programs Children’s Hospital provides.
The hours are approximately 6:00am through 1:00pm. If you can't stay until 1pm we may be able to use you, please contact us.
Since every group chooses its own corner, you will need to have access to a cell phone so we can call you the morning of with the location we have obtained.
Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Please call or text to (559) 862-4559 to RSVP
On Saturday March 8th, 2014 the first annual Lavender Convention will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fresno, CA. The convention is an all-day interfaith event aimed at bringing the LGBT community and faith based organizations together in learning and celebration of spirituality in the LGBT community. It will be day of honoring and affirming each individual’s spiritual nature. The convention welcomes all who are interested in connecting with themselves at a deeper level, including those with no formal religious or spiritual beliefs or affiliations. The convention is an opportunity for each individual to explore their own values and beliefs in a friendly, supportive and safe environment. Although local affirming congregations and organizations will be represented at the convention, the convention is not meant to recruit new church members, but rather to allow attendees to receive information and participate in experiences to assist them on their own individual spiritual journey.
Our Mission Statement is as follows:
The Lavender Convention is a positive response to the historical exclusion of LGBT people from religious institutions. The Lavender Convention seeks healing and transformation by inviting the LGBT Community to a celebration of its spiritual essence. It is a forum for LGBT affirming communities of faith to come together for fellowship, learning, and worship. The Lavender Convention is designed to touch the spiritual nature of LGBT individuals and create a vision of a community and society that includes everyone who seeks a spiritual pathway.
The Convention will run from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The keynote speech is by Father Geoffrey Farrow former priest of the Newman Center of Fresno who lost is position after is public opposition to Prop 8. It will also consist of an interfaith opening ceremony which honors diverse religious and spiritual traditions, a faith leader’s discussion panel, break-out sessions with informational and experiential workshops, lunch, and a closing ceremony.
The Lavender Convention’s home and registration page can be found at http://tinyurl.com/TLCFresno
Add a comment Add a comment
“We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn’t that what marriage is? … I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry. Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the ‘wrong kind of person’ for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. … I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.” — Mildred Loving, “Loving for All”
Last night, only days after hearing oral arguments in the case, a Virginia federal judge struck down the state ban on same-sex marriage, writing unequivocally that “[t]radition is revered in the Commonwealth, and often rightly so. However, tradition alone cannot justify denying same-sex couples the right to marry any more than it could justify Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage.” The judge opened her opinion with the quote, above, from Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in the 1967 challenge to Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage. She thus joined a unanimous and ever-expanding collection of federal judges who have chosen to answer the question left up in the air by the Supreme Court last Spring: Did the Windsor decision–striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act–pretty much strike down gay-marriage bans as well?
It didn’t have to play out this way. Once the elation of victory died down following the court’s Windsor decision in June, everyone found themselves asking the same question–what does this case mean for all of the other cases raising questions about gay and lesbian equality? The answer wasn’t 100 percent clear at the time. As he’s done in the past, Justice Anthony Kennedy authored a decision producing sweeping results, but rooted it in less than crystal clear reasoning. This was because Windsor has two independent parts that barely speak to one another.
Add a comment Add a comment
Senator Ted Cruz of shut-down-the-government fame is introducing the companion bill to a House measure that would stop the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages in states that ban the practice.
The Washington Blade reports:
Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced legislation on Thursday in the U.S. Senate to prohibit the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in states without marriage equality. The Texas Republican said he introduced the bill, called the State Defense Marriage Act, in response to the Obama administration’s recognition of same-sex marriage in federal programs — even for gay couples living in non-marriage equality states — following the Supreme Court decision against the Defense of Marriage Act. “I support traditional marriage,” Cruz said in a statement. “Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens. The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states.”
The country needs jobs and support for the newly growing economy. Cruz gives us the repeal of Obamacare and a return to repressive 90′s policies against gays. And this is the future of the GOP?
Add a comment Add a comment
Amid rising momentum in favor of legalizing gay marriage, Bob Vander Plaats, the Iowa conservative activist who helped both Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum win the last two Republican caucuses in his state, said he would strongly oppose any Republican presidential candidate who backed same-sex unions and predicted such a person would not be able to win in Iowa or capture the GOP nomination overall.
“I don’t think they would get a foothold anywhere and they would definitely get beat in Iowa,” Vander Plaats said of any Republican who supported gay marriage. And Vander Plaats said he and other social conservatives there would “do their due diligence” in pressing any Republican who comes to Iowa to pledge both now and in the future that they will support marriage only between a man and a woman.
The comments, in an interview with me, were a bit of a warning shot to potential Republican 2016 candidates. Vander Plaats, runs a social conservative group called The Family Leader in Iowa, and is an influential enough figure that six of the Republican 2012 candidates attended a forum on faith and politics his group sponsored during the campaign.
Add a comment Add a comment
Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will recognize all legal same sex marriage, regardless of where the couple lives.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
In a new milestone for gay rights, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. will issue a directive Monday expanding government recognition of same-sex marriages to all federal courtrooms and prisons, and some federal benefits programs.
The new policy, which Holder plans to announce Saturday night at a gay rights dinner in New York City, means the Justice Department will not object if gay or lesbian partners refuse to testify against their spouses in federal criminal and civil cases, and will push for them to be accorded the same rights in Bankruptcy court as other married couples. These privileges will be extended to same-sex couples even in states that do not recognize their marriages as long as they were legally married in another state.
I’m guessing this won’t sit well with folks in some conservative states… LOL.
Add a comment Add a comment
At William Saroyan Theatre, Feb 18th & 19th, 7:30pm
Four ways to get your tickets (of course, our famous free ticket raffle too!)
Buy your tickets from Ticket Master or at the Saryoan box office
#1 Like us on facebook and enter our contest at the top of the page (Winner will receive two tickets to Feb 18th show)
#2 Donate to Gay Fresno, in any amount and you'll be entered to win two tickets for the Feb 18th show ($142 value!)
#3 Bid on eBay bidding starts at only 99c for two tickets for the Feb 18th show ($142 value, Auction ends Feb 17th at 5pm)
Just by being a member of our email list, you can know about our next ticket giveaway. Join today!
Physical pain. I’ve been experiencing a lot of it in the past week.
One of the chronic conditions that contribute to my VA disability rating of 100 percent is the lumbar area of my back. A combination of exaggerated lordosis (an exaggerated curve in the lumbar region of the spine), years of lifting heavy gas bottles and components while serving in the Navy “beat up” my lumbar region and a spina bifida (where my lumbar bones didn’t fully close around my spine) cause me to be susceptible to back aches. The past six months have found me in more pain than I have been in the last six years.
Also, I was exposed to a lot of sun during my life time, especially time I spent serving our country in the Navy. In the last few years I’ve had a significant number of precancerous growths frozen off my face, but new growths keep popping up. My VA dermatologist recommended a two week treatment of Flourouracil cream to remove the hidden growths below my visible skin, so I applied the cream twice a day to my face for those two weeks. My dermatologist told me it would leave me looking like I had leprosy – and here a week after ending the treatment my face is in pain as the facial sores from the “killing” of those hidden growths heal.
Lastly, while my face and back have been in pain, I had two root canals on two molars. Multiple medications I take to control chronic conditions cause me to have dry mouth. That dry mouth has resulted in numerous dental problems during the past three years, and that’s resulted in painful dental problems.
Add a comment Add a comment
APPLICATIONS CURRENTLY BEING ACCEPTED FOR SIX BULLDOG PRIDE FUND SCHOLARSHIPS OF $2,000 EACH.
The Bulldog Pride Fund is an endowed scholarship that was established under the auspices of the Fresno State Alumni Association in 2006 with one simple mission: “To support students attending Fresno State.” Today, the Bulldog Pride Fund endowment provides six annual scholarships of $2,000 each and will distribute a total of $12,000 this fall: • Bulldog Pride Fund – two annual awards of $2,000 each to students demonstrating academic achievement, financial need and volunteer service to the community;
• ASI President’s Award – annual award of $2,000 to the student elected as President of the Associated Students, Inc.;
• GSA Network Award – annual award of $2,000 to a student affiliated with the GSA Network;
• Harvey Milk Hope Award – annual award of $2,000 to a student enrolled in the Humanics Certificate Program; and
• TimeOut Spirit Award – annual award of $2,000 to the student that performs as Fresno State’s mascot.
Applications for Bulldog Pride Fund scholarships to be bestowed in the 2014-15 academic year are currently being accepted online. Details: www.bulldogpride.org. Deadline to apply is Feb. 28, 2014.
Total donations, as of January 7, 2014, are $300,081. By next fall, the Bulldog Pride Fund will have awarded 34 scholarships valued at $61,000.
# # #
GIVE TODAY. FOR TOMORROW AND BEYOND. •www.bulldogpride.orgAdd a comment Add a comment
As a part of the Will & Grace generation, it has been my pleasure to witness the evolution of gay couples in the context of public opinion. From the oversexed stereotypes on Queer as Folk to the Disney-like caricatures on The New Normal, our televisions have been speckled with a variety of examples of what a gay relationship looks like. No matter how cliche our TV stand-ins may be, they have relaxed much of the tension between the homo population and our hetero peers. But there is one term that should have been left in a rerun of the past that continues to get airplay today. In lieu of boyfriend, fiance, or husband, gay and straight people alike continue to use the word, partner, to reference a homosexual bond.
So why should “partner” be placed in a time capsule? It’s simple.
“Partner” is a vague term that gay people began using decades ago to reference their significant other without making their heterosexual company uncomfortable (or, at least, less uncomfortable). It was a way for homosexuals to speak freely without using the general terms that defined straight relationships, partly because boyfriend sounded silly and husband seemed to offend, nor could it be accurate in most cases. Who knows whether the term originated from the mouth of a straight or a gay because, regardless, it stuck like a son-of-a-bitch.
Even after we’ve systemically scrapped the idea of a civil union and instead demand full marriage equality, we still continue to use this ambiguous term to refer to our one and only. That may be because there is a significant group of men and women who are safely past the point of a normal engagement but still seek a more reputable title for their relationship. Most gay men feel like “partner” gives their union more validity and maturity than the term “boyfriend” ever could. And most would agree. Calling a man that you have been with for 10 or 15 years your boyfriend does sound a little juvenile.
Add a comment Add a comment
2013 was a great year for marriage equality. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor brought federal recognition of same-sex married couples. When Windsor was decided, it was unclear what effect it would have on the bigger fight, the fight to strike down all remaining same-sex marriage bans. Recent decisions in two of the most conservative states in the country indicate that federal judges are no longer swayed by the typical arguments in favor of retaining the bans.
Though it is hard to predict what will happen, the recent decisions in Utah and Oklahoma are the start of the next wave of cases that will ultimately end in a decision by that same Supreme Court. On Dec. 20, 2013 a federal judge in Utah ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Then on Jan. 14, 2014 an Oklahoma federal judge ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
The Utah case was big because the Mormon Church is huge there. The same church was central in providing the funding for Proposition 8 in California. It also led to some immediate marriages because the District Court judge and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals both denied requests from the state to stay the decision.
Add a comment Add a comment
I have had enough of people being able to say ridiculous things about the LGBT community and get away with it. Most recently it was the star of the Bachelor who called us perverts. He also said that there should never be a gay Bachelor. Really, gay men and women can get married in 18 states but they shouldn’t be able to be on a TV show to find love?
I have reached the fatigue point. Why does the LGBT community continue to let this happen without any reprisals? Sure we complain, just like I am complaining, but we continue to support the shows and stars who speak this drivel. Worse, we also support politicians who speak the same inane words.
Here is what the national Republican Platform says about LGBT people:
“Defending Marriage Against An Activist Judiciary … It is an assault on the foundations of our society …” Oh yeah, those judges who have given us the right to marry whom we love, they are assaulting the foundations of our society. Ridiculous.
Add a comment Add a comment