Reasons for hope America!

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polls_pro_gay_marriage_rights_design_2351_822128_answer_1_xlargeThe military will be extending benefits to same-sex couples. Read more here.

According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans support gay marriage. Read more here.

As of June 2013, twelve states — Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — as well as the District of Columbia and three Native American tribes — have legalized same-sex marriage.

Eleven countries now have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, and Denmark). Read more about it at the Freedom to Marry project.

However, we still have a long way to go. We are nervously waiting for the Supreme Court’s ruling on two pivotal cases: one concerns the right to same-sex marriage itself while the second involves the federal benefits available to legally married gay couples. Read more here.

Finally I end with this heart breaking video where a senator from Illinois has to announce to the chamber and his constituents that Illinois never put up the vote on this before the session closed for the summer. About a minute in … you are as crushed as all the families he is speaking to. Click on the video of Greg Harris.

The work is not yet done people. When straight people do nothing, oppression proliferates.

Today’s WTF: Let’s raise animals just so we can slaughter them … FOR FUN!

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I saw this article on MSN today: South African lions bred to be shot in ‘canned hunts’

Apparently wealthy people are done with polo, croquet, and dressage and need to kill helpless creatures for sport.

What is wrong with the world? Is our class disparity so thick that the top percenters are that out of touch with how those below them engage in “sport” or have fun or vacation? Are we this displaced from the equal majesty of all animals on the planet that we find enjoyment in striking them from the Earth? Does it make people feel powerful to raise a gun against the so-called king of the jungle?

Where is our humanity? Where is our compassion? Hell, where is our creativity that this is the best use of our vacation time and money? We should be judged by how we treat the most defenseless among us. That goes for children, the elderly, dogs, cats, and yes lions. If a lion can’t even escape because it’s penned in, how is that a fair fight? If you have a high-powered rifle and ride in a car or shoot from a helicopter, there is no power in that. That is not a victory. That is a slaughter. That is the killing of innocents.

If you have a pet, go home today and love on her/him so hard and be grateful that it wasn’t born to be killed in another country.

Quarterback or cheerleader?

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il_570xN_366249251_r4eyFile this in the “gender stereotypes that make me puke” category. This might seem hokey and harmless; after all, it’s not too often when a cheerleader is a boy or a quarterback is a girl. I get that. However, it’s not impossible and that’s what this dichotomy is getting at.

This helmet versus pom poms battle is also striking the wrong chord with every gender chiche in the book. What is being implied with the blue helmet and the pink puffs?

This one versus the other situation is saying boys are quarterbacks and girls are cheerleaders. What does the quarterback do and what does a cheerleader do?

ncf_g_ctrickett_jh_400The quarterback is strong, athletic, fearless, the star of the team, the one who makes big plays, the one who gets all the attention on the field; on the other hand, the cheerleader doesn’t stand out — she is one of many, her role is the supporter not the star player, she cheers on the quarterback,  her role only exists if there is a sports star to rally behind (never the other way around), and she participates while being well-coiffed and shiny and perky while the quarterback is dirty and sweaty in his attempts to carry his team to victory.

pg2_g_redchts_600I know, I’m such a buzzkill. I’m no fun to be around. Why can’t I just laugh and not always be so serious. I must be such a big bore. Well, that’s not true. There is a world out there that agrees with me. These assumptions are harmful. There are young girls who want to be quarterbacks. There are young boys who don’t want to be quarterbacks. I’m not saying they can’t be that … if that is what they want for themselves. But when we start loading these stereotypes and heaping the weight of them on a tiny pale, squishy newborn just because it has a penis or a vagina, it’s really restricting.

I want my kid to have a world of options. I want my kid to be free to be whatever he or she dreams is possible. I don’t want them to be stuck in this backwards binary where their hopes and fears are colored by pink and blue boxes and there is no escape from those confines. Gender reveal parties just heap every cliche on to a world that needs more self-expression not more restrictions on personality and skills. One day when I have a baby, I’m not going to say it’s a girl or it’s a boy ta-da. I’m going to say: It’s a human! That’s what we all are. There are way more things that unite us than divide us! And I’ll be stressing that from pre-day 1!

A chimp’s life is not more valuable than yours!

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imagesThe National Institutes of Health is encouraging the push to retire chimps from being used as research subjects.

The point is that with technology today, we simply do NOT NEED to use these animals. And regardless of all the technology in the world, it is inhumane that a civilized country would abduct these creatures from their native worlds and families for the purposes of torture disguised as scientific research.

The NIH is accepting comments from the public on this issue. YOU CAN HAVE A VOICE IN THIS!!! Don’t just complain and say tsk, tsk, isn’t this awful? Fill out the email form. It doesn’t have to be long or eloquent. Just say the time to end this abhorrent practice is NOW.

Do it here.

You do not have to write in every single comments field, just one. And if you think it takes too long to fill this out or hit submit, imagine what a “long” amount of time feels like to someone trapped in a lab poked and prodded and put through hell ever day of their life!