Archive for the ‘GLBT’ category

Reverend Lowery’s Moving Benediction

January 21, 2009

Reverand Lowery’s Benediction (transcript, video) on the occasion of Barack Obama’s historic Inauguration lit a fire in my heart and my soul.

The man spoke from his guts. He used straightforward language, and he wasn’t afraid to say what was on his mind. Don’t call him a racist or a man who is stuck in the past; he is a national hero.

A lot of people want to sit on their laurels and celebrate the election of a black man to the highest office in this country. It is a noble accomplishment, and it is something which I hope will be remembered for a very long time. It is something I will tell my children about with pride, and that I will always look towards as a sign of hope and possibility.

But there is still a lot of suffering and discrimination in this world, and in this country. People are put down and kept down for reasons of race, religion, gender, sexuality and creed. Bigotry and hatred persist in this country despite the hard work of men like Reverend Lowery.

There are over 1,000 laws in this country that apply to heterosexual married couples, but do not apply to same-gender couples who are denied the right to marry. Muslim men and women are discriminated, stereotyped and racially profiled everywhere they go. People are judged by the color of their skin, their dress, and their speech. People are not judged by the content of their character.

Rev. Lowery’s words were stirring. He used terms and expressions I would not feel comfortable using, but which he was able to deftly disarm. He was charming, witty, and inspiring. I was lifted by his words like no one elses since Dr. King.

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Orthodox Community Must Disown Bernie Madoff

January 13, 2009

As an Orthodox Jew, all I have to say is that I’m embarrassed of Bernie Madoff, and hope that all of the non-Jews out there can realize that he is not representative of who we are. Orthodox Jews are not greedy bastards willing to sell-out their own friends in order to buy another house in Florida. He disgusts us.

Unfortunately, I have not heard enough criticism of Madoff from Orthodox leaders. Nobody has come out and said that he is no longer welcome in our community, and that people like him can get the hell out!

What disturbs me, however, is that the Orthodox community doesn’t have much of a problem speaking out against Gays and Lesbians who want to be a part of the community. People who have done nothing to hurt anyone else, and are simply living a lifestyle that is different from the mainstream Orthodox community. These innocent people are discriminated against in almost every corner of the Jewish community.

Attention Rabbis and Community Leaders: Leave these honest and respectable GLBT Jews alone, and work on kicking out those lying, cheating heterosexual old white stealing men!

Let Gay Couples Adopt

January 12, 2009

There are thousands of children in the United States, and countless more around the world, that are desperate for a safe and loving home to be raised in.

By denying gay couples the right to marry, and thereby denying them the right in many states to adopt children, we are denying those children the warm homes they deserve.

It is currently explicitly illegal for a homosexual couple to adopt a child in Florida, Mississippi, and Utah. In Arkansas, it is illegal for an unmarried couple to adopt a child, and since gay marriage is not legal in Arkansas, gay couples cannot adopt.

The proponants of proposition 8 say they believe that “as a society we should put the best interests of children first.” If Prop 8, and laws like it, are supposed to be protecting children, then how do they explain to these foster children that Mommy and Mommy isn’t better than what they’ve got.

Save children, allow gay couples to adopt!

The Right for Gay Marriage

January 12, 2009

One of the basic rights I have always taken for granted was the right I took advantage of on May 28, 2007 when I exchanged rings with my wife, and kissed her under the chuppah.  It never occurred to me that the right to be married was something I should be particularly grateful for.

It didn’t take long after I was celebrating the amazing achievements of this past November 4th that I began mourning the most blatant act of legalized discrimination in a long time. The passing of Proposition 8 in California was a horrible example of what can happen when people are not considerate of other people’s rights.

This has become a cause I am very passionate about for a very simple reason: it is something that is within my control, and the control of my friends, to change. I care about Darfur, but I do not have the money or political clout to make significant difference. I care about peace for Israel and her neighbors, but I do not have the magic touch to solve that problem either.

The discrimination against homosexuals is something that is being done by normal Americans just like me. If a referendum were to come up in New York, I want to do my best to influence those people I know to vote for equal rights to gays. This is in my realm of possibility.

I will be updating this site regularly with links and stories related to this issues. A lot of what I get is from a great advocacy web site called Join The Impact – check it out.

It’s also worth watching these two great videos from funnyordie:

“Proposition¬† 8 – The Musical”

“Protect Marriage, Protect Children, Prohibit Divorce”

Opening Post

January 12, 2009

For a while now I have maintained a blog through my employment that was designed to get the word out about some things I cared about that overlapped with my job. I am lucky enough that I have a lot of common values with my place of employment, and many things I would like to post on my own blog I can simply post there.

I have realized, however, that I do not really have the free-license I would like to have when it comes to maintaining the blog. I think I need to be able to express myself a bit more freely, and explore some issues I might not be allowed to on the work blog.

You will hopefully get a sense of who I am and what I care about through this site, but I will give you a bit of a taste now. I am a Modern Orthodox Jew living in New York City with my wife. I would consider myself a liberal, and believe it is every person’s duty to do his or her best to improve other people’s lives. I have a lot to say about the culture and society we live in, I have a lot to say about my religion and other religions, and I have a lot to say about politics and the way this and other countries are run.

I read a lot of things around the Internet, and I watch lots of television, and I try to stay connected as best as possible. I will be writing about things I care about on this site, and I will put in links that I think are relevant.

There will hopefully be fun and light topics explored throughout this blog, but I hope to make it all relevant to people who share my interests and values.

I am making a commitment not to moderate comments on this blog. I will not give a voice to hateful comments, but will gladly welcome open debate and dialog – so please contribute.

I hope you enjoy this blog – I’m sure I will.