Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Putin for Nobel Peace Prize; AZ Senator is Gay; Pope Francis Civil Unions

Putin for Nobel Peace Prize

I know this may sound odd given Putin's stand on equal rights issues and gay hate laws, and the current situation in the Ukraine. But according to this article he's been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. At the same time, it's important to understand a few important things about the nominations first.

In order to secure a spot on the list, essentially all that's required is for a group or individual who falls under the broad criteria set by the Nobel Committee to formally submit your name and good deeds. The committee then selects from these nominations, but takes no responsibility for the pool of candidates they choose from. This process has resulted in some truly terrible people being proposed over the years, including but not limited to: Joseph Stalin (twice), Adolf Hitler (as a protest), and Rush Limbaugh. Putin was also nominated last year and faced similar criticism as today.

It's highly unlikely he'll win.

You can read more here.

AZ Senator is Gay

Arizona state senator, Steve Gallardo, came out today as a result from fallout of the recent vetoed bill that sought to discriminate against gays by allowing business owners to turn gays away legally based on religious beliefs.

'I am gay, I’m Latino and I'm a senator and it’s OK,' Gallardo said at a news conference.

Gallardo, 45, had just announced last week his plans to run for congress. He is currently serving his second term in the senate after three terms in the state's House of Representatives.

I think we'll be hearing more of this in the coming months and years, from both Democrat and Republican career politicians. Gay is not limited to Democrats only.

You can read more here.

Pope Francis Civil Unions

The Pope has always been careful about what he says regarding gay marriage, however, he recently stated that the church might find civil unions okay. He's clear about marriage being between one man and one woman, though.

But he went on to say: 'The secular states uses civil unions to accommodate various arrangements of living together, driven by the need to regulate the economic relationship between people, such as ensuring health care.'

He added: 'These are pacts of coexistence of various kinds, of which I could not identify the different forms. We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety.'

It's interesting to hear him speak this way. On the one hand it could be said he's moving forward and this is good for gays, but on the other it could also be said he's still looking at gays as second class citizens who don't deserve the same equal rights in the Catholic religion (or anywhere) as straights. And, unfortunately, that's just not something I'm willing to accept anymore. I want full equal rights. I don't want anyone tossing me that proverbial bone anymore. To me this is like you can sit in the middle of the bus now, but you're still not allowed to sit in the front row. Not good enough.

You can read more here.

Side note: I went through 12 years of Catholic school and was raised Catholic. I've been estranged from the church for many years because of their stand on gays.

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