Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cruz Needs a Check-up from the Neck up

He just exudes love, doesn't he?
Keep standing against bigotry and foolishness, folks, because there's still a long way to go in the Philippines.

Archbishop-emeritus Oscar Cruz has proven himself to be a first class dingbat in the past, and he's working hard to keep that reputation alive.

Hot on the heels of Benedict's recent rant against gay unions as a threat to the future of humanity, Cruz set out to gleefully regurgitate his boss's madness to the masses in the Philippines.

Cruz's level of confusion astounds me, I mean literally floors me.  How a man can be alive for 77 years, yet remain utterly clueless and non-sympathetic to his fellow man, is beyond me.  Arrogance can, however, be blinding.

For instance, on January 13th he made this statement:  "Gay people also have human rights but they cannot force the Catholic Church to bless their unions."  Oscar, no one desires, or is setting out, to force your church or any other church to bless any union whatsoever.  That's the distinction between religious marriage and civil marriage.  You should know that by now, and if you don't, you can review the marriage equality laws of other countries.  It's really not that complicated.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Straight Folks, the Shame is Ours

As I write this it is a new year, and 2012 promises to be another good one for the gay and lesbian community, particularly in the West.

2011 was a banner year on which to build.  From the removal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the U.S. military, to the Australian Labour Party changing its platform to support marriage equality.  From same-sex marriage becoming legal in New York state, to Denmark announcing that it will be upgrading its partnership law to full marriage equality.  From civil unions being instated in the biggest Catholic-majority country on the planet (Brazil), to the U.K.'s Prime Minister announcing that British foreign aid will be greatly reduced to those countries which fail to protect and guarantee the rights of LGBTs.  And from the swearing-in of the world's first openly gay male head of state (the new Prime Minister of Belgium), to the Psychological Association of the Philippines (finally!) announcing its support for the Anti-Discrimination Bill.

Now we await the good news to come in 2012:
  • Washington state's governor has endorsed marriage equality and pledged to make her state the next to have same-sex marriage;
  • The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California will issue a ruling in the Prop 8 case by May, which legal analysts are 99.99% sure will make marriage equality legal once again in America's most populous state (a broadened case may even end up in the U.S. Supreme Court by 2013);
  • Both Germany and Finland have marriage equality upgrade bills in the legislative docket (both already have partnership laws in place);
  • and France's president Sarkozy is expected to endorse marriage equality before the April 22nd national elections (the opposition socialists, who have included same-sex marriage in their platform, have made the issue a cornerstone of the campaign, promising to bring marriage equality to France if they win a majority.  Their candidate, Francois Hollande, is currently polling at least 10 points ahead of Sarkozy, by the way).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Philippines, Don't Let the World Pass You By...

The beautiful coast of Quintana Roo, Yucat√°n Peninsula, Mexico
As a foreigner in the Philippines, I can assure you without hesitation that the Philippines has immense potential to be a tourist magnet.  The pristine, white sand beaches alone make the country a magnet for pasty-skinned, sun-starved white people like me.  Add in the surfing and scuba diving spots, golf resorts, rain forest excursions, historical sites, endless opportunities for adventure sports lovers, not to mention the warm and friendly Filipino people, and the Philippines is a serious player in the highly competitive game of tourism.

But the Philippines may potentially be cutting itself off from a lucrative piece of the tourism industry pie:  gay wedding package tourism.

No, I'm not being wry.  Hear me out.