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Archive for December, 2008

Hello all, Sammy here posting from his parents digs.  I have made the trip home safely and into a little bit of a warmer climate.  It rained here last night…its unusual because Erie has been nothing  but a winter wonderland lately.

I just wanted to take a quick moment and wish you all who read this a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I’ve had a lovely time getting to know all of  you and reading  your blogs and comments and I want  you and  your loved ones to have a fantastic holiday!!!!!!!  I have found myself very lucky to have met such nice people on this blogging adventrue and I look forward to the future of my blog and the people I will meet though it and the surprises it will bring.  Again Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!!

I’m sitting here clad in my bed clothes with my Mother declaring me her Christmas elf.  I already know what this means.  We are hosting Christmas Eve at my parents home this evening and I am in charge of doing all the food running today.  That means back and forth from the neighboring towns gathering all the goodies for tonights dinner.  I have to pick up the ham and drop it off, make a quick stop at the liquor store for the evenings booze, I have a package to send, gifts to deliever, and then it is out to another  town where I will pick up the chicken and bread for tonights festivities.  It is going to be a packed afternoon but it is a small price to pay for a great evening with my family.  One of the other good things is that on the last  leg of my journey I will get to see one of my really good friends who is part of my Urban Family.  He was my roomate all though college and is from California so I don’t get to see him that often.  It just so happens his brother moved to our neighboring town and he is in for a visit.  What makes this extra special/important is he is perparing to be shipped out with the Marine Crops to Afganhistan in January.  It’s going to be very bittersweet but I’m lucky I’m going to get to see him.

After that I will be home with my Mother’s side of the family and a few family friends just eating and enjoying their company.  Then we will do one my favorite traditions.  Grab bag exchange!    I love this tradition.  My Mother who is one of five, and all her sibling and their families come in for Thanksgiving and after dinner we do a big grab bag pull.  There are a good 18-20 of us in this grab bag.  It is such a great idea because our family is so big.  Then on Christmas eve we do the exchange we do it one by one, phoning the family  members who can’t make it  home and they take their turns opening thier gifts.  I had my Uncle, one of my Mom’s sisters husbands, for grab bag.  I got him two dvds of a comedian he likes, but what he doesn’t realize is that I ordered him a shirt from his old college alma mater.  I pretty pleased with  my selection for him!!!!!!

I hope you are having fun and enjoying yourselves tonight.  I will be thinking of  you during the holiday!  Alright I would continue posting but I can hear  my Mother calling for me and you know what that means time to be the Christmas Elf….if only I could get an elf hat 😉  Till next time Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Well if you’re gay and not having the Merriest Christmas of all let Pope Benedict XVI rain on your parade a little more today.  The exulted leader of the Catholic church today declared that the “blurring” of gender roles will lead to the destruction of humanity.  Leave it to the Pope to provide a very Merry Christmas…pope benedict, more or less, attacked gender theory saying that man must “protect man from his own destruction.”    Here are two links for you to enjoy or vomit from.

 

http://cnnwire.blogs.cnn.com/2008/12/23/pope-speaks-out-on-homosexual-behavior/

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/3916804/Pope-says-humanity-needs-saving-from-homosexuality.html

 

 

What I also love is that every news article refers to the Catholic church saying that it homosexuality isn’t a sin but homosexual acts are sins.  I don’t know about anyone else but hearing the pope say things like this makes me want to do gay things with guys. 

 

It’s sad but I becoming use to this type of talk from people.  But there are several things that really burn me about this.  One, the pope would pick this time to come out against gender theory.  By this time I mean Christmas.  Isn’t Christmas supposed to be a time of love and peace…or am I just being a holly jolly soul.  Two, I love how the pope tries to use science to prop up his debate.  He says, “the church demands that the order of creation be respected.”  What he means by this is that man and women are here to procreate and be heterosexual.   If that’s true then why is it there are a ton of animals that perform homosexual acts?  (See the link below)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

 

I just find it so odd that these animals perform homosexual acts and they are still here.   But I guess this is what you get when a man talks science but doesn’t really know anything about it.

 

Finally, it infuriates me to think that people flock to this man for advice.  This man whose minds so narrowed by religion that he can’t even offer a decent end of a year address without some how reinforcing a hateful message, a hateful message that people cling to as part of their moral compass and fiber.  People look to this man to be a leader, but what good is a leader if he blind to the real world around him who instead clings to a static religion.  He has the power to do so much good and yet he decides to perpetuate a message of second class citizenry.  Simply stated the pope inspires nothing in me at all.

 

Bahumbug.

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It has finally happened; Mother Nature is enacting her revenge on my poor Erie, Pennsylvania.  With T-minus 29 hours until my trip home and 3 days until Christmas Eve, we are under high alert in Erie.  We’ve been under a winter weather advisory, as well as a wind chill advisory, and a wind advisory since yesterday at 4 p.m. (it will last until 4 p.m. today).  They are expecting more snow in the coming hours. 

 

I hate to admit it but it makes me anxious.  Since I am spending New Years in DC this year, I cannot take my car home.  I have a friend giving me a ride to my hometown, and then Sophie (a good friend from college and whom I’m staying with in DC) is driving me to DC.  Then on January 2nd 2009 I will do something that makes me incredible anxious…..fly back to Erie…by myself.  What can I say I’m an anxious flyer and plane crashes scare the hell out of me.  It’s almost two weeks away and I am scared.  The thought of me on a plane, ice, snow, etc makes my blood run cold.  I mean snowy conditions make cars hard to drive, what about planes…that travel at high rates of speed down narrow runways?  My hands are getting sweaty and my heart is racing just thinking about it.  What was I thinking when I bought this plane ticket?   I feel bad for the passenger sitting next to me…little do they know they will become BFF’s with the gay guy sitting next to them (yours truly) and, simply stated, they will be holding my hand.  All I know is that one bad flight will guarantee me never flying again.  It sheer idea of turbulence while flying…I can’t even go on.  I mean, while I was flying back from Oklahoma we hit turbulence in one of those small planes…it was enough for ALL the passengers to give a small sharp cry….I ended up clenching Lauren’s hand for the rest of the flight…she gently chided me saying it was like rollercoaster (of which if love to ride) to which I replied, “yeah with no track.”….but now I digress, what I had originally intended this paragraph to be about was the fact that I can’t take my car home, due to the flight, and I have to rely on my friend for the trip home and the promise of good weather.  I’m sure Mother Nature will not hold up that promise at all.  I hate the idea of having someone drive me in bad weather; I’d much rather drive myself because I can make the decisions.  Like maybe we shouldn’t go home now etc.  (wow this paragraph has gone awry)

 

I’ve finally finished most of my Christmas cards this year.  I have some stragglers (due to address issues) but that’s okay eventually they will find themselves to the mailboxes of the rightful people.  I love doing Christmas cards but I despise the work that comes with them.  Last year I had a list of 80-90 Christmas cards (I had promised myself that they Christmas after I graduated would be the year I began my Christmas card list).  It was an incredible number which has since been pared down, due to quantity and economy.  But every time I think about doing Christmas cards I conjure images of me wrapped in my favorite blanket, a roaring fire going (even though I don’t have a fireplace), Christmas music playing, and me thoughtfully inscribing a personal note to each loved one receiving a card.  Needless to say it doesn’t turn out that way.  I’ve always thought the Christmas letter and/or picture card that is sent is a little impersonal.  In my opinion when you send a card, regardless of holiday, you send a bit of who you are.  You are writing someone to let them know you care and that they are appreciated.  The card reflects a bit of your personality.  Well after I struggled this year trying to get cards out, I’ve come to a conclusion.  Next year I am going to attempt both the Christmas picture card AND the Christmas letter.  There are several reasons I’ve come to this conclusion.  One, Utility:  while I no longer have 80-90 cards to write, I still have a ton to do.  In all I will easily send 18-20 cards to just my family.  My Mother is one of 5 and my Father is one of 8.  Counting Grandma and several cousins I’m close with I easily send out that many.  Then there are the close college friends.  I can’t get everyone a gift so I try my best to send a nice Christmas card to the people I care for.  Two:  I can’t knock the picture card and the letter if I’ve never tried it.  It would be Christmas hypocrisy to dish those people who took their time to select the perfect pictures for their picture card, and the people who painstakingly crafted a letter detailing their past year to include in their holiday greeting.  Trust me I have received several cards this way and each were lovely and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do these types of greetings; they just don’t suit who I am in terms of Christmas Cards.  Three:  Repetition.  Those first few cards I write are detailed and my vocabulary is on steroids, but by the 30th card, gasp, I find myself repeating words and phrases.  My hand is cramped and I hate it.  It goes against everything I think about with Christmas cards.  So If I can’t hold myself to my high standards might as well as try some new techniques.  Right? Finally, Time Saving:  In a high stress time isn’t it nice to be able to print off your Christmas letter quickly and efficiently slip it into a card and get it out.  Instead of a week long activity (yes it takes me that long, I like to space it out LOL) I can quickly and do the bulk of my card list and be done in time for the wrapping (which is a whole different ball game)!

 

Let me know how you do your Christmas cards?  Have I gone completely crazy or do I have others that identify with my Christmas card conundrum? 

 

P.S. I am going to be gone until January 5th.  I will try here and there to post but it will be sporadic at best.  So don’t fret if you don’t hear from me…I’ll definitely be back in 2009?

 

P.S.S.  We are now at white out conditions where I work and my boss gave me the go ahead to leave early!  This is good and bad all at the same time :/

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So today I fully intended a happy fun Christmassy like post then I made the mistake of surfing over to CNN.  I just read the article regarding Obama’s choice for the inaugural invocation.  He has chosen Rick Warren.  Please read the article, the link is below:

 

 http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/17/obama.warren/index.html

 

God damn it.  I am thoroughly offended by this!  It’s a slap in the face really.  So Linda Douglass is quoted in the article saying, “”“The president-elect certainly disagrees with him on [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] issues,” Douglass said. “But it has always been his goal to find common ground with people with whom you may disagree on some issues.”” Obviously, he doesn’t disagree with him enough to find his opposition to gay marriage offensive.  It very well may be true, regarding finding common ground with people who disagree on some issues but I’m not some issue nor are my rights.

What people fail to recognize is that my rights are not a bargaining chip.  It isn’t common ground that should be disagreed on, Obama should be championing for our rights.  I’ve come terms with the concept that gay rights are not number one on the agenda (and I hate to admit it because in my mind gay rights should be a high priority unfortunately it’s not shaping up to be that way).  Fine, let’s fix the economy, let’s get out of this war, but remember there were a ton of gay men and women who voted to put Obama into office then he goes off and makes this kind of choice for invocation.  It’s like a big F*** You!

I love the fact that Linda Douglass defends the choice to saying, ““This is going to be the most inclusive, open, accessible inauguration in American history.””  Please, really?  Do you really believe that, as a gay man, I want to go to the inauguration of our President who chose a man, who does not support gay marriage or gay rights, to do the invocation.  Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?  It shows a disconnect with the gay community.

What people don’t understand is the symbolism that his choice holds.  It is symbolic acquiescence to the religious right.  Remember when I posted several months ago and said that I wanted someone in office that would champion rights 100%, this choice shows me Obama’s not the person for it.  I can’t have someone with a luke warm attitude towards my rights in office, and this just shows me that my rights are part of a political agenda.  Instead of standing up for us gays (who many touted with rainbow colored pins with his logo) he chose to try and united political parties, which in my mind was a political move (plain and simple as that).  If Obama can’t see what it means to have this man swear him into office then my biggest fears are being recognized. 

 It just pisses me off to think that Obama chose a man who not only opens supports Prop. 8 but also champions pro-life (for all you ladies out there that are pro choice). 

 

I decided to take a little spin around Obama’s website and found the following quote from Obama,

While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”

 

“Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us…” well I feel exploited.   

 

What upsets me is that fact that all my friends were all over Obama.  He had a heavy college aged constituency and I happen to hang out with a lot of college aged people.  I hate the fact that they were upset over the fact that I liked Clinton.  They were stunned that I didn’t jump onto the Obama bandwagon.  But I don’t think they fully understand what its like to compromise your rights for a politician or a political agenda.  I hate the fact that I had a friend tell me Obama was the best that I had at the moment and that I had to look at the greater good for the U.S.  (She meant this in a good way meaning one more advocate in office is better than no advocate at all…ahem McCain/Palin).  Greater good my ass…you see where the greater good is getting me right now.  I’m upset that the gay community was so quick to support Obama.  He was championed so quickly by our community to deliver on gay rights and civil unions (which should be marriages) that now instead of delivering he is more apt. to unite political parties.  It isn’t the fact that the LGBT community supported him that upsets me, it’s the possibility that we could be disappointed by him.  I view my rights as not a political stepping stone.  So when he says he wants to deliver on “equality by treating all citizens with dignity and respect” perhaps he shouldn’t have picked Rick Warren to do the invocation.

 

 

 

 

I’d like to post script this by saying I can’t fault the gay community for supporting Obama.  It is exciting to think that we might have someone in office that is a champion of gay rights (even though gay rights include marriage and not civil unions).  What I think, though, is that we have to ask a lot of our political people we chose to support.  We can’t just support someone when they say they support gay rights, we need to expect them to follow though.  The reason for this is so that those newspapers, gay community supporters, etc. that endorse, endorse, endorse aren’t shocked when something like this happens.

 

I’d like to close with this quote from Andrew Sullivan in the article, “[It’s] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now.””  It’s a scary quote and I hope he’s wrong, but I have to question is this the start of something, beginning with Rick Warren, that will only serve to disappoint the gay community later down the line?

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Let me preface this post by saying that I love oldies music (granted I am a die hard jazz fan).  Oldies are just awesome especially Moetown; they have this sound that I think our generation will never ever be able to reproduce like the originals from Moetown.  Now with that being said, recently Erie has rid itself of it’s oldies station.  Perhaps not rid of but incorportated it into a more versitile music selection.  Erie now considers the 70’s 80’s and 90’s oldies as well (which I whole heartily disagree with).  That means the only place I am able to get my fill of oldies is when I home visiting my parents.  I know what your thinking, “Good God Sammpy please stop your boring us,”  which may very well be true but it has a point I promise…the problem with listening to oldies when I go home, especially when I’m home for Thanksgiving, is that the moment Thanksgiving dinner is done and the leftovers have barely had the chance to cool in their plastic contains 3WS (my oldies station) begins the Christmas music.  Like all retail stores in America, my favorite oldies station does not sway from the norm and begin to saturate life with an over abundance of Christmas music.  Don’t get me wrong I love Christmas music as much as the next person, I have my favorites and the ones I despise, but to start so early only makes me hate listening to Christmas music, and to top things off I start to have withdraw sysptoms from not having my daily hit of oldies.  I’m like a spent crack addict by the time 3WS begins playing their oldies.  Because of this I have lost the ability to even out my Christmas music intake…I don’t listen to Christmas music until days prior to Christmas and as soon as I start it’s like I’m a Christmas music junkie.  I swing from one extreme to the next.  Well today I’ve started my Christmas music listening and I’m trying desprately to hear all my favorites before the season is done……..thank god for youtube!   So as I get my fix of Christmas music and wait desprately for some oldies relief I thought I’d share with you my favorite Christmas songs.  Now with that being said I must warn you I do like the old Christmas songs but my choices are a little more updated….and I’m gay so you will have to deal with it!  Enjoy

How can you have Christmas and not have the classic George Michael’s Last Christmas.  I’m not sure why I like it.  It’s kinda sad…but it sounds so good.  It must be his hair in the video.

Vince Vance and the Valiants’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.  Years before Mariah Carey decided to popularize a song with the same title Vince Vance wrote this wonderfully delish Christmas song.  Apparently it is a heavily requested song this time of year.  There is just something so wonderful about it’s campy 80’s esq feel (even though it debued in 1993) that makes my Christmas a little more neon and gay!

Donny Osmond…I know I know he likes the gays but his “religion” won’t allow him to let us marry (I’m getting off the soapbox I promise) while I hate doing this I do love this song.  While technically a Christmas song, it still gives me hope that I will one day have a lovely persone to spend New Years with.

Sleigh Ride…it’s classic.  Now I was searching for Jack Jone’s version but all I could find was the Andy William’s version.  I guess it’s better than nothing.  What I love about this song is that it strikes me as being a traditional Christmas at home.  It’s just lovely!

Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You…What I said I was gay!

Santa Baby, I love both the Marilyn and Madonna versions for differnt reasons..that is why they are both posted!

Carol of the Bell, I just love it!

The Boss’s Santa Clause is Coming To Town version…because I love him and his music!

Now my final song (considering this is getting to long of a post) and favorite Christmas song is Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.  It is just such a fun song and it always puts me in the Christmas spirit!!!!  This is going to sound nerdy coming from a 26 year old but my Mother knows how much I love that song that she bought me my own ornament when I was a kid that played it  IT IS SO AWESOME!

Enjoy everyone and if I think of any other great songs I might just have to do a second posting…as long as it didn’t bore you to badly!

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I hope all is well with you, just a quick post to tide you over.  I was going to post on Friday but unfortunately the roads to work were bad and needless to say I didn’t get to post…eep!

So here is a quick post to let you know I’m alive…I know you’ve missed me 😉

For those of  you who wish to see what it’s like in Erie over the seasons, here is a little preview!

Summer Time

dscn3537

 

The Fall

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Winter (and yes it’s as cold as it looks)

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On my back deck

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Finally I don’t know why but this song has been stuck in my head since I’ve seen Santa Clause 2 (please don’t ask).  I’m not sad but it is such a good song. 

 

I also trying to mentally prepare myself for my 8:30 spin class that I’m dreading….uuuggghhhhh

I’ll be posting more this week!

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So I just received this little ditty in my email regarding pat boone.  

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=82830

It pains me to put this link up…literally.  I hate to think all the press this hate monger is going to get.  In this recently posted article of his he went as far as to equate our struggle (regarding Prop 8, gay marriage, and other rights) with the extremists that caused the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Go ahead read it…I’ll wait.

Now that you’ve had that chance to digest his horrible and awful words lets take a moment and discuss.

First,  mr. boone, I’m gay and I am in no way shape or form like the individuals who have caused the terror in Mumbai.  If you think that me being a political activist equates me to someone who will kill people then you are sadly mistaken, small minded, and unable to comprehend our community.

Secondly, for you to write such awful things about our community and our people then at the bottom of the page tout about your “Broadway headlining,” I have a newsflash for you.  You have performed with tons of gay men and women and it’s a shame that you would say such hateful things about actors and actresses that have aided your career.

Thirdly, let’s take a moment and look at a few things you’ve said shall we…

Every homosexual citizen has the same, identical rights as any other American.” If every homosexual citizen has the same rights as any other American then why is it that we have to fight for regulations to protect us from jobs that will fire us because we are gay…or protect us from those people who will kill us leaving a gay bar?  If we have the same right how is it fair that my married parents can be on each other’s health benefits despite the city in which they live where as I couldn’t have my partner on my benefits nor would he be covered depending on the state we live in?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/nyregion/10assault.html?_r=2

(Mr. Sucuzhanay wasn’t even gay.)

Because this elemental building block of society has been so defined and respected throughout history, elected representatives in our self-government have granted certain supports and tax relief and privileges to marriages and families. Again, these privileges did not originate with some benevolent higher authority – they originated with the people, through the democratic process.

That’s how a free republic works. Our people consecrated our Constitution and determined to live within its provisions, voluntarily. It was determined that the will of the voting majority would rule, though it was subject to change if the majority will changed.” What you fail to realize mr. boone is that a voting majority does not have the right to take away others rights.  That’s not the way it works.  If we were voting on tax raises or voting to create a new road system a majority vote would be acceptable but the minute you try and justify that a  majority can take away rights then the democratic process has been overstepped.  Also, just because you may be in a majority that doesn’t necessarily mean that the “said” majority is right.

No “rights” were ever granted to citizens on the basis of their sexual habits or lifestyle. There simply are no such “rights.”  Perhaps mr. boone needs to study up on his Constitutional Law.  Its a little Supreme Court called Griswold vs. CT.  For those of you who don’t know what this case involved, mr. boone, it involved the use of contraceptives in the state of CT.  Women at one time were not allowed to use contraceptives in CT.  This case argued that a woman’s body is her body and can do with it what she wants…in terms of contraceptives.  The law was over turned allowing for the use of birth control.  It was a crash course in what the meaning of “right to privacy.” A right provided for by the Constitution.  In other words a woman has the RIGHT to take birth control because her body is private and the State cannot dictate what she can and can’t do regarding birth control.  Might I add that this “privacy” which a woman has was granted on the basis of some women’s sexual habits and or lifestyles. This was just a quick glaze over the case it really is a great case and merits further investigation and trust me there are many more cases regarding rights then you realize.

http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1964/1964_496/

 

“Slavery was abolished, blacks and women obtained the rights to vote, and these true rights were not obtained by threats and violent demonstrations and civil disruption (though these things did occur, of course), but by due process, congressional deliberations and appropriate ratification. This was democracy in action, not mob rule. As noted journalist Thomas Sowell has said, there never was “a right to win.” In America, at least the America we’ve known till now, rights are earned and won in a deliberative, legal way – at the polls.”  Uuummm correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t one of Thoreau’s and Martin Luther Kings’ tenants Civil Disobedience if a law was not fair. I think I remember something from my Civil Rights class I took in college…that we are obligated as good citizens to demonstrate against rules that are unjust and unfair.  At the moment I don’t think we’ve had any giant violent gay demonstrations?  And if we want to nitpick even more due process wasn’t necessarily reached in your “congressional deliberations and appropriate ratification” when Eisenhower had to call in the Army to desegregate Little Rock Central High School for the Little Rock 9 or when a white mob tormented the people who sat at Woolworths. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_disobediance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Nine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensboro_sit-ins

Finally, “There never were any “rights” granted or designated to those who dissented with the will of the majority, other than the same rights all citizens have to work through the democratic process to accomplish their purposes.”   I think if we operated under this assumption we could very well be British citizens still.  I do believe that our 13 colonies were a minority in regards to England.  I believe we dissented with the will of the majority and fought a war for what we believed were our rights as a new nation…I believe we dissented with the majority when England tried to impose a tax on our tea….a la the Boston Tea Party.

 

The point is mr. boone while you try to paint us as crazy, unjust people, our history is littered with people who have been considered radical but in actuality were quite sane fighting for the rights they know they deserved.  We are no different.  And while you can compare me to a “sexual jihadist” lets not forget to turn that powerful ability to judge on yourself.  You’re right hate is hate and those people who perpetuate it by taking away the rights of others and those people who take the time to fan the flames, mr. boone, are just as guilty of hate as well.

 

P.S. Your argument lacks consistency and validity.  It falls apart with every flimsy argument you make.  I’m not quite sure what is irresponsible or hedonistic of gay men and women fighting for the right to marry one another.   In fact fighting for the right seems to be the exact opposite of hedonism and irresponsibility.

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