Elizabeth's picture

The Immigration Debate: LGBT Perspectives

We all too often keep important political issues separated in our mind but recognizing the ways they intersect is often the only way to produce smart policy. This event highlights the intersection of two sets of issues that many people keep separate in their minds, but that really have significant areas of overlap especially around questions discrimination, civil rights, and family status.

The Immigration Issue: LBGT Perspectives poster


Elizabeth's picture

Canada, Church, Charters and Choice

I'm back in the city, which means I'm back in the country.

I just returned to NYC from Alberta and British Columbia where I spent six days meeting cousins on one branch of my partner's family tree, seeing beautiful countryside. We put over a thousand miles (1707 km) on our rental car, saw the oil industry service sector outside of Edmonton, the ranch land west of Calgary, the mountains separating Alberta and British Columbia, the lush greenness of British Columbia's Shuswap Lake region, and even got a peek at some of the disappearing glacier behind Lake Louise. And of course, as all my travels do, this one generated some sex-related insights.

Chris's picture

God Hates Fags -- Even the Dead Ones.

For the ultimate in Christian love and compassion we hie ourselves down to the great state of Texas.  Arlington, specifically.  The local megachurch, High Point Church, run by the Reverend Gary Simons.  When Cecil Sinclair, a Gulf War veteran and the brother of High Point congregation member died last Monday, the church volunteered to host a memorial service, complete with refreshments for 100 people and a multimedia presentation showing the deceased's life.

Everything sounds good so far.  Except for that multimedia presentation.  Turns out that Cecil was a big ol' homo, and the photos the family picked for the multimedia presentation showed that.  In glossy, high-def color.  Or in the words of the Rev. Simons: "Some of those photos had very strong homosexual images of kissing and hugging.... My ministry associates were taken aback."

And once they saw those images, the church told the bereaved parents to go take a flying fuck at the moon.  Or, to put it more diplomatically and charitably, that the family would have to have the service somewhere else.

The Rev. Simons explains his decision thus:

Chris's picture

The Internet Might Not Kill Your Kids

Not only might your kids survive encountering the Internet, but it might also not turn them into crack fiends, serial killers, satan-worshipping trolls, or hook them up with Albert Fish as their prom date.

Forgive the snark, but for the first time, it looks like some common sense is being injected into the whole dialogue about kids and the Internetz.  We'll see how much effect it has -- there is something undeniably comfortable about the idea of menace lurking out there.  It's useful for those in power because it gives them a plausible excuse for control, and the fear of the shadowy other gives everyone else a certain unshakeable faith in their own virture.

Anyway, here's what a study by the National School Boards Association says about the Internet's threat to the fabric of our society: 

JanieBelle's picture

Jesus and the Jogging Shoes

pope, by Alan Light @ FlickrJust before dawn, it's a little over sixty degrees Fahrenheit. Not too bad for summertime in Colorado. Perfect jogging weather. You know it's going to hit ninety today though, so you'd better get started. You've decided to loose a little bit of that midsection you've acquired over the years of your priestly duties.

Being a Catholic priest has few physical demands, and spending every day ministering to the needs of your parish, while important and necessary, is also sedentary. Time to get started here at the local high school track.

The cool mountain air is brisk on your face. It's just a little uncomfortable on your hands, as well. Fortunately, you're not sweating too much. That wouldn't be pleasant.

You're just finishing your second lap when the red and blue flashing lights appear, and tires squeal through the parking lot. Deputy Fife and his S.W.A.T. team of armed ninjas have you surrounded.


Elizabeth's picture

O Canada...

I'm headed north and west for 6 days. I'm going to a land where marriage is legal for couples regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and where the national anthem starts with a great big O.

I'm going to Alberta and British Columbia.

I'm going to see family. I'm going to see wilderness. I'm going to see glaciers (before there are no more). I'm going to spend lots of time driving through mountains in a rental car with my partner and I'm going to face the fact that my sabbatical is just about over.

And when I come back we're having a party, to which you are all invited. It's our Sex in the Public Square coming out party. Join us!

While I'm gone, here are some things to read, ponder, get excited about or get outraged about.

Elizabeth's picture

If the event listing wasn't enough to get you there

Here's the poster for our "Coming Out" party. (Yeah, it's the same party we've been talking about. We just decided "coming out party" sounded better than "launch party. Don't be confused!)

SitPS Party Poster


You're coming, right?

(Click on the image for your own poster-sized copy. It's a PDF, so you need Acrobat or something similar.)



Elizabeth's picture

Online status indicator: AIM, ICQ and Yahoo messenger

If you've visted your profile "edit" tab recently you'll have noticed that there is a place to enter your AIM or ICQ or Yahoo messenger user name. If you do this, your username will show up on your profile page and when you are logged in to your chat account that information will show up on your profile page, too.

There've certainly been times I've been online and seen that a member was online and wanted to ask a question about the site, for example, but we've had no way to do that except via email through the contact form on the profiles, which is not as immediate. I'm working on ways to help members of the site connect with each other, but it's important to me that you have complete control over how much information to share.

So, please only include information if you want others to see it. Your email address is always hidden from users and they can only contact you through the contact form if you've enabled that. But all your other profile information (passwords excepted of course!) is visible to all users.

Elizabeth's picture

Why Young White Unmarried and Non-cohabiting Humans in Psychology Classes Have Sex (in America): Part II

Part two of my critique of the new sex study everybody is talking about! Part one is here .

Yesterday I wrote about my methodological concerns regarding the study by Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss, "Why Humans Have Sex," published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Today I'm looking at the reasons themselves and discussing some of the conclusions they drew, and some of the conclusions I'd draw looking at the same data.

First of all, I want to dispense with the notion that there were 237 reasons. Quantifying things is an important part of scientific research, of course, and coding data (fitting responses into categories, etc.) is a process that can never be wholly objective. (Somebody at least has to create the categories!) In this case, my criticism arises because the authors indicate that they whittled 715 initial "reasons" down to 237 by eliminating or merging responses that were "too similar" to other responses. That, they claim, produced a list of 237 "distinct reasons".

Elizabeth's picture

Why Young White Unmarried and Non-cohabiting Humans in Psychology Classes Have Sex (In America)

That should probably be the title of the new study by Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss of University of Texas at Austin (PDF).

The study is an important one because it does begin to explore people's conscious, expressed motivations for having sex, a subject that has been largely ignored or taken for granted in the past. We know much more about what kinds of sex people have than we do about why they have it (or why they think they have it).

And when I read the New York Times article about the study and saw that there was such a wide range of reasons people gave, I was excited: it seemed that the researchers were breaking open some interesting ground and finding lots of diversity.

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