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“I ask you to allow me to love my husband the way you are allowed to love.”



Quoting my grandfather is something those around me have come to expect. I grew up admiring the shadow he threw and having no problem walking in it, aspiring to cast one of equal standing. He is not a liberal person by nature and does not quite perhaps understand why I am gay, but his words cross all chasms of opinion. “To thine own self be true, doesn’t mean you walk only thinking of yourself, it means you walk thinking of others and how to best learn from them so that you are true.” I find myself thinking about that on a daily basis. Here is a man who grew up “knowing” that being gay was immoral, wrong, deviant, and yet he is able to also understand that it does not take away from who he is. It empowers him to be a wiser man, having learned from another.

Some people KNOW that being Jewish is wrong. Some KNOW that being black is wrong. Some KNOW that praying to Allah is wrong. Yes these people know these things. Are they wrong? This is where many today forget the important lesson I was blessed to have been shown at an early age, even though I am only now fully understanding its depth. It’s easy to say you are beautiful when you have no mirror. Each ignorant or maligned thought that we send out into the world is being sent back towards us. There was a time that “white” people were enslaved, yet was the lesson learned? There was a time that Allah was known and accepted far more than Jesus, was there a lesson learned? There was a time that the Israelites were segregated into a lot of land and oppressed, was there a lesson learned?

We are all no doubt thinking the same thing, those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it. Maybe we aren’t all thinking the same thing. Perhaps some of you are thinking that I am an anti-Semite, or racist or an all-out bigot because of the times and questions I raised. I want any of you who for even a moment thought any of those things of me to keep that feeling. Keep that anger, that fight, that indignation and that need to protect yourself. That is what every gay person feels each day that goes by that we are not equal in this country.

Did you know that Charlene Strong was kept from seeing the person she had spent years with, built a home and family with, loved with as they laid passing away in a hospital room because she was not viewed as next of kin? Did you know that a young man was brutally gunned down right here in Washington, D.C. for being gay? Did you know that there are children, and I mean children not teens, running away from homes because they are being beaten, even threatened with death, because they are gay?

Look at your wife or husband and imagine their life slipping away, and now imagine being told you can’t walk the ten feet to hold them and reaffirm your love?

Watch your children for a moment. Now imagine them with bruises and broken bones that you inflicted. Then imagine them on the street, scraping garbage pails for food while you eat a full meal. Can you?

Look at your best friend and imagine taking a gun and pulling that trigger simply because their hair was brown.

Take that disgusting and vile hurt, sadness and anger and ally it with that feeling from before when you wanted to stand up and remind the world that you were not to be marginalized. That is the foundation on which we are calling for a change. As I write this I am watching the love of my life work. It’s not interesting or amusing, but I love every second of it. Why? I never know when the hatred and ignorance may keep us apart. I never thought I would ever feel this way or have these thoughts. Growing up in Canada I was fortunate in some ways. It’s a small country that for the most part is young and change is easy. I grew up in a world that protected and recognized me and said yes please marry the one you love! I don’t make this comparison out of a self-righteous motivation. I make it with a sad heart that I may never be able to say I do love you forever before the world. Or even worse, that I may not be able to say goodbye to the man who I have devoted my life to.

I learned last week that a good friend of mine from childhood lost his partner two days earlier. He was viciously stalked and ripped (yes I mean ripped) apart by a gang of, dare I use the term, people who felt that his being gay was wrong. My friend could not see his partner, nor collect the body of his beloved due to the ignorance of the government in the country within which this attack took place. His partner apparently cried out for hours, calling his name as he lay feeling his life slip away. He died not hearing that he was loved, and my friend lives on knowing this fact.

Please read this not with a mind to toss it aside as we do so many sad things that pass in front of us. Look at your family and picture any one of them feeling even a tenth of what real people are feeling each and every day. This is not a plea for people to change their minds about gay being ok. This is not a plea whatsoever in fact, this is a statement being sent to everyone out there who has ever loved someone to remind themselves that this life is fragile. We need to live and not just let live but encourage it! The only way to achieve that is to be sure that every person, every human, is afforded the ability to work, love and live freely and equally.

I ask you to allow me to love my husband the way you are allowed to love.

Growing up in Northern Ontario as a Jehovah’s Witness, Michael Talon experienced firsthand the struggle for equality. Now living in the U.S. with his partner, they work with advocates for federal equality, including immigration. Working side by side, Michael and his partner Brad, head of Luna Media Group, help to deliver messages for equality to the nation.

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Tennessee Governor Slammed After ‘Praying’ for Nashville School Community Without Mentioning Mass Shooting



Governor Bill Lee quickly drew tremendous outrage in the wake of a school mass shooting where six people including three young children were shot to death. Social media users criticized the Tennessee Republican, who had signed a permit-less gun carry law, for declaring he was “praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community,” without posting any mention of the mass shooting.

Tweeting he was “closely monitoring the tragic situation at Covenant,” Gov. Lee said, “As we continue to respond, please join us in praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community.”

There was no mention of any loss of life, and, as Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts passionately noted, the “situation” was a mass shooting.

“If thoughts and prayers alone worked to stop gun violence, there wouldn’t have been a shooting at a Christian elementary school. It’s your actions – including weakening the state’s gun laws – that’s killing kids in Tennessee,” Watts also tweeted. “SHAME ON YOU.”

Gov. Lee signed a permit-less carry bill into law in 2021, at a Beretta gun manufacturing plant.

According to the CDC, as of 2020 – one year before the permit-less carry bill was signed into law – Tennessee ranked tenth in the nation in per-capita firearm mortality.

READ MORE: ‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting

Meanwhile, others took notice of the gun culture Gov. Lee has fostered in “The Volunteer State.”

MSNBC analyst and Bulwark writer Tim Miller commented, “Tennessee governor Bill Lee issued a statement recently about how the drag ban in Tennessee ‘protects children.’ If only he would have instead focused on laws that might have prevented the mass murder of children in his state today.”

Historian Kevin Kruse pointed to an article from last year, after the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, titled: “Rep. Clemmons Seeks Renewed Gun Laws, Gov. Lee Requests Prayer.”

“You chose prayer over gun reforms last year after the Uvalde massacre,” Kruse wrote. “And now here we are.”

The progressive website Tennessee Holler pointed out that Gov. Lee, along with GOP lawmakers, “just appointed Jordan Mollenhour to the [state] board of education— whose company was sued for selling ammo to an underage mass killer (SANTA FE) and sold ammo to at least one more (AURORA) He has ZERO education experience.”

Let’s Give a Damn founder Nick Laparra tweeted, “We are 86 days into 2023. So far, 9859 people have died by gun violence and there have been 128 mass shootings. Meanwhile, @GovBillLee spends his days being outraged over drag queens and CRT and book bans. This is Bill Lee’s and the GOP’s fault.”

See the tweets and video above or at this link.

READ MORE: New WSJ Poll Is Devastating for DeSantis and His ‘Anti-Woke’ Policies




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Mystery Grand Jury Witness in Trump Hush Money Probe Is Former ‘Enquirer’ Publisher and Trump Ally



Avid followers of the Manhattan District Attorney’s moves noted the grand jury had been called into service for Monday, and soon news leaked that yet another witness would be testifying in the probe into Donald Trump’s alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.

Monday afternoon, NBC News’ Garrett Haake reported live on MSNBC that the mystery witness was David Pecker, the former tabloid publisher of the “National Enquirer,” who reportedly had been looking for stories in 2016 to protect Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Haake notes Monday was Pecker’s second appearance before the grand jury in the hush money case.

The New York Times also reported David Pecker as the grand jury witness, calling Pecker “a key player in the hush-money matter. He and the tabloid’s top editor helped broker the deal between the porn star, Stormy Daniels, and Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s fixer at the time.”

READ MORE: ‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting

“While the focus of Mr. Pecker’s testimony is unclear, he could provide valuable information for prosecutors. A longtime ally of Mr. Trump, he agreed to keep an eye out for potentially damaging stories about Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign,” The Times reports. “For a brief time in October 2016, Ms. Daniels appeared to have just that kind of story. Her agent and lawyer discussed the possibility of selling exclusive rights to her story of a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump to The National Enquirer, which would then promise to never publish it, a practice known as ‘catch and kill.'”

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman weighed in, noting, “nothing about that decision [to have Pecker testify] suggests any change of heart on Bragg’s part to indict Trump.”

Former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU professor of law, notes that Pecker’s “testimony can show the [hush money] scheme was designed to affect outcome of election.”

“He reportedly communicated directly with Trump on payment,” Goodman adds.

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‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting



First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, speaking Monday afternoon at a National League of Cities conference, told attendees, “Our children deserve better,” as she broke the news of the Nashville school mass shooting at Covenant Presbyterian School where three children and three adults were shot dead.

“You know,” Dr. Biden, herself an educator and clearly pained by the news, began her remarks by saying, “I hate to say what I’m gonna say next because you know you’re so enthusiastic and with so much energy and hope and I feel it.”

“But while you’ve been in this room, I don’t know whether you’ve been on your phones but we just learned about another shooting in Tennessee, a school shooting and I am truly without words and our children deserve better, and we stand – all of us – we stand with Nashville in prayer.”

READ MORE: New WSJ Poll Is Devastating for DeSantis and His ‘Anti-Woke’ Policies

The First Lady, a former public high school English teacher and currently a professor of English at a community college, was speaking at the organization’s Congressional City Conference.

Watch Dr. Biden below or at this link.

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