Teacher Fired for Obtaining Marriage License – And Other Bitchy Gripes About Bad Journalism

Holy Ghost Preparatory Teacher Allegedly Fired For Getting Gay Marriage License: Report.

Where do I start. Okay…

1. Who in the hell writes this shit? And who in the hell edits it?
I say that mainly because of the headline above in the Huffington Post. “Gay Marriage License?” Are you for real? First of all, there is no such thing. Second of all, see “First of all.”

2. Journalism 101 Fail
Read the HuffPo article. Then ask the following questions that any decent cub journo should know to ask: Where did you apply since Pennsylvania is not an equality state? If it was in Pennsylvania, where you trying to make a political statement? Did you understand the reach of your employment contract before this event? Did you speak with your supervisors before your decided to apply for a marriage license?

For the record, it’s not just the HuffPo; the local news piece where this story originated (I guess) does not answer them either.

3. Dig a Bit
I did find my answers. In a story from UPI, of all places. UPI, the Unification Church-owned wire service which, to the best of my knowledge, is no longer held up as a standard of excellence.

They went to New Jersey for the license. And no, they didn’t seek out the school’s approval prior to getting the license which, while meaningful for the couple, won’t amount to a hill of beans in Pennsylvania.

4. Thoughts In General
Mr. Griffin, you may be a beloved teacher, but you’re a dumb ass. How naive are you to assume that a Roman Catholic Church school would embrace your same-sex marriage with open arms? Even in the interviews, you mention your employment handbook which states that behavior antithetical to Church teachings is ground for termination.

Look, I think the actions of this school — and this religious denomination for that matter — are vile and cruel and evil and ridiculous. There’s no denying that. But, sir, you knew you were dancing with the devil. You knew what Church policy was/is. You knew what the terms of your employment were. You knew those terms for the entire 12 years you were employed there. You brought this on yourself.

As someone who also lives in a state, like you do, without provisions from preventing termination for sexual orientation, I feel for you. And your partner. I really and truly do, but you knew better. And if you didn’t, well shame on you for not doing your due diligence. Until there is 100% equality for LGBT persons, that’s just a requirement for us all. You have to. Or you have to suffer the consequences.

If you want to change this for others, don’t roll over. Stand up. Be counted. Make change happen. But, if you are going to cry to the local TV and be upset that you were wronged, I don’t have any use for it. Nor do I have any use for simplistic reporting done by middle school interns.

On the other hand, if you are going to stand up and fight this, well, I’m with you 100%.

Bishop to Hold Gay Marriage ‘Exorcism’ When Gov. Signs Bill

Ill. Catholic bishop to hold gay marriage ‘exorcism’ when governor signs bill – LGBTQ Nation.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, leader of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, said marriage between gays and lesbians is a union that “comes from the devil and should be condemned as such,” reported the State Journal-Register.

Here’s the thing. Pope Francis can be all new age popey and kiss babies and pat heads and preach inclusion and what not, but until be says to church leaders that this kind of thing will not be tolerated in the Roman Catholic church, then I still have no use for him.

Boy Scouts’ Gay Debate — Religion Beyond the Right

“I find it perplexing the way the ‘moral values’ phrase is used,” said the Rev. Mark Greiner, the pastor at the Presbyterian church that Ward attends. “Concern for the environment, concern for workers’ rights: those are moral values,” he told me. “But the phrase ends up being limited to matters of human sexuality, as if Jesus was primarily concerned with what people did with their reproductive parts. It’s crazy-making.” Greiner wants the ban on gay scouts and leaders lifted.

via In the Boy Scouts’ Gay Debate, Religion Beyond the Right – NYTimes.com.

From Frank Bruni’s excellent column in the Times. It’s a great quick read. I am so appalled and disgusted at the Boy Scouts of America I just can’t see straight.

New Pope, New ABC, Same Old, Same Old

New Archbishop praises gay couples for having loving relationships of ‘stunning quality’ | Mail Online.


Archbishop Justin Welby. Photo: The Mail.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Anglican Communion, was invested in  a ceremony with plenty of pomp and circumstance in Canterbury Cathedral in Kent this week, just two days after the new Pope was installed in Rome.

The Most Rev. Justin Welby made headlines in the UK by noting that many gay and lesbian couples have formed relationships of “stunning quality,” but he would not pledge to work to change the Church of England’s stance on same-sex marriage, though he did say that he thought that someday a woman would become Archbishop of Canterbury.

For all of his talk of inclusion for some, much of his rhetoric is as rooted in the dogma of the past as that of Pope Francis.

How ‘Bare’ Helped One Of It’s Stars Come Out

‘Bare The Musical’ Star Casey Garvin: How The Off-Broadway Show Helped Him Come Out As Gay.


Casey Garvin, who is in the Off-Broadway revival/reinvention of ‘Bare.’ Photo: Huffington Post


Well, good for Casey. Note, however, that he’s talking about the pre-2012 version of Bare, not the one he’s performing in.

I’m just a broken freaking record, but this show has so much potential, so many terrific performances, and it’s just neutered in its present form. I’ve written about this several times. (HERE) and (HERE)

Still, it doesn’t mitigate the fact that in some incarnation it helped this young man understand who he was. You won’t ever hear me discounting the power of theatre to change lives. No, not ever.

Henry Rollins Backs Gay Marriage In New Editorial

“Marriage equality is a term so ridiculous on its face that when you hear it mentioned, you would think you were in Riyadh. Years from now, perhaps we can lose the equality part, the same-sex part and call it what it is — marriage. As much as the homophobes, an ever-thinning herd, whines and screeches, the earth is shifting underneath their feet and things are getting better all the time. This is going to be an incredible century. Didn’t get off to a very good start but we are making some bold and exciting strides forward.”

via Henry Rollins Backs Gay Marriage In New Editorial.

Great piece and video by Henry Rollins, one of our most insightful voices.

“Bare” Off-Broadway — Cover It Up [review]

12/13/12 – Just to prove that I’m not alone in my impressions of Bare, here’s the New York Timesreview. Pretty spot on, I think.

Here’s another one.

I was so excited that I was going to be in New York to see the revival/reinterpretation of Bare, which opened tonight off-Broadway at New World Stages. I basically browbeat my friend into seeing it with me. I wanted her to see it. I wanted everyone to see it because the previous incarnation completely mesmerized me. I was not mesmerized this time out. Not in the slightest.

Bare, reinvented, opened Dec. 9, 2012 off-Broadway at New York's New World Stages.

Bare, reinvented, opened Dec. 9, 2012 off-Broadway at New York’s New World Stages.

Bare was written a little more than a decade ago with its book and lyrics by Jon Hartmere and music by Damon Intrabartolo. It was originally billed as a “pop opera” and, while powerful and beautiful, if the truth be told, it’s always been a problem piece.

Set in a co-ed Catholic boarding school, it deals with the love affair between Peter, a more introverted would-be actor, and Jason, the jock who has all of the female heads on campus turning. That’s basically all that’s the same this time around. There’s still a production of Romeo and Juliet, but in previous incarnations, the action tracked the action in R&J; this time it’s basically little more than background noise.

Jason Hite as Jason, left, and Taylor Trensch as Peter are the central performers in the new production of Bare.

Jason Hite as Jason, left, and Taylor Trensch as Peter are the central performers in the new production of Bare.

But let’s get this out of the way: the problem is not with the actors. In fact, Jason Hite as Jason and Taylor Trensch as Peter are acting their hearts out — they are lovely performers — and Barrett Wilbert Weed as Jason’s drug-peddling sister Nadia was also quite good. At the preview performance I saw, however, Gerard Canonico as straight friend Matt, in love with Nadia’s roommate Ivy, was the standout.

Being in a Catholic school, there are requisite nun and priest characters and they are also new this time around. Father Mike (Jerold E. Solomon) was completely inconsequential and the sublime Missi Pyle was utterly underused as Sister Joan.

From what I understand, director Stafford Arima and book writer Hartmere wanted to reinterpret Bare for today’s youth. Composer Intrabartolo did not take part. There are a few — a very few — introductions that really make sense, like cell phones and social media, but other than that and the Instagrams covering the set, most fall flat.

And here’s why: Bare feels neutered. It feels like the remnants of something big and powerful. There was a chance to really say something; to really stand up and say why it is unacceptable in 2012 that high school students are afraid to come out, afraid to be themselves, afraid to confront their Church or their parents, and that is further unacceptable to allow them to commit suicide as Jason does.

Barrett Wilbert Weed and Gerard Canonico as Nadia and Matt, two of the standout principals in this deeply flawed reinvention.

Barrett Wilbert Weed and Gerard Canonico as Nadia and Matt, two of the standout principals in this deeply flawed reinvention.

In fact, why not lay this square at the Catholic Church’s door? It seems like that’s the argument that’s being made, that homosexuality nor bullying killed Jason but that the Church did. That the Church is responsible. Why not say that? Why not take a bloody stand? Make the argument. Create some drama.

AND, why did it seem like every new number was a power ballad? I just wanted to stand up and say, “Stop! Enough! Write something else!”

The whole production seems like a cop-out. It seems like a good idea that got castrated by the producers. Maybe that’s not the case — maybe the reinventors were simply not as good as they thought they were.

For my part, I’m passionate about doing whatever we can to prevent this incessant tide of gay teen suicides from continuing into another generation. When Jason dies in this play, there shouldn’t be a dry eye in the house, but guess what? I didn’t feel a thing. That, I am afraid, is a ringing endorsement of failure. After all, earlier in the day, I’m the sap that cried at A Christmas Story, the Musical!

When we left the theatre, my friend and I had a heated discussion about the show all the way back to our hotel. She and I are both playwrights and I’ve been to more theatre with her in the last 20 years than with anyone else. At one point she grabbed my arm and stopped me. “We could fix this one, me and you,” she said. “Yes,” I agreed, “it would just take some balls.”

31 arguments against gay marriage (and why they’re all wrong) | New Humanist

I do not believe all opponents of gay marriage are hateful. Some have just not been exposed to the right arguments, and so I will demonstrate here that each anti-gay marriage argument ultimately serves to oppress or imply the lesser status of the minority of which I am a part. In rallying against the introduction of equal marriage, religious campaigners have frequently stressed that their objections are not driven by homophobia, and have deployed numerous arguments to demonstrate this. To the untrained ear these arguments sound like they may have grounding in reason, but on closer inspection reveal themselves as homophobic.

via Jason Wakefield – 31 arguments against gay marriage (and why they’re all wrong) | New Humanist.

A nice piece from Jason Wakefield, writing on the New Humanist.  This is a U.K. site and, as such, much of the data is Euro- or Anglo-centric. Doesn’t matter, really. You can find the U.S. equivalents if you’d like; they’re buried down about a quarter of an inch in any Google search.