Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Gay Rights/Civil Rights

Julian Bond, Civil Rights Leader
Board Chairman, NAACP

Are gay rights civil rights? Of course they are. "Civil rights" are positive legal prerogatives -- the right to equal treatment before the law. These are rights shared by all -- there is no one in the United States who does not -- or should not -- share in these rights. Gay and lesbians rights are not "special rights" in any way. It isn't "special" to be free from discrimination -- it is an ordinary, universal entitlement of citizenship. The right not to be discriminated against is a commonplace claim we all expect to enjoy under our laws and our founding document, the Constitution. That many had to struggle to gain these rights makes them precious -- it does not make them special, and it does not reserve them only for me or restrict them from others.

Some who object to gay rights see homosexuality as a choice, but science has demonstrated conclusively that sexual disposition is inherent in some, not an option or alternative they've selected. In that regard, it exactly parallels race -- I was born Black and had no choice. I couldn't and wouldn't change it. Like race, our sexuality isn't a preference -- it is immutable, unchangeable, and the Constitution protects us all against prejudices and discrimination based on immutable differences.

Some who believe in Biblical literalism find sanction for their anti-homosexuality there, but selectively ignore Biblical injunctions to execute people who work on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2) and to crack down on those who get haircuts (Leviticus 19:27) or who wear clothes with more than one kind of thread (19:19). There's no Biblical mention of lesbianism -- are we to think that male homosexuality is wrong but female homosexuality is not?

EBONY magazine, July, 2004

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Bible

The Art of Sadeo Hasegawa

The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision. ~Lynn Lavner

"We must bring faith discussions back to their roots of seeking understanding. A vocal minority is falsely promoting the notion that religious people stand in opposition to equal rights. Our job is to promote the truth that a majority of people of faith believes strongly in fairness and justice." — Harry Knox, director of HRC Religion and Faith Program

REMEMBER THIS! The religious right may quote from the bible, but they only quote what they want people to hear and what they want to believe.

Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) Traditional interpretations cite these passages as self-evident condemnation: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” and “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.”

But BIBLICAL SCHOLARS have asked: How can people cite such passages as alleged evidence of God's condemnation of homosexuality when they dismiss most of the other rules from Leviticus - such as those calling for the death of children who curse their parents and of adults who commit adultery - as archaic and insupportable?

The Wicked Witch of Hillsborough County Strikes Again!

Hillsborough County Commissioners Back off Planned Parenthood...
Led by RONDA STORMS, the county cuts funding to a teen educational program.

TAMPA - The idea came from Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms: eliminate funding for a teen educational program sponsored by Planned Parenthood.
Commissioners went along with her Thursday, while expressing none of their personal feelings about the nonprofit group that supports women's reproductive rights.

But Storms had made her feelings clear in a conversation last week, said Barbara Zdravecky, who oversees Planned Parenthood in 15 counties, including the Tampa Bay area.
Storms supports life - Zdravecky remembers hearing her say - and Planned Parenthood supports death.

"I have to say I was pretty shaken," Zdravecky said. "I'm used to taking hits. But I was surprised at her lack of humanity."
They wanted commissioners to give them $39,500 during the next two years for Source Teen Theater, a $130,000 program in which Tampa teens teach other kids about such topics as sexual activity, drugs, gangs and family violence.

"There is nothing you can say or do for me to support you," the commissioner said, "Thank you very much for your comments."
"I am prolife and you're not."

Storms thanked them and told them she could not support the request. She even remembers that she smiled at them.

"I believe anyone who professes to be a proponent of Christianity would treat me with more dignity than the way I was treated," Zdravecky said.

Storms often takes controversial stands. On June 15, she led a commission vote to distance the county from gay pride events, a policy that has generated national attention.

By JUSTIN GEORGE, St Petersburg Times
Published July 29, 2005

Monday, July 25, 2005

On Being Famous....

This weekend was certainly an interesting one!

First, I shared two blogging awards with exceptional Master Bloggers, and then on Saturday nite...... I got "rear ended." (see the following two Blogs).

Now all of this would have been insignificant if I had won the Florida Lottery, but unfortunately that didn't happen......... so ya take what you can and enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2005

County Refuses To Reconsider Ban On Gay Pride Recognition!
Gretchen Parker/Tampa Tribune~July 21, 2005

TAMPA - In their first meeting since they approved a ban on county-sponsored acknowledgment of gay pride, Hillsborough County commissioners had a chance Wednesday to reconsider their new policy and declined.

``I thought I had moved to a tolerant community,'' said Lincoln Calcavecchi, a 41- year-old Army veteran who is gay. He made his home in Tampa in May and says he now feels shunned by the county. ``That shames me greatly,'' he told the board.

Hillsborough County Commission Meeting

Besides subjecting Tampa to ridicule, the board is denying gay residents their civil rights, protesters said.

One homemade sign admonished: ``Shame on Hillsborough County.''

Preaching HATE!

A few gay rights supporters shouted disapproval of an evangelist who used his time at the podium to preach against sodomy, and they applauded their allies.

Ronda Storms

Commissioner Ronda Storms, who proposed the ban and has become a target of protesters' ire, sat silently and smiled at all speakers.

Commissioner Kathy Castor, the only member to vote against the ban, opened the door for the board to ditch the policy. She said the board violated state statutes with the ban. That's because it prompted the director of the county library system to strip displays of gay-authored books, even though it didn't specifically target libraries, Castor said.

She quoted Florida statutes, approved in 1984, that created a volunteer library advisory board and gave it sole authority to select books and make its own policies.

Interruption of that process requires filing a grievance to the panel, the statute states. Commissioners do have leeway to change library rules, but only upon recommendation by the county administrator, the statute states.

Because the county did not follow that procedure, the policy is not valid, Castor told commissioners. County Attorney Renee Lee did not return calls seeking an official interpretation of the 1984 statute.

The Fight Has Just Begun!

Louisiana Bad Boy Announces Awards!

The First Annual Brettcajun Blogger Awards were announced today!

The Art of Glen Hanson

We are of course honored to be sharing not only "The Teddy Bear Award" but also "The Doggie Owner of the Year Award!"
We (the PUGS and I) would like to thank God, the Academy, my parents and family, my friends, and the millions of Bloggers who voted for us.
With special THANKS to BRETTCAJUN . Without him, none of this would have been possible!

  • The Award winners can be seen here: BrettCajun!
  • Photos of my PUGs can be seen here: The Puglets!

  • Thursday, July 21, 2005

    I'm Happy ~ Gay Marriage Is Now Legal in Canada!

    Rob Gilles, Associated Press
    July 21, 2005

    TORONTO (AP) -- Canada legalized gay marriage Wednesday, becoming the world's fourth nation to grant full legal rights to same-sex couples.

    Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin signed the legislation making it law, hours after it was approved by the Senate late Tuesday night despite strong opposition from Conservatives and religious leaders.

    The bill gives homosexual couples the same rights as those in traditional unions between a man and a woman, something already legal in eight of Canada's 10 provinces and in two of its three territories.

    The legislation drafted by Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority Liberal Party government easily passed the Senate, which essentially rubber stamps any bill already passed by the House of Commons, which passed it late last month.

    The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain are the only other nations that allow gay marriage nationwide.

    The law comes after years of court battles and debate that divided families, religious groups and even political allies. The Roman Catholic Church, the predominant Christian denomination in Canada, has vigorously opposed the legislation.

    But Martin, a Roman Catholic, has said that despite anyone's personal beliefs, all Canadians should be granted the same rights to marriage.

    Alex Munter, national spokesman for Canadians for Equal Marriage, which has led the debate in favor of the law, was triumphant Wednesday: "It is a signal to the world that Canada is an open and inclusive society that believes in the notion of full citizenship for all."

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    The Wicked Witch of Hillsborough County Part 2

    Ronda Storms
    On July 7, 2005 I made a journal entry regarding Hillsborough County commisioner Ronda Storms who, in an outrageous act of bigotry, convinced the Hillsborough County Commission to vote to bar county agencies from recognizing or participating in Gay Pride Month or any events that portray gay people in a positive light. Hillsborough County is just beginning to find out the serious impact this could have on Tampa Bay!

    The Hillsborough County Commission may ignore how morally repugnant, discrimatory and anti-democratic their actions have been, but they seem to be paying attention to the economic peril caused by their actions. Business leaders, city council members and those involved in wooing major companies and sporting events such as Super Bowl 2009 are worried that the hostile message may chase away those who have a committment to inclusion and diverse employees and customers.

    JULY 20th 9am-- Next Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners Meeting.

    Sunday, July 17, 2005

    Going to the Dogs.....and Cats

    The weather was brutal today, hot and humid. Hurricane Emily is somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico but heading towards the East, which means we've been spared again.

    After feeding the dogs breakfast, I realized I was running out of dog food (I mix baked chicken with Science Diet) and headed for Pet Smart to stock up. While in the shampoo area, I glanced up to see my sister shopping for her two pekes and cat. We began chatting and noticed my nephew and his girlfriend coming down the main aisle with a shopping cart full of supplies for their rottweiler and two cats. My entire family is here with the exception of my brother-in-law who stayed home, and mom and dad who would have had to fly in from Canada for this reunion.

    We're a small, but close family. Although my family knows about and totally approves of my lifestyle (they would be happier if I had a "significant other"), I try to "behave" myself because my nephew and his girlfriend are both Sheriffs in this (Pinellas) county.
    Besides the animals that are part of our households, my sister and I belong to a group of people who foster local stray cats. In order to minimize the stray population and prevent cats from being euthanized, we capture, spay/neuter and inoculate, pay for medical and flea treatment as needed, commit to feeding and release area strays.
    Although these strays could become part of our households, they are happier on the outside. Mine actually walks with the dogs when we go outside, but refuses to come indoors.
    On my way home from Pet Smart, I received a call from my friend Tim and we decided to meet at the Pro Shop Pub for Happy Hour. While drinking my first Bloody Mary, I realized that I had forgotten my key and would have to break a window to get back in the house. Two Bloody Mary's later our friend Vinny arrived but I knew I had to leave ( I have to be relatively sober when I break this window). The Pro Shop is only a few blocks from my house and while walking home, it started to pour. Are things ever gonna get any better? To make a long story short, I got home drenched, broke a window (the dogs were barking like crazy), got back in the house and here I am! It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood!
    Tomorrow, the glass repair man. AMEN



    I woke up Saturday morning feeling wonderfully refreshed, after a very difficult week at work.
    With the coffee brewing and bacon and eggs cooking for the PUGS ( yes they're spoiled and that's the "weekend treat"), I began reading my e-mails......
    The second e-mail I read was a copy of an "ANONYMOUS" response to one of my blogs. The response was composed of several paragraphs filled with hate ..... written by a homophobic hatemonger.
    I chose to delete this response because this blogsite has been created for my personal enjoyment and that of my family, friends, Gay and Gay-friendly readers.
    Although I respect your right to express your opinion, I will not allow this blogsite to become offensive to those I love or a platform for ANGER, HATE and HOMOPHOBIA . My suggestion to those who wish to regurgitate their hatred is to "create your own Blog!"
    Still shaken by the ANONYMOUS response to my blog, I decided to review blogs from some of my favorite BLOGMASTERS and the first blog I read was titled "I am not afraid!"; four words which began to have so much meaning and necessary me to digest at this moment. To this gentleman, I say: "THANK YOU" for enlightening me. My generation began the fight for ACCEPTANCE after Stonewall, but it's the new generation of men and women who are OUT and PROUD who will carry on and eventually win the war for EQUALITY!

    Saturday, July 16, 2005

    The DonDon009 Hall of Shame Part 2

    It's The Hypocricy, Stupid!

    Last week, I reported on Spokane, Washington mayor James West who was against Gay Rights all across the board while searching for young men on the internet. When persons like West are exposed, it reveals a hypocricy that erodes public trust. My issues are not so much the fact that these politicians are Republican, the issue is that they are Gay and voting against Gay Rights!

    Following is a list of Gay Republicans outed within the past year who also had a history of voting against Gay Right legislation.

    Last fall, Daniel Gurley, the national field director and deputy political director for the Republican National Committee, was outed after an online media outlet found his profile on, where he was reportedly seeking group sex. Jeff Gannon, the White House "reporter" who turned out to have been hired by a Republican-backed news organization, also turned out to have once been a gay male escort. The reactionary Republican congressman from Virginia, Ed Schrock, ended his re-election campaign after being involuntarily outed when he was discovered looking for sex in a gay chat room. And California's staunch Republican congressman, David Dreier, who votes consistently against gay rights, was outed last fall, as was Ken Mehlman, who ran George W. Bush's 2004 campaign, with a platform against same-sex marriage; he is now the chairman of the Republican Party. And there's more: Michael Huffington, Robert Bauman, Arthur Finkelstein, Paul Koering, Jim Kolby — all Republican congressman, staffers, columnists and campaign strategists, most of whom have taken vehement positions against gay rights legislation.

    Dave Kaplan a Gay Republican leader says that: "My hope is other gay Republicans who are closeted will figure out that it's better to come out on their own terms than have things blow up in their face." I agree!

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005


    The Art of Joe Phillips

    "I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being... by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant." ~PaulNewman
    I find incredible peace in the above art by Joe Phillips. A quiet place to rest, casually holding someone in the midst of everything else going on around them (through the rails of the balcony is a billboard showcasing Gay R&B singer Ari Gold, featured in my above blog).
    I need to be surrounded by that calm today. It's been a "week from hell" and I look forward to the weekend.
    The after effects of hurricane Dennis (although we didn't get a direct hit) have been intense heat and humidity. I opened the newspaper on Tuesday and became angry at the people of Pensacola who were very irate that the food kitchens giving out free food had either not opened, or didn't have sufficient food or water to supply the block long waiting lines.
    We knew for no less than 5 days that Dennis was projected to intensify in the Gulf of Mexico, and projected to make landfall in the panhandle. That means more than five days to "stock up on water, canned goods, etc."! Didn't anyone listen to the news?
    To make matters worse, when the grocery stores opened early Tuesday, the same people were still angry, because they wanted "free food". These are the rednecks who are the most avid supporters of Big George and his brother our Governor, Baby Bush. "CJeb, feed your supporters!"
    Speaking of Big George, who out there really thinks he'll ever dump Karl Rove. It ain't gonna happen!
    I finally did it! I'm tired of going to the doctor or dentist with a set appointment time only to have to wait a half hour or much longer to be seen. I arrived at my dental appointment at 4:20PM for a 4:30 appointment. I signed in, completed the necessary paperwork and asked if the dentist was on schedule. I was told yes, and that he would see me as scheduled. At 4:35, the receptionist called me to the desk to inform me that the dentist was performing a "procedure" and would be delayed. With my very best smile and most pleasant demeanor, I said, "no problem can you please reschedule me?" I've now established a 15 minute rule. She rescheduled me to be first on the list immediately after lunch, one week from today! I just hope he's not late coming back from lunch.
    My boss is on vacation for another week. I'm in charge. Hurry home Kathy, before I completely lose it!
    Let's hope the weekend brings me much calm and someone to hold (or some reasonable facimile). PEACE!
    The Art of Joe Phillips is featured on his website.

    Saturday, July 09, 2005

    Hurricane Weekend~

    "If the Lord hadn't intended to have a three Martini lunch, then why do you suppose He put all those olive trees in the Holy Land?"
    --Former House Speaker Jim Wright (D-TX)

    Art by AXEL

    "I love to drink Martinis, Two at the very most
    Three I'm under the table, Four I'm under the host!"
    --Dorothy Parker

    We have once again been blessed. Hurricane Dennis will be travelling west of Tampa Bay which means we won't get a "hit"; but will experience the effects with tornadoes, rain bands, tropical storm force winds and coastal flooding. I'm on the coast but elevation is high in my area, so not much of a problem with flooding.

    Bands of thunderstorms began around 2:00PM Saturday and continued throughout the evening, gradually intensifying but intermingled with short periods of calm (time to take the dogs out). This is a perfect day to hang out with the pugs and enjoy a Martini or two!

    I spent the evening on-line socializing with friends and updating my blogs. There were several power surges, but they were short lived; I was able to get back on-line within five minutes each time.

    Storms continued thru Sunday afternoon and ended at about 3:00 PM. Twenty five hours of stroms and minimal damage. Tampa Bay has been spare!

    Hurricane Dennis

    Tampa Bay is directly to the top right of the second drink!

    Friday, July 08, 2005

    The Waiting Game

    Art by AXEL
    Winding down to the weekend...
    It's hurricane season in Florida, and already there's "activity in the Gulf!" Each year, at the beginning of June Florida residents are advised to assemble hurricane kits... non perishible foods, water, batteries, candles, etc.
    Do most of us pay attention? Of course not and this would of include me. Last year, we had no power for five days in 90 degree heat. You would think I'd learn. Now they're announcing hurricane Dennis forming in the gulf and am I ready, nope. I do have bottles of gin and vermouth, and a jar of olives but I dont think this qualifies as emergency supplies.
    Off I go to the grocers to join the ranks of the last minute shoppers and, yep... the shelves are almost empty. Two cans of chicken (dented) and several cans of Spam (light) remain on the shelves. Regular Spam is already sold out which means that in an emergency, "full of fat" Spam is much more desireable than Spam light. I select a few (just in case) items, leave the Spam light on the shelf and head home.
    Maybe this will be another false warning, although they have already begun evacuating the keys. I'm directly on the Gulf of Mexico, but I'm in a non-evacuation zone because of the elevation above sea level in my area which means I may not drown or get flooded, but the winds could do a job on the roof, house, landscaping, etc.
    It's gonna be a waiting game. Meteoroligists made several miscalculations last year, so no one is taking a chance in making incorrect predictions at the moment. We'll just have to "wait and see."

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    The World According to DonDon

    "Judge not a man by the color of his skin, but by his character."

    The art of Joe Phillips

    I've said it before and I'll say it again and again and again! "There is no such thing as a bisexual male; if you're having sex with men, you're gay. AMEN", and apparently I'm not the only person with this opinion.

    An article published in the New York Times on July 5, 2005 titled "Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited" written by Benedict Carey states the following:

    A new study casts doubts on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in men.
    The study, by a team of psychologists in Chicago and Toronto, lends support to those who have long been skeptical that bisexuality is a distinct and stable sexual orientation.
    People who claim bisexuality, according to these critics, are usually homosexual, but are ambivilant about their homosexuality or simply closeted. "You're either gay, straight or lying," as some gay men have put it.

    In the new study, a team of psychologists directly measured genital arousal patterns in response to images of men and women. The pyschologists found that men who identified themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively aroused by either one sex or the other, usually by other men.

    The study is the largest of several small reports suggesting that the estimated 1.7 percent of men who identified themselves as bisexual show physical attraction patterns that differ substantially from their professed desires.

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    The DonDon009 Hall of Shame

    Poof!!! You're OUT

    The art of Glen Hanson

    And the award goes to: Spokane, Washington Mayor Jim West.

    West, a Republican and former State Senate Majority Leader who steadfastly opposed gay-friendly legislation has been publicly outed by the Spokane Review after the newspaper raised allegations of West offering jobs to young men he met in Gay chat rooms.

    On May 5, 2005 the Spokane Review began publishing a series of articles detailing gay chat room and e-mail conversations West had with someone he thought was an 18 year old male high school student, whom he encouraged to apply for an internship in his office. The e-mail recipient was, in fact, a computer expert hired by the newspaper.

    West has acknowledged having relations with adult males and apologized for "mistakes in judgement."

    Monday, July 04, 2005

    The 4th of July

    I've discovered an alternative to smothering my cheeseburgers with condiments (smothered in ketchup being my personal favorite).
    Today, at the annual Pro Shop Pub Barbecue I chose to have my cheeseburger plain; accompanied by several Bloody Mary's. Still got that "tomato" taste but without the mess; and feeling no pain by the end of the evening!
    Happy July 4th!

    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    The Word is FABULOUS!

    The art of Glen Hanson
    Gay is not a choice, FABULOUS is!
    I'm allergic to KMart!
    I never, never, never shop at KMart. Actually I did once; it was November 1988. I had flown down from Boston to spend the Thanksgiving holidays with my family here in Florida. My mother needed cleaning supplies so off we go to KMart. We buy the supplies and as I''m leaving the store, I start to "itch". My mother looked at me and said, "Oh My God, you're breaking out in hives" and I certainly was. My face and arms were blotched and red; my face was starting to swell. I drive myself to Morton Plant Hospital emergency where the doctors determined that I was having an allergic reaction and started a Benadryl IV drip. Four hours later, I was back home, feeling somewhat weak, but the hives were gone. I had an allergic reaction to something. In my mind, the something was KMart.
    Today, almost 17 years later, KMart is having a massive sale because of the merge with Sears (I never, never, never shop in Sears). I need new garden tools so without thinking off, I go to KMart. Lovely Martha Stewart garden tools on sale so I select the ones I need and off I go. In the parking lot, my arms, legs and face start to itch. My face is getting hot. I'm having another freaking allergic reaction to KMart! This cute little Mexican is cruising me big time in the parking lot, and wants to start up a conversation. NOT today, dammit. First of all, it's 11 AM (way to early for this shit), and secondly my body is on fire (not from the Mexican but from my KMart allergy). I head home as fast as I can, pop two Benadryl tablets, jump in the shower, and head to bed. KMart is trying to kill me!
    I literally had one foot out the door at 11:00PM when my cell phone rang with Tim on the other end asking if I was going out. I was in the bar within 5 minutes and had my first drink in hand shortly thereafter. The Pro Shop Pub is a clean, friendly neighborhood bar somewhat reminiscent of the neighborhood bars in New Orleans. The bartenders are friendly (Steve is on tonite, a real sweetie) and the drinks are good. There's an eclectic mix of music playing "not too loud" so you can hear what people are saying when they talk to you. We had a fun nite made more enjoyable when this dude Patrick announced to all of us that he wanted to "go out with me sometime". Of course he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell, but I was flattered anyway. I left the bar at approximately 1:45 AM, feeling no pain and after making certain that "Patrick" was already gone.

    And I Quote!

    Say WOW!

    The art of Glen Hanson

    "I can arrive quickly and say YEA, or I can take the scenic route and upon arrival say WOW !"


    The first day of my four day weekend is hot and humid, so it's time to shop where the stores are cool.My first stop, Stein Mart where I pick up a lovely polo shirt. Next, to the grocers for chicken breasts. I get home, marinate the chicken and bake it to perfection, after which I cut it into bite size pieces and ... you got it... feed it to the dogs. I head to Burger King for a double whopper with cheese, no lettuce and a side of onion rings. There's something wrong with this picture; I just haven't figured it out yet.

    Friday evening, its the Pro Shop Pub for cocktails. Robert, cute, cute, cute is bartending and makes my gin and tonic just the way I like them. I'm happy. It's quiet tonite but my friends Tim and Vinny eventually stroll in which makes me happier. There is one cutie in the bar who has caught my attention but the next thing you know, cutie is at the far end of the bar with his tongue down the throat of some troll. Cutie is no longer cute. A few more drinks and its time to head home. Alone again, naturally. Just the way the dogs like it!

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    Life at the Circus

    Get me outta here!
    The Art of Glen Hanson
    Four days off, and God do I need it. It happens every time I come home from spending time in New Orleans. Seems I can't get back on track at work and spend a lot of time singing the post vacation blues.
    Yesterday, we had our annual client picnic. It was great fun but I wasn't sad when I had to leave for a dental appointment. I was the only case manager on site (one was conveniently ill, the other two are newly hired and don't begin work until next week). Imagine approximately 80 adults with developmental disabilities (retarded) in a state park with minimal supervision. Not only did we have to barbecue, we had to be constantly aware of where each client was, make sure they didn't fall into the lake, escort them to and from the bathrooms, dodge water bombs, organize games, break up fights, bait hooks for those who wanted to fish, and most importantly make people aware of the signs all over the park reading "beware of alligators". I love my job, but I'm thankful that we have a dedicated staff (the training techs) and I do agree when people say "it takes a special person" to work in this environment.
    Great news on the gay marriage scene (now if I can only find a man):
    NETHERLANDS— Legalized in 2001. Same-sex couples also have the right to adopt children, either within the Netherlands or from abroad.
    BELGIUM— Legalized in 2003. Gay couples cannot adopt children, although that is being discussed by lawmakers.
    SPAIN— Legalized on Thursday. Gay couples have all the rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples, including for adopting children.
    CANADA— The House of Commons passed legislation Tuesday that would legalize gay marriage by July 31 as long as the Senate also passes the bill, which it is expected to do.
    UNITED STATES— Massachusetts is the only U.S. state that allows gay marriage. Vermont and Connecticut have approved same-sex civil unions.
    Weekend plans are still up in the air, but traditionally my sister, her family and I spend the 4th at a concert followed by fireworks at Coachman Park, a five minute walk from my house. The PUGS are divided on the fireworks subject. Daisy loves them because I've been taking her with me since she was 8 weeks old. Muggs, on the other hand is terrified of noise so I may end up staying home to make sure he's ok.