Saturday, February 28, 2015

Video: 'Gay conversion' therapy: Inside the 'cure' camp

Vice.com: Feb. 28, 2015 - Gay Conversion Therapy - Part 1 | VICE | United States

Couples file briefs in support of marriage equality with Supreme Court as hearing looms in April

Advocate.com: Feb. 28, 2015 - Couples Make Their Marriage Equality Case to Supreme Court | Advocate.com

Mississippi Supreme Court justices say same-sex marriage bans should be ruled unconstitutional

Associated Press: Feb. 28, 2015 - Mississippi justices say gay marriage ban should be declared unconstitutional – LGBTQ Nation

Homophobic bullies who turned out gay share their struggle

The Good Men Project: Feb. 28, 2015 - Homophobic Bullies Who Turned Out Gay Share Their Struggle -

Commentary: To stop abuse, start with the belief systems that perpetuate it

The Good Men Project: Feb. 28, 2015 - 50 Shades of Abuse -

Leonard Nimoy, 'Star Trek's' iconic but logical Vulcan, dead at 83

New York Times: Feb. 28, 2015 - Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83 - NYTimes.com

Feb. 28, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Finding balance

Let's not forget to play. Our new way of life is a serious matter, but it is not intended as a punishment; nor do we need to repent and suffer for the rest of our lives. Our new way of life is intended to produce growth.

But growth takes work. And work needs play for balance. If we forget to play and be joyful, our life will become unbalanced and we will suffer needlessly.

Have I found some balance in my life?

Higher Power, help me remember that all living things need balance: let me laugh, let me play, let me grow.
You are reading from the book:
Day by Day © 1974, 1998 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
 
Today, I need to take my Program from theoretical to practical application to both my recovery and life. If I hear "Easy Does It," I cannot use it as "permission" to neglect daily responsibilities and what must be done today. Instead, it means not to expect too much of either myself or another person. And "Let Go and Let God" does not mean I can expect my Higher Power to take care of what is my responsibility and which is within my capability. Instead, I must realize I am letting go of my own will for myself and letting God tell me what His will is for me. "One (drink) is one too many and never enough" tells me, simply, not to try to find out what is "never enough" and not to try the first one at all. "Making amends" isn't simply saying, "I'm sorry," but becoming willing to accept responsibility and consequences and working harder if some of those amends are rejected. "One Day at a Time" is simple: today is all I've got; yesterday can't be undone or redone, and tomorrow is not guaranteed and, even if there is a tomorrow, I have to give today my best shot because it may well reverberate into tomorrow. Today, my Program moves from theory to the practical, and it's time to roll up the sleeves. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

Feb. 28, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
 
AA Thought for the Day
We should be free from alcohol for good. It's out of our hands and in the hands of God, so we don't need to worry about it or even think about it any more. But if we haven't done this honestly and fully, the chances are that it will become our problem again. Since we don't trust God to take care of the problem for us, we reach out and take the problem back to ourselves. Then it's our problem again and we're in the same old mess we were in before. We're helpless again and we drink.

Do I trust God to take care of the problem for me?

Meditation for the Day
No work is of value without preparation. Every spiritual work must have behind it much spiritual preparation. Cut short times of prayer and times of spiritual preparation and many hours of work may be profitless. From the point of view of God, one poor tool working all the time but doing back work because of lack of preparation, is of small value compared with the sharp, keen, perfect instrument working for only a short time but which turns out perfect work because of long hours of spiritual preparation.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may spend more time alone with God. I pray that I may get more strength and joy from such times, so that they will add much to my work.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
 
Reflection for the Day
We're taught in The Program and the Twelve Steps that the chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear - mainly fear that we would lose something we already possessed or that we would fail to get something we demanded. Living on the basis of unsatisfied demands, we obviously were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration. Therefore, we are taught, no peace will be ours unless we find a means of reducing these demands.

Have I become entirely ready to have God remove all my defects of character?

Today I Pray
May I make no unrealistic demands on life which, because of their grandiosity, cannot be met. May I place no excessive demands on others which, when they are not fulfilled, leave me disappointed and let down.

Today I Will Remember
The set-up for a let-down.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 28, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
 
Many of us would have been ready to do something about our drinking problem years before we did, except for the obstinate determination not to allow the wife, mother or boss to tell us what to do.

Hazelden Foundation

Friday, February 27, 2015

Actor Leonard Nimoy, who lived long and prospered after 'Star Trek,' dead at 83

Washington Post: Feb. 27, 2015 - Leonard Nimoy, a pop culture force as Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ dies at 83 - The Washington Post

'How to Get Away With Murder' actor Jack Falahee on playing a 'manwhore homosexual'

Huffington Post: Feb. 27, 2015 - Jack Falahee Clarifies Why He Won't Reveal His Sexuality Despite Playing A 'Manwhore Homosexual' On TV

Owners of 'gay cure' program in South Africa convicted in death of 15-year-old

Gay Star News: Feb. 27, 2015 - Owners of South African gay 'cure' camp found guilty of killing teen | Gay Star News

Commentary: Yes, it matters when we say 'gay'

Advocate.com: Feb. 27, 2015 - Op-ed: Yes, It Matters When We Say 'Gay' | Advocate.com

Alabama religious groups support war on same-sex marriage by state's chief justice

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, leader of the Christian Defense Coalition, speaks in support of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, at a news conference in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 25, 2015
Associated Press: Feb. 27, 2015 - Alabama religious groups support Roy Moore’s stand against same-sex marriage – LGBTQ Nation

Facebook adds new gender option for users: ‘Fill in the blank’

Associated Press: Feb. 27, 2015 - Facebook adds new gender option for users: ‘Fill in the blank’ – LGBTQ Nation

Christian college in South Carolina bans homosexuality after two athletes come out as gay

The New Civil Rights Movement: Feb. 27, 2015 - Christian College Bans Homosexuality After Two Gay Athletes Come Out - The New Civil Rights Movement

Neil Patrick Harris' ass has members of Westboro Baptist Church hot and bothered


The New Civil Rights Movement: Feb. 27, 2015 -  Video: Neil Patrick Harris' Backside Has Westboro Members All Hot And Bothered - The New Civil Rights Movement

Feb. 27, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Trouble is a part of life, and if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.
 -- Dinah Shore


Just as gravity keeps us grounded and connected to the earth, our fellowship keeps us bound to sobriety. The fellowship available to us in our Twelve Step program keeps us in reality. A problem pondered in isolation seems immense; the same problem shared by those who truly understand is manageable. We need other people from the moment we are born. We need to be included, to feel we're a part of something larger than ourselves. Our spirits hunger for contact from others, and thirst for a relationship with God.

Our fellowship is there, a warm, friendly, and accepting family. Our Higher Power loves us. We are not alone, no matter where we travel, no matter how large our problems seem at the moment. Our joys are doubled and our sadness diminished through the sharing of our hearts.

Today help me listen carefully and give as well as take so I may fully experience this gift of fellowship.
You are reading from the book:
Body, Mind, and Spirit © 1990 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 27, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
 
Today, even if I am sober without attending meetings, I will consider the possibility that the quality of my sobriety might be enhanced if I resume regular meeting attendance - and participation. In neglecting meetings even if I am practicing the Program's Steps, I could be denying myself fresh perspectives that could lift me over some of the bumps on Sobriety Road. Adversely, I may be denying a newcomer or someone in relapse my own experience, strength and hope or anything else that might help them in their own journey. And if my lack of attendance at meetings is because of some rift within my home group, we have the freedom to "shop" for the meeting that we feel is best suited to our needs. But, in the end, neglecting meetings may well risk my own sobriety if for no other reason than I am not receiving someone else's experience, strength and hope and I am not fully Twelfth-Stepping by not sharing my own. Today, if I am only IN the Program, I will get WITH it. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

Feb. 27, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
 
AA Thought for the Day
When we came into AA, the first thing we did was to admit that we couldn't do anything about our drinking. We admitted that alcohol had us licked and that we were helpless against it. We never could decide whether or not to take a drink. We always took the drink. And since we couldn't do anything about it ourselves, we put our whole drink problem into the hands of God. We turned the whole thing over to that Power greater than ourselves. And we have nothing more to do about it, except to trust God to take care of the problem for us.

Have I done this honestly and fully?

Meditation for the Day
This is the time for my spirit to touch the spirit of God. I know that the feeling of the spirit-touch is more important than all the sensation of material things. I must seek a silence of spirit-touching with God. Just a moment's contact and all the fever of life leaves me. Then I am well, whole, calm and able to rise and minister to others. God's touch is a potent healer. I must feel that touch and sense God's presence.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that the fever of resentment, worry and fear may melt into nothingness. I pray that health, joy, peace and serenity may take its place.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 27, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
 
Reflection for the Day
If I live just one day at a time, I won't so quickly entertain fears of what might happen tomorrow. As long as I'm concentrating on today's activities, there won't be room in my mind for worrying. I'll try to fill every minute of this day with something good - seen, heard, accomplished. Then, when the day is ended, I'll be able to look back on it with satisfaction, serenity and gratitude.

Do I sometimes cherish bad feelings so that I can feel sorry for myself?

Today I Pray
That I will get out of the self-pity act and live for today. May I notice the good things from dawn to nightfall, learn to talk about them and thank God for them. May I catch myself if I seem to be relishing my moans and complaints more often than appreciating the goodness of my life.

Today I Will Remember
Today is good.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 27, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
 
We know from past experiences that we actually invited all our troubles to enter our lives. We left the door wide open for them. Getting sober does not necessarily mean we have closed all the doors, for some of us have only closed the front door and left the back door wide open.

The chances are that you are not only vulnerable through the door marked Alcohol. As you advance to the front, watch well both flanks and the rear.

Hazelden Foundation

Thursday, February 26, 2015

PrEP for HIV remains effective when used less than daily, but is it enough?

Advocate.com: Feb. 26, 2015 - STUDY: PrEP is Still Pretty Effective When Taken Less Than Daily—But is it Enough? | HIVPlusMag.com

Feb. 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

The Power of Love

Love is the best motivation. When we are plugged in to our Higher Power, we are plugged in to love. It flows through us like a current, energizing our sluggish hearts and minds.

As we work the Steps of this program, we are given increased ability to love. By turning over our lives and our wills, we become receptive to the love which surrounds and sustains us. By taking inventory and being ready to have our character defects removed, we are able to get rid of old ways of thinking and acting which have been blocking out love.

We cannot produce love for others by ourselves, but we can receive it from our Higher Power. We can even receive love for people we don't particularly like.

Love gives energy for action and directs its course. May I grow in love.
You are reading from the book:
Food for Thought by Elisabeth L. © 1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
 
Today, I understand I cannot take Step Seven of asking my Higher Power to "remove (my) shortcomings" without first surrendering completely to the Sixth Step of being "entirely ready." If I am clinging onto some character defect such as fear, resentment, anger, self-pity or remorse, I probably have not been thoroughly honest in my Fourth Step of "a searching and fearless moral inventory ..." Some - if not all - of those character defects likely triggered my drinking, at first abusively and eventually compulsively, and holding onto them even with an honest desire to let go of them may threaten the quality of my sobriety - maybe my sobriety itself. An "honest desire" to surrender my defects, then, is not sufficient; because the Program is one of action, I must be active in releasing my defects and not taking them back. My thoughts, feelings and actions of yesterday influenced my subsequent tomorrows; thus, what I do today may well impact tomorrow, and my history of carrying from yesterday into tomorrow is one of self-destruction. Today, if I am mired in defects that I know contributed to my drinking, I must review my Fourth to see if it wasn't as "searching and fearless" as I had hoped. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

Feb. 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
 
AA Thought for the Day
When we came into AA, we came to believe in a Power greater than ourselves. We came to believe in that Divine Principle in the universe which we call God, and to which we can turn for help. Each morning we have a quiet time. We ask God for the power to stay sober for the next 24 hours. And each night we thank Him for helping us to keep sober that day.

Do I believe that each man or woman I see in AA is a demonstration of the power of God to change a human being from a drunkard to a sober person?

Meditation for the Day
I should pray for faith as a thirsty person prays for water in a desert. Do I know what it means to feel sure that God will never fail me? Am I sure of this as I am sure that I still breathe? I should pray daily and most diligently that my faith may increase. There is nothing lacking in my life because, really, all I need is mine, only I lack the faith to know it. I am like a rich man's child who sits in rags when all around me are stores of all I could desire.

Prayer for the Day
I pray for the realization that God has everything I need. I pray that I may know that His power is always available.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
 
Reflection for the Day
"What if ..." How often we hear these words from newcomers to The Program. How often, in fact, we tend to say them ourselves. "What if I lose my job ...," "What if my car breaks down ...," "What if I get sick and can't work ...," "What if my child gets hooked on drugs?" What if - anything our desperate imaginings can project. Only two small words, yet how heavy-laden they are with dread, fear and anxiety. The answer to, "What if ...," is, plainly and simply, "Don't project." We can only live with our problems as they arise, living one day at a time.

Am I keeping my thoughts positive?

Today I Pray
May I grow spiritually, without being held back by anxieties. May projected fears not hobble my pursuits or keep me from making the most of today. May I turn out fear by faith. If I will only make a place for God within me, He will remove my fears.

Today I Will Remember
I can only borrow trouble at high interest rates.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 26, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015
 
Frequently we are asked, "Why waste your money on that guy? He's a phony if ever I saw one." We have all heard this and often it was true but, after all, the monetary loss each month was way below our old whiskey bills. Every once in a while, the long shot does come in and the payoff is tremendous.

It is simply a case of betting on people instead of horses. These bets on people can't lose, for if the phony abuses your generosity, the fault is his, not yours, and he is debited and you are credited by the Great Bookkeeper who has charge of the Treasury where "neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal."

Hazelden Foundation

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Minor baseball league pitching coach Jason Burch publicly comes out as gay

Burch (right) with JP Martinez, one of the teammates he came out to while with the Frederick Keys. Martinez is now a pitching coach in the Minnesota Twins system.
OutSports: Feb. 25, 2015 - Gay Minor League pitcher Jason Burch was just waiting for the right question - Outsports

Oklahoma House committee approves bill protecting 'gay conversion' therapy providers

Associated Press: Feb. 25, 2015 - Oklahoma House committee OKs bill protecting conversion therapy providers – LGBTQ Nation

Study finds Truvada can prevent new HIV infections when taken before and after sex

Associated Press: Feb. 25, 2015 - Study: HIV drug can prevent new infection when taken before and after sex – LGBTQ Nation

Study details lives of LGBT youths engaged in ‘survival sex’

Associated Press: Feb. 25, 2015 - Study details lives of LGBT youths engaged in ‘survival sex’ – LGBTQ Nation

Arkansas' Republican governor 'concerned' about state's GOP-backed 'religious freedom' bill

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Associated Press: Feb. 25, 2015 - Arkansas governor says he’s concerned by ‘religious freedom’ bill – LGBTQ Nation

Music video: The Tom Robinson Band: 'Glad to Be Gay'

The Good Men Project: Feb. 25, 2015 - Music video: The Tom Robinson Band - Glad To Be Gay [music video] -

Negotiating an end to the persecution of LGBT people in Iran

The Good Men Project: Feb. 25, 2015 - Negotiating for Cessation of Persecution of LGBT People in Iran -

Feb. 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Today's Gift from Hazelden

The Serenity Prayer
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015
Today's thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Happiness is a decision

We came into this program desperate for help and perhaps solace too. We were more painful than most. Seeing all the smiles and hearing the laughter of the women and men at the meetings convinced us we were right! Fortunately, we have stuck around long enough to understand where their smiles and laughter are coming from.

The Twelve Steps are suggestions for living one day at a time. When we let the Steps guide our thinking and our actions, we discover that life doesn't have to be painful. Thinking and acting are fully in our control. Staying close to the program can bring us happiness.

I will set a good example for someone else today. I will be living proof of the maxim "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."
You are reading from the book:
A Life of My Own by Karen Casey. © 1993 by Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

The Serenity Prayer
Step by Step
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015

Today, I am forced to admit that I abused, misused, took for granted and literally threw away through my drinking and actions all that I had been GIVEN unconditionally - love, respect, self-respect, integrity, friends, family, innocence - and traded it for selfishness, insecurity, fear, regret, pain, agony, anguish, loss and time that will never be recovered. Now, I am forced to admit I cannot expect to be given what I drank away that once was mine - nor should I be enabled in regaining what I lost - without working for it. And I have the tools to begin the rebuilding process, courtesy of the Program. So simple! But the work to apply those tools forces me to ask my Higher Power, on bent knees, for the strength, courage, honesty, discipline, integrity and selflessness to earn back - not demand nor expect them to be handed to me - what I have lost. And, if I do the job right, I may get back more than I lost. Today, I accept I must remake myself and, with the Program, I've got the tools to do it. All that remains is my choice to pick them up and put them to use. Today, I pick them up and begin the rebuilding process. And our common journey continues. Step by step. - Chris M., 2015

Feb. 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: Twenty-Four Hours a Day

The Serenity Prayer
Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015
 
AA Thought for the Day
Some people find it hard to believe in a Power greater than themselves. But not to believe in such a Power forces us to atheism. It has been said that atheism is blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. That's practically impossible to believe. I think we all can agree that alcohol is a power greater than ourselves. It certainly was in my case. I was helpless before the power of alcohol.

Do I remember the things that happened to me because of the power of alcohol?

Meditation for the Day
The spiritual and moral will eventually overcome the material and unmoral. That is the purpose and destiny of the human race. Gradually the spiritual is overcoming the material in our minds. Gradually the moral is overcoming the unmoral. Faith, fellowship and service are cures for most of the ills of the world. There is nothing in the field of personal relationships that they cannot do.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may do my share in making a better world. I pray that I may be part of the cure for the ills of the world.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: A Day at a Time

The Serenity Prayer
A Day at a Time
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015
 
Reflection for the Day
Before we came to The Program, fear ruled our lives. Tyrannized by our addictions and obsessions, we feared everything and everybody. We feared ourselves and, perhaps most of all, feared fear itself. These days, when I am able to accept the help of my Higher Power, it makes me feel capable of doing anything I am called upon to do. I am overcoming my fears and acquiring a comfortable new confidence.

Can I believe that "courage is fear that has said its prayers ...?"

Today I Pray
God grant that through faith in Him I may overcome my obsessive fears. I have been running scared for so long it has become a habit. God help me to see that I may be purposely clinging to my fears to avoid making decisions, perhaps even to shirk the responsibility of success

Today I Will Remember
Fear keeps me safe from risk-taking.

Hazelden Foundation

Feb. 25, 2015 - Readings in Recovery: The Eye Opener

The Serenity Prayer
The Eye Opener
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015
 
Few of us who are successfully working the AA Program have failed to notice the almost immediate influence our sobriety has brought about, not only in our homes and jobs but in the community as well.

Some of us who a short time ago stood before the judge and got the usual "$10 or 10 days" are now frequently closeted in the Judge's Chambers at his invitation to assist him in his handling of the alcoholic problem.

We know what we were, we know what we are, now let us be what we can be.

Hazelden Foundation