Oregon set to select first lesbian House speaker

Of the Associated Press

SALEM — Oregon House Democrats are expected to select the nation's first openly lesbian woman to lead a state legislative chamber.

Rep. Tina Kotek of Portland is likely to be chosen Thursday night as the House speaker beginning in January. Her selection would be another milestone from an election that brought a series of victories to the gay community, including the first openly gay U.S. senator and the first bisexual member of congress.

With her selection, openly gay leaders will control the House in four of the 50 states. The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund says that's more than ever before and up from two before the election.



Why are we celebrating this? My 10 year old daughter read this article and she asked me why this is ground breaking news. Why is what people do in their bedroom so important and reported in the news.

Who is deciding what perversions are acceptable? More importantly, who decides what perversions are celebrated vs shameful? Congressman Anthony Weiner was forced out of office for sending images to a female. But we are supposed to be happy about this. I don't get it.


For the same reason that people celebrated giving women the right to vote, interracial couples the right to marry, the end of segregation and why President Obama's election was groudbreaking 4 years ago. This isn't about what anyone does in their bedroom - I don't want to know any more what goes on in yours than you do in mine. This is about your brother, sister, mother, father, cousin, aunt, uncle, daughter, son, grandparent, friend, co-worker, neighbor being able to be open about who they are without worrying about losing their job, housing, and so many other rights that they should be entitled to as humans and citizens of the great United States of America. It is about pride, dignity, and living out the American Dream.
I hope you use this as a time to teach your daughter about the Civil Rights Movement and the Suffrage Movement. You don't have to agree that this is ground breaking news. It shouldn't be ground breaking news because people shouldn't have to be struggling for basic civil rights in the year 2012 in our democratic nation.


The current mantra is that this shouldn't matter. But as soon as this pro-lesbian/gay agenda is crammed down our throats (and in a couple generations it will be the new normal) these same perverts are going to go after lowering the legal age of consent, incestuous marriage, and bigamy. It is the logical progression.


Sorry Gin, but sin is sin. Try to wrap it up in any of those noble packages that you mentioned and it is still plain old sinful behavior.
Here is how you will eventually come to agree with me and know it is sin. First you will convince the majority of Americans that it is a civil rights matter (and you have almost completely succeeded in doing that at this point in time). Then, you will get all of the laws that protect traditional marriage changed. And guess what? You and all other gays will still feel miserable. Why? Because you can't do what is wrong and feel right. It really is as simple as that.
If you want to feel happy, change your behavior, not the laws.
Believe me, I speak as one who knows.

Jeb Bladine

Responding to the question, "Why are we celebrating this?"
People often believe that news reports are motivated by a desire to promote an agenda, when the real motivation is to report something that meets the definition of news.
This short, factual story clearly met that definition -- a first-in-the-nation event related at least indirectly to a high-profile social issue that is drawing political and religious debate, legislation and ballot measures across the country.
Jeb Bladine


WoW Mack! I hope your God doesn't judge you as harshly! Speaking of one who has lesbian and gay ex-in-laws, and friends, I can only observe their homosexuality is genetically based. I don't agree with the extremes in the lifestyle such as displayed in the Castro district of San Fransisco particularly in the 90's, but maybe we what we are going through is the pendulum swing. What my ex-brother in-law went through in the aids crisis when he lost his longtime partner and most of his friends was horrendous. Not to have rights as partners because you are gay. I experienced this on an heterosexual level when I lost my "husband" because we were not legally married. I was treated by the local funeral home where he was taken without my permission when he died, as if I was not the next of kin. I hate Macy's!!! He was my partner and my soul mate. They treated me with no regard or respect!


Baffled and Bewildered,
Don't get me wrong, I feel that everyone deserves to be treated with kindness, respect and dignity regardless of what behaviors they choose to engage in. I feel bad that you were treated unkindly by Macy's.
I have just learned from my own experience that there are certain laws in this universe that when obeyed bring happiness and peace and when violated bring misery.
One example is the law of gravity. It is a great law. It is nice to not be always floating around the room. It keeps me in my seat as I'm typing this. But if I were to climb up on the roof of my house and throw myself off, that same law would with 100% certainty cause me to experience a lot of physical pain, maybe even death.
There are countless physical laws like gravity that we all agree on because the results are so readily visible and measurable.
I have come to learn that there are laws that govern our level of happiness and misery that while not as visible or measurable are just as certain.
I have learned that homosexual behavior brings misery and heterosexual behavior does not.
We can convince voters and judges to rule throwing ourselves off of houses to be pain free and pleasant but it won't do any good. You cant just vote the laws away.
I believe the only way to be happy is to obey the laws that lead to happiness. And don't just take my word for it. A person with same sex attraction can experiment with living or not living the laws that govern sexual happiness and contentment and see what kind of results they get.They will then know the truth for themselves.
In the mean time, I strongly believe that EVERYONE should be treated with kindness and respect. We are all so very imperfect at living these laws of happiness. And we are all in this together. We needs each others love and support.

Dances with Redwoods

I too, am sorry to hear of your experience after the loss of your partner, Baffled and Bewildered. If there is anything to learn from that, it's that personal desires of that magnitude should be written down, signatures witnessed, and made known through an advance directive. Whether or not you're legally married.


I read this article earlier today and thought about it all afternoon while I was out and about. I am always interested to learn more about the way my community thinks about issues, but some of the content posted above may be more than I am comfortable knowing.

"Sin?" "Perversion??" "CHOICE???"

I had a family member who was gay. I grew up with him, there is NO doubt in my heart or mind that he was born that way. He was a child of God just like any person who reads or responds to this article. He was kind and funny, smart and talented. He did not choose to have blue eyes, nor did he choose to be gay. Our family accepted him, valued him, loved him unconditionally. Sadly, it was a different time (the 1970s) and there were others in his life who held intolerant contemptuous "opinions." They DID have choices, and they chose to make his life miserable. So miserable in fact, late one night he could no longer deal with the denigration and put an end to his own life.

God bless the courageous members of the gay community who have found a way to take their rightful places in life, and to make their contributions. Thank God for an ever-increasing tolerance and understanding in our society for those born different but EQUAL. Discrimination is NOT an American value. Perhaps that is the best way to parse this news story for a ten-year-old? The message has nothing to do with bedrooms.

If one cares to discuss sin and perversion based on GENUINE choice, let us turn our attention and outrage to something like professional boxing. Two adults of the same gender choose to climb into a ring and beat each other bloody for the purposes of entertainment and financial gain. THAT is definitely a choice, a choice that seems far more appropriate to criticize or judge than two adults of the same gender who love and care for each other.


I think your post goes right to the very heart of the issue.
Does God create children that are born "Gay?" or does he create children that are born with a complicated mixture of genetic and environmental factors that lead very early in life to feelings of "same sex attraction?"
The same could be asked of any other misery producing behavior. Does God create children that are born "alcoholics?" or does he create children that are born with a complicated mixtures of genetic and environmental factors that lead to strong feelings of desiring to destructively "binge drink?"


I feel that while labeling a person as "gay" and then trying to get them to accept and be comfortable with that label is much better than treating them like an outcast or a leper, it still doesn't solve the conundrum that homosexual behavior produces a feeling of misery.
Just like the law of gravity, the natural law that governs sexuality and happiness is stubborn and unyielding.


Maybe non-gay persons should parade around with T-shirts that state their sexuality, have non-gay parades, and have their sexuality displayed in a newspaper when they achieve something of importance. Example, America elects non-gay president Obama for second term. Romney, who prefers women, will host political campaign. Local artist who happens to not be gay, is opening at the Gallery. Teacher marries, OPPOSITE sex!

Labeling gays as gays only ads to the separatist ideas that flow through America veins. If you wouldn't normally insert a persons sexuality in an article because they are straight, why do it when they are crooked? It's stupid and it underwhelms what the original topic is. Another women is going to be in the House, is that not news worthy enough? I bet women from other countries may find that simple bit of news inspiring, unfortunate all we can see is a chance to amplify our differences. Grow up.


Mack, it is only sinful if you believe it is, and you believe it is based on some type of religious idea. You are only a "child of God" if you believe you are.

Believe it or not, there are people in this world, let alone... in the US that do NOT believe in God. Here is another novel thought, there are gay and lesbian people that actually DO believe in God. The world is certainly a mystery, I would think that if I was G/L I would shine away from religious ideas simply because they directly contradict what I feel in my body, but that's just me.

Assuming they are all sinning is ridiculous, because in that assumption you are insisting that they all BELIEVE, and that may not be the case.


Mack, have you surveyed every single homosexual on the planet to ascertain that your comment "homosexual behavior brings misery and heterosexual behavior does not."? Have you surveyed every single heterosexual to see if they are filled with joy?

I get what you are saying, but positioning that logic into this argument is ineffective. Have you ever stopped to think that the homosexual misery could be brought on by the heterosexuals refusal to accept? Maybe the fear of rejection by their own families and society is what brings on the misery, not the actual act of being homosexual?
I have known quite a bit of miserable adults in my life, yet none of them were homosexual. I have known few homosexuals in my life, yet the ones I did know were very happy and content in the lives they had made.

There is no logic to something as illogical as life. People are born, that is the only given, oh that and death.


Yes well I didn't mean to make my original post about me. I'm just saying in 20 years of a first marriage (mostly miserable) my gay brother in-law was a best friend, my lesbian sister in-law not so much. I had lots of years to form my "genetic" theory based on observation. I think misery would have been forcing them to be who they are not. Also, on labeling. I think we should star making political and public servants who cheat on their spouses wear red A's. like Nathanial Hawthorne's "The Scarlett Letter". Nathanial Hawthorne was a judge in the Salem Witch Trials. We haven't come very far.


Excellent points, Manup, very well stated!

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