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COMMENTARY: CSUSM president responds to hate with platitudes

On October 17, a group of Cal State University San Marcos (CSUSM) students, faculty and staff sent an unusual letter to CSUSM President Karen Haynes and the Cal State system board of trustees. The letter requested that Haynes and the trustees break their unproductive silence and take action to ameliorate the hostile educational and work environment created by The Koala, a private, for-profit hate tabloid distributed at CSUSM since January 2011.

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COMMENTARY: Presbyterian Church's ordination of gays is bittersweet

Before returning to New England for the second time, I served two African-American Presbyterian Churches. And during that time I never thought, two decades ago, that the entire church body would change its position on LGBTQ worshippers.

But a historic yet bittersweet moment happened on Oct. 8 in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

And the moment didn't happened without a long and arduous struggle against the church's ecclesiastical heterosexism.

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COMMENTARY: Stonewall Citizens' Patrol: What authority does security have?

I have been asked a few times about what authority that security guards and neighborhood-watch and citizens-patrol groups have.

The answer is not as complicated as you might think. Let's start with neighborhood-watch and citizens-patrol groups, including Stonewall Citizens' Patrol.

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COMMENTARY on domestic violence: The view from the other side of the wire

You’d think a survivor of an abusive relationship would lend one of the most empathic of ears to women incarcerated for charges related to domestic violence. Women who committed crimes because their abusers forced them to. Women who, without the resources to buy a get-out-of-jail-free card, were caught up when the men who terrorized them broke the law. Women who ultimately erupted in one excruciating moment of self-preservation, one violent demand for freedom, and killed their abusers.

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COMMENTARY: "Ex-gay" activist John Smid makes stunning admission

For decades, John Smid had been the leader of Love in Action, the infamous "ex-gay" ministry that took away the underwear of clients if the undergarments appeared too gay. The strict Memphis-based ministry also used an egg timer in the bathroom to make sure its clients would not masturbate while showering.

Of all the "ex-gay" ministries this was the most cult-like - with Smid keeping tight control over the social lives of his clients, who paid a pretty penny to live in the residential program.

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COMMENTARY: The past is never dead with the n-word

In a supposedly post-racial society one would think that the n-word was buried and long gone with it troubled eras of race relations in this country.

But as American novelist William Faulkner wrote in "Requiem For A Nun," his 1951 novel, "The past is never dead. It’s not even past."

As we all try to move from America’s ugly racial past, there are still rock solid vestiges of it.

At the entrance of a secluded 1,072-acre property in the West Texas town of Paint Creek is a rock painted in block letters with the word "N*****head."

COMMENTARY: NOM attacks gay congressman over birth of son

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) certainly knows how to get under one's skin with its vulgar campaign to demonize the LGBT community in the name of "protecting" marriage.

On Monday, NOM posted on its blog an item that attacked Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) over the birth of his son. Polis and his domestic partner Marlon Reis announced the birth of Caspian Julius on Friday and posted a photo of their newborn.

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COMMENTARY: Koala at CSUSM rings in Domestic Violence Awareness Month touting rape, racism, homophobia

Warning: Adult content

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COMMENTARY: Flying while gay not a good idea on Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has issues.

And those customer issues, on any given day or flight, appear arbitrary.

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COMMENTARY: The scent of a memory

I catch a trace of Father’s scent each year. He’s been dead since 1996, which makes his lingering essence kind of magical. I’ve smelled him in Dayton and Houston, in San Diego and Midland and Minneapolis… — and he was not a traveling salesman.