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COMMENTARY: Who can relate to the Romneys?

I grew up in a small town in Ohio populated by blue-collar, middle-class families. I own this upbringing. So let me share with you what it was like growing up with lots of love and little money.

My dad, after serving in World War II and marrying my mother, worked for many years in Ohio's vital auto industry until he quit to start his own business.

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COMMENTARY: Is it politics or is it prejudice?

This election is one of these moments in time when you have to look yourself in the mirror and ask the reflection you see just what it is you believe in.

You have to ask yourself if you want to keep perpetuating the anger and hate and blame and bigotry and homophobia, or do you want to rise above that and vote for acceptance and tolerance and citizenship.

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COMMENTARY: Romney-Ryan asks, "Are you better off?"

I’m sitting in a kayak, staring at a beautiful seascape along the Downeast coast of Maine, wondering if the fabulous seaweed-adorned rock before me might metamorphous into something equally fabulous and more inclined toward sharing sea stories.

That would be cool.

But the rock doesn’t sprout even one magical toe. I contemplate the inanimate thing, still hopeful, and lo and behold the Romney-Ryan campaign visage comes to mind!

That is annoying — right in the middle of my fanciful tranquility.

COMMENTARY: Historic DNC is a continued call for full inclusion

(Editor’s note: San Diego Gay & Lesbian News has an exclusive local media partnership with QNotes in presenting special LGBT community-oriented coverage of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which will be Sept. 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C.)

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COMMENTARY: Let all Californians participate in democracy

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians know better than anyone just how important our ballot initiative system is – after all, we’ve seen it used to take away our rights. It’s an imperfect process, but it’s in all of our interest to make it as fair and inclusive as possible. Only a system that respects the rights of all citizens can be expected to protect those rights.

Right now, millions of Californians are left out of a crucial part of that system. Happily, this major flaw can be fixed with a stroke of Gov. Jerry Brown’s pen.

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COMMENTARY: This election is really about love, marriage and the tie that binds us all

(Editor’s note: Barb Hamp Weicksel of San Diego, whose blogs have appeared on San Diego Gay & Lesbian News and LGBTQ Nation, will now become a regular contributor on SDGLN’s Commentary pages. Her commentaries will appear on Tuesdays.)

We sometimes focus so much on the things that we don’t have, or think we don’t have, or the things that we want, we tend to lose focus on the things that we do have.

I was reminded over the holiday weekend about the things that we have in our lives that bring us joy and make us happy. Mainly; I was reminded about the gift of love.

COMMENTARY: Mitt Romney tells hurricane victims to bootstrap it, call 211

Following his lackluster speech at the Republican National Convention in Florida last week, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney reportedly went off script Friday to make what appeared to be a well-scripted campaign stop in the Hurricane Isaac-flooded town of Jean Lafitte in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.

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Point/Counterpoint: Excited for the Democratic Convention?

(Editor’s note: San Diego Gay & Lesbian News has an exclusive local media partnership with QNotes in presenting special LGBT community-oriented coverage of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which will be Sept. 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C.)

(Two short commentaries from qnotes editor Matt Comer and Bil Browning, founder and editor-in-chief of The Bilerico Project (bilerico.com), a partner in qnotes' special DNC coverage.)

Why I'm Not Excited About Going to the Dem Convention

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COMMENTARY: Paul Ryan swaps unborn babies for vice presidency

Less than two weeks after joining Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign as the GOP’s presumptive vice presidential candidate, U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan has publicly confirmed his erstwhile inner opportunist.

Ryan, who is “very proud of [his] pro-life record,” was faced with a choice between the dangling prize of the vice presidency and remaining true to the source of his pridefulness. Lo and behold, Ryan is surprisingly pro-choice, albeit in a 1-percent sort of way.

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COMMENTARY: The 2012 GOP platform is "a foot on the neck of American citizens"

WASHINGTON — A high ranking official from within the Democratic party on Wednesday labeled the nearly finished 50-page platform document of the Republican National Committee as a “foot on the necks of American citizens.”

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the GOP’s platform policies take specific aim at women’s rights and gay rights, and noted that all efforts in Tampa so far have been orchestrated by far right organizations and lobbyists, leaving moderates within the party no where to turn.