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Sage Sweetwater

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· Madam Blaze Starr: Whiskey and Sagebrush Truth in Eights and Aces

· Night of the Foal: The New Riders of the Purple Sage

· Dominga Rio of Cuero

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· Cartier Biscuits and the Labia Tiara

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· Mantecore: The Day Siegfried and Roy Showed Me Past-Life Regression

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· Sweetwater's Western Town & Steakhouse Franchise

· Justin Bieber Up For the Role of Poseidon in Sweetwater's Evil Seed

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· Sweetwater's Sermon: Christmas 2014

· Sweetwater's Brand Storyteller Stockpiled Intellectual Property Collateral

· Sweetwater Puts Out Casting Call For Hollywood Film

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· Tabu the Ghost of Tabor's Mistress

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· Phone Sex Operator Lipstick on the White Collar

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· Hangman and the Trial of Socrates Sixgun Hawkins

· Wild Mustangs

· Prison

· Pecking Order: Doc Holliday's Top Chicken

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We stand for a progressive religious voice - Gay Pride focuses on Religion, Marriage

NEW YORK - Religious groups led the city's gay pride parade on Sunday, lending gravity to an often outrageous event that also featured a jumble of drag queens in feather boas, marching bands, motorcycle-riding lesbians, rugby players and samba dancers.

"We stand for a progressive religious voice," said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of New York City's Congregation Beth Simchat Torah. "Those who use religion to advocate an anti-gay agenda, I believe, are blaspheming God's name."

The annual parade, one of dozens around the world, commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots in which patrons at a Greenwich Village gay bar fought back against a police raid.

At San Francisco's festival, the wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards marked the occasion by splitting with her husband over support for legalized gay marriage.

"I don't know why someone else's marriage has anything to do with me," Elizabeth Edwards said at a news conference before the parade. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."

Kleinbaum, who heads the world's largest predominantly gay synagogue, and the Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, were the New York parade's grand marshals, waving from hers-and-his convertibles.

The march took place days after the New York State Assembly passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, which Gov. Eliot Spitzer supports. Although the bill is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled state Senate anytime soon, parade-goers said they were cheered by the Assembly's action.

"This is one very important step toward full equality for all New Yorkers," Kleinbaum said.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, one of the nation's most prominent openly gay elected officials, said she could not predict when the Senate might approve same-sex marriage.

"All conventional wisdom in New York state on gay marriage is out the window," she said. "I think we are really doing better than anyone would ever have thought we could be doing on this."

As in past years, exhibitionism was also on display as the parade inched down Fifth Avenue and into Greenwich Village. Revelers gyrated in bikini briefs and pranced in spike heels.

But the placement of the Christian, Jewish and Buddhist religious organizations near the head of the march - ahead of AIDS service groups and political advocacy groups - gave them unaccustomed prominence.

A Buddhist group carried signs that said "Construct Dignity in Your Heart" and "Don't Block Your Buddha."

"We're all Buddhas," said Hortense De Castro, a teacher from Manhattan. "It's just a matter of letting it come out."

In San Francisco, Elizabeth Edwards made her remarks on same-sex marriage almost offhandedly after delivering a standard stump speech during a breakfast hosted by the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club. California's presidential primary is Feb. 5, one of the earliest in the nation.

"John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted," she said. "He has a deeply held belief against any form of discrimination, but that's up against his being raised in the 1950s in a rural southern town."

In December, John Edwards said: "It's easy for me to say, civil unions yes, partnership benefits, yes," he said. But on gay marriage, he said, "I'm just not there yet."

New York's parade featured contingents of gay police officers and firefighters, as well as ethnic gay groups including South Asians, Haitians and American Indians.

An Argentinian and Uruguayan group featured an Eva Peron impersonator in a flowing gown.

Tens of thousands of people attended the march. Spectators lining Fifth Avenue included gay people sporting rainbow flags and curious tourists.

Andrew Stanley of Shrewsbury, England, said the march was "very colorful."

"I've never seen one before," he said, "but I think it's a good idea."


Associated Press writer Paul Elias in San Francisco contributed to this report

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Reader Reviews for "Those Who Use Religion to Advocate Anti-Gay Agenda Take A Hike!"

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Reviewed by E T Waldron 6/28/2007
Thanks for sharing Sage, sometimes I wish The Lord would intervene and stop all this religious crap that comes from people who don't know themselves, let alone God!

Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 6/25/2007
good article informative and important--and , by the way-the latest of your works that i read, jesus gave us ponies was delightful to me--
Reviewed by Doug Miller 6/25/2007
Very good article - thank you. It is silly for people to use the bible to justify their unfair discrimination. I don't see religious intolerance targeting places that sell or serve pork. I guess we are more afraid of gay people than of bacon, and we feel perfectly qualified to judge God's intent. A little common sense would solve most of our problems. I look forward to reading more from you - Doug
Reviewed by Flying Fox Ted L Glines 6/25/2007
Ha! Mah ole fav Lavender Outlaw strikes again! Great reportage on this one, Sage. I wonder if any real progress is being made in this issue. The moves from topside feel like tokenism. One can almost hear the backroom politicos, "The Assembly will show support for gay marriage. Everybody will feel good. But we'll block it in the Senate and send it back to the starting line (again) until next year." In the 1950s and 1960s we faced the same stonewalling in the fight for freedom of speech. It took bloody campus battles for us to finally get our point across. When the fights and civil disobedience became too costly for administrations, freedom of speech was passed into law. Perhaps gay marriage may have to follow a similar path. It is such a shame because a gay marriage is strictly a private joining between those two gay individuals. And if God is at all involved, there is not one of those politicians or religious clerics who is qualified to speak for God. Ah, well, in spite of all the side-tracking, we will push forward.
Reviewed by Sandy Knauer 6/24/2007
I read the title and thought for sure this would have been about the AFA.

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