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COMMENTARY: Should auld acquaintance be forgot? No, know your enemies!

2012 brought some historic changes within the gay community. Those of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) are feeling a little more like “Americans” as our God-given rights - which are guaranteed us by the U.S. Constitution – are slowly but surely given back to us.

Still – the media loves those who hate us and will print or air just about any hate-filled rhetoric that will boost their bottom line and keep the haters hating.

Here are my “favorite” anti-gay people and organizations that have spewed their hate this past year – sadly there are many others – these are just the ones who seem to set me off quicker than the rest.

• Dan Cathy – president of Chick-fil-A. With the help of Mike Huckabee, they had their peeps lining up for blocks just to choke down a chicken sandwich, waffle fries and some sweet tea all in the name of hate. But hey – they are married to their first wives and support the biblical definition of the family unit, so how bad can they be?

• Mitt Romney – “Mittens” signed the National Organization for Marriage’s marriage pledge to work aggressively against marriage equality should he somehow reach the White House by writing discrimination into the Constitution with a federal marriage amendment.

• Bryan Fisher of The American Family Association – In August 2012 – Fischer compared the children of gay parents to slaves and called for an “Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households.”

• American Family Association – This is a conservative fundamentalist Christian non-profit organization. They love to state that the Bible “declares that homosexuality is unnatural and sinful.” They also promote the idea that homosexuality is a choice and that sexual orientation can be changed through religious teachings in ex-gay ministries.

• The Boy Scouts of America – In July this organization reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays. Citing support from the parents of the scouts – Deron Smith, national spokesman for the Scouts, said the decision “is absolutely the best policy.” Let’s ask the lesbian moms who can no longer be Cub Scout leaders or the boys who have been forced to leave the scouts or not sign up simply because of who they are.

These groups and their talking heads are all searching for their 15 minutes or are religious zealots who wouldn’t like the “real” Jesus if they sat and had an actual conversation with him. They simply want to sell chicken or religion or both if the money is right. These folks can’t really hurt us but the media insists on putting them front and center to keep the hate-pot stirred.

Sadly, the real hurt comes from family and friends who listen to these talking heads and these preachers and are swayed by anything venomous they have to say. When friends turn away and families no longer find room for you at the table – this is when we feel hurt and pain which is like no other.

It’s a New Year – clean out your Facebook friends, surround yourself with people who love you and support you and stay away from the folks who believe in the power of a chicken sandwich.

There will always be charlatans to spew the hate – know who they are – but surround yourself with those who love you and support you and will pick up a sword and help you defend your right to your life.

Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab, can be found HERE.