Colorful Marriage Equality Map

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(Oh look, my post ideas for May list suggests I comment on an article in the news – I can do that!)

From Wikipedia:

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Of course, it is my humble opinion that this map will look it’s finest when it is entirely navy blue, but until then…this has been a pretty good week!

19 states with full recognition. 9 more with current stays delaying judicial rulings that have stricken down existing bans.

By the end of 2014, it is entirely possible to have more than half the states in the navy column.

That’s pretty flipping amazing when you consider where we were in 2008, when I thought I would lose one of my best friends because he was SO MAD at California and the Prop 8 results. I couldn’t blame him – that was such a disheartening time. But, I said then, and it has proven to be true, that every defeat is actually a small step forward because it generates more activism in response. Now, looks at us. Sure, it’s the usual pattern of the “liberal elite coastlines” that have filled in first. But hey – it started in Iowa! And there’s New Mexico sticking out over there in the mountain west area. Yes, I am happy my son will be going to college in a navy blue state.

You know what really makes me happy though? Knowing that he will largely live in times when this is no longer an issue. Looking back from the edge of 50 to when I was 18, I can tell you he will nearly completely forget what a struggle this has been. It’s happened while he was an unaware child (though he did know about what happened in ’08 and couldn’t fathom why folks were voting on the right of people to marry), and most likely by the time he really starts paying attention to social issues such as these, it will be done.

He will look back from age 50 and say “Wow, this was up for debate?!”

Equality

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So unless you were hiding under a rock, you were at least marginally aware that we’ve just wrapped up two weeks’ worth of political party conventions. The every four years parties to tell us why we should support your party.

Perhaps equally obvious to you if you know me at all is that this week’s DNC convention was a little more agreeable to me than last weeks GOP event 🙂

You probably also know that what finally dragged me away from the GOP were social issues, specifically the issue of marriage equality.

Therefore it will come as NO SHOCK to know that MY favorite speech of the two weeks was not all that obvious and not even in prime time. There were surely many tear inducing, cheer inducing, goose bump inducing moments this week. But this one – this one spoke to my heart and the issue that is more important to me than all the others.

I’m a sixth-generation Iowan, an Eagle Scout, and I was raised by my two moms, Jackie and Terry.

People want to know what it’s like having lesbian parents. I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m awesome at putting the seat down. Otherwise, we’re like any other family. We eat dinner, we go to church, we have chores. But some people don’t see it that way. When I was 12, watching the 2004 Republican convention, I remember politicians talking about protecting marriage from families like mine.

Now, supporting a view of marriage as between a man and woman isn’t radical. For many people, it’s a matter of faith. We respect that. Watching that convention on TV, though, I felt confused, frustrated. Why didn’t they think my family was a real family?

Governor Romney says he’s against same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and a father. I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine. Because the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us; that’s what makes a family. Mr. Romney, my family is just as real as yours.

President Obama understands that. He supports my moms’ marriage. President Obama put his political future on the line to do what was right. Without his leadership, we wouldn’t be here. President Obama is fighting for our families — all of our families. He has our backs. We have his.

— Zach Wahls

Dear Organized Religion

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Just a short note to ask you very very nicely to please, please stop wasting your time cruising the neighborhood knocking on doors. Please save the paper used to print your pamphlets that you drop on our doorsteps. Your visit or your glossy note card are not going to convince anyone who doesn’t already attend church to actually start going. This isn’t the 10th century. At this point in time, thanks to the beauty of – well, EVERYTHING – people in my part of the world already KNOW what’s out there. Also? The vast majority of us who are not involved in a church are not staying away because we are ignorant. Oh, we KNOW. We have, in fact, chosen to NOT GO ON PURPOSE. A huge reason? Well, that which you are doing right there by knocking on my door. We resent being “recruited” or “converted” or your attempts to “save” us. We are pretty much quite happy already. Not searching. No wondering what’s going to happen to our souls when we die. Nope, absolutely fine and dandy thank ya very much. We lead our lives with a healthy blend of reason and faith that does not require us to sit in a pew and pray on Sunday. Now, we know you mean well…but at the same time it is pretty damn creepy that you need to knock on doors like a salesman or a politician trolling for donations. ANY religion that thinks it is necessary to convert people – implying that theirs is the Only True One is going to earn much more of my derision than the ones that leave me alone.

On the other hand, I used to not really care one way or another about the glossy sales cards. They arrive in my mailbox or get tucked onto my door and end up right in the trash. Whatever. But then, I read this post over at Diatribes and Ovations on just that topic and he made an EXCELLENT point which has changed how I view those fliers. They DO almost always say “Everyone is welcome!” I figured they were dropping these cards around to alert people who might be new to the area or perhaps the church is new to the area etc etc. But, they drop these EVERYWHERE so that means they don’t discriminate, right? RIGHT?! Uh huh. Something tells me that about 50% of the ones I receive would not be so quick to accept the lovely same sex couple and their two adorable children who live across the street from me. An attorney in the DA’s office and an interior designer. They host block parties and walk their oldest to the local elementary school every morning along with many other neighbors. They have lived here as long as I have and as far as I can see are accepted up and down the block. And yet – they would not be welcome at the church around the corner would they? Not all of them, that’s for sure. That realization has now made your unsolicited mailers even more unwanted.

Please, just stop. Stop it all. I’ve always let you be happy in your chosen paths and faiths,  leave me alone to be happy in mine. You know the drill right? Freedom OF and freedom FROM religion please.

Respectfully (I’m trying anyway), Me

Love and the law: An adoption story. | Be gay about it.

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Love and the law: An adoption story. | Be gay about it..

Not the first time I’ve linked to their site – but this may be the most important one – at the end, you will see why FULL EQUALITY is so so so important.

Passing of Prop 8 turns out to be a spark for progress!

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This weekend I posted the following Twitters:

The conversation is now national news and this is GOOD for the cause.
Controversial position of the day: passage of prop 8 sparks debate

Just reverse those sentences to get the proper order of that thought bubble 🙂

I wanted to point out that I made that observation BEFORE Markos did! Yep, I was just about to expound on that thought here but stopped for a moment to check the latest front page posts on DailyKos and saw this one. Looks like Markos saw the same thing I did:

But I suspect history will show that the defeat of Prop 8, rather than halt momentum toward marriage equality (as I once feared), will prove the spark that launches the movement nationwide.

In my previous post election observations, I focused on the Presidential election results only. That was partly because the passage of Prop 8 had me truly seeing red with anger and sadness. Sure, there was at least a sliver of silver lining to see that it barely passed vs eight years ago when Prop 22 was passed with over 60% of the vote. Things ARE slowly getting better on the issue of acceptance of gays, but it’s still a movement in it’s infancy compared to the civil rights movement for racial equality. But it was still so hard to see. My state failed and I was very disappointed. Gays across the country were deeply hurt because they looked to socially ‘liberal’ California to be the first Big State to grant them full equality under the law. I felt that pain and took some lumps from my more passionate friends. I didn’t mind though, because I know how hopeless they must have felt. And yeah, my state did fail. As the anger subsided though, I also resisted ranting about it because there was plenty enough post game analysis and gnashing of teeth and finger pointing going on and I didn’t want to pile on especially using initial exit poll data and arm chair analysis that was perhaps not entirely accurate. And I wasn’t going to support the piling on of one minority group by another as was also building up. Then I saw something happening. It started with a couple of quick mentions during extended election coverage on a few networks. Then Keith Olbermann did his Special Comment that I posted last week. Rachel Maddow adressed it. It was discussed on two days in a row on The View. Of course I heard a lot on Air America but that is to be expected I suppose. But then the night I sent that twitter it was because I had just watched a full hour of Larry King on the topic of gay marriage alone. I’d received invitations to about 5 different Facebook groups and new Twitter accounts to organize and combat Prop 8. I saw messages flying around about demonstrations being organized for Saturday. Never in my lifetime has the topic of gay marriage been covered on such a national level all over every media format around. And THAT is when I knew that passing Prop 8 was GOOD for the overall cause! Because conversation is how this progresses. Because for every person against marriage equality purely for religious reasons (minds that I don’t think may ever be opened), there is someone like my boyfriend who just has not quite been able to wrap his mind around this yet. Not because of religious belief, but just a cultural history of Asians not being terribly accepting of *anything* too different. They can be a rather judegmental lot 🙂 He concedes that marriage equality will happen, he’s just not ready for it yet. However, for someone who does not even vote, and who was literally kicked out of my house on election night for his position on this issue (!! Yeah, I can be stupidly irrational about this topic !!), he keeps on asking me about it. So we talk and I try to come up with points from the many discussions I’ve heard that are not grounded in judgement or religion. It’s a conversation that is going on all over the country and it’s minds like my Sweet Prince’s that can be opened. I do believe as Kos does that it WILL happen. The combination of a real organization of the movement that he details and the conversations all over the country that are taking place will be just what is needed. Marriage equality activitsts will mark the passage of Prop 8 as the turning point towards acheivement of their goal. As the Men’s Wherehouse guy says “I guarantee it!”

Freedom To Marry Week

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** Something has been goofy with WordPress! This is my 3rd attempt to post this with the first two being totally LOST! Hard to write with the same passion when one is annoyed beyond words!!!**

Kelly O at O for Obsessive has been blogging about Freedom To Marry Week. As I posted in a comment on her site today, with a little more notice and preparation I would loved to have supported this in the same way. Instead, I will point you to her blog and to the main FTM site as this is an issue near and dear to my heart. Her posts are all great reads + one great Wanda Sykes video. I particularly love today’s introducing a theory from another blogger that the term we should use is “homo-prejudice” vs “homophobia”. Very worth reading the original argument and something to ponder. I happen to agree 100%.

I also stole this from her site and just had to post it here since the kitten is just too damn cute for words and happens to look a lot like my Amber:
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All together now: AWWWWWWWWWWWWW.