Thursday, December 31, 2009

In NH, Bells are Ringing for Me and My ______ (fill in the blank)

Tomorrow, Jan. 1, 2010, bells will be ringing for many LGBTQ couples in NH, the fifth state of the Union to OK marriage equality:

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A handful of gay couples plan to celebrate the New Year and New Hampshire’s law legalizing gay marriage by exchanging their vows in front of the Statehouse just after midnight.

Mo Baxley of New Hampshire Freedom to Marry said Wednesday that a few couples plan to get married while others who got married in other states will celebrate with them.

Two years ago, about three dozen gay couples celebrated the state’s new civil union law by entering into unions at the Statehouse. The new marriage law grants no new rights to gays, but eliminates the separate status for civil unions.

Marriage equality as a civil right seems to be on the march in 2009 and now 2010.

Click here for more.

What is true about all these changes is that we will now know what to call our relationships: a marriage, not a "civil union," which is language that doesn't quite capture what this relationship is all about.



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Karl Rove's Second Divorce

The man who engineered not only Bush's wins for the Presidency, but other people's win in politics, is a "work of art," and not of the good kind. The hypocrisy of this man is stunning. The supporter of "traditional marriage" is getting not his first but second (2nd) divorce. From

Karl Rove is an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, citing "5,000 years of understanding the institution of marriage" as his justification. He also famously engineered multiple referenda to incorporate a ban on same-sex marriage into various states' constitutions in 2004 in order to ensure that so-called ""Christian conservatives" and "value voters" who believe in "traditional marriage laws" would turn out and help re-elect George W. Bush. Yet, like so many of his like-minded pious comrades, Rove seems far better at preaching the virtues of "traditional marriage" to others and exploiting them for political gain than he does adhering to those principles in his own life:

Karl Rove granted divorce in Texas

Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, has been granted a divorce in Texas after 24 years of marriage, a family spokesperson said. Dana Perino, the spokesperson, said: “Karl Rove and his wife, Darby, were granted a divorce last week. The couple came to the decision mutually and amicably, and they maintain a close relationship and a strong friendship" . . . A family friend told POLITICO: "After 24 years of marriage, many of which were spent under incredible stress and strain during the White House years, the Roves came to a mutual decision that they would end the marriage."


Even though Jesus says "thou shalt not get a divorce," according to the Gospel writer Matthew, Karl Rove, who engineered those "neat" constitutional amendments banning marriage equality is getting his second (2nd) divorce.


Click here.

I get so tired of this political game that ruins people's lives.

It is time for marriage equality throughout the US of A.


Malawi and Senegal, along with Uganda: The Oppression of LGBTQ People

Along with the politics of Uganda, which are ugly in regards to how LGBTQ are being treated, with the possibility of death, there are stories from Malawi and Senegal, where people who are LGBTQ are also being oppressed.

In Malawi, a couple who "wed" just a few days ago have been arrested (from and Reuters):

LILONGWE (Reuters) - Two Malawian men became the first gay couple to publicly tie the knot, the Nation newspaper reported on Monday, risking arrest in the conservative southern African state where homosexuality is illegal.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza were married in a traditional but symbolic ceremony in southern Malawi on Saturday, attracting hundreds of curious onlookers.

"We met at church where we both pray and we have been together for the last five months ... I have never been interested in a woman," Monjeza told The Nation newspaper.

Homosexuality is banned in Malawi and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.

And in Senegal (Google news):

A group of 24 men in Senegal are under a criminal investigation for alleged "homosexual activities", a police source said Monday in the west African country, where homosexuality remains illegal.

Officers arrested the men on December 24 at a house in the seaside resort of Saly, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Dakar, for allegedly engaging in homosexual acts and holding an unauthorised party, the police source said.

There is also the oppression of LGBTQ people in Iraq, Iran, and other countries in the Middle East, which tend to be conservative when it comes to LGBTQ people.

The wisdom and courage it takes to be "out" and to be who we are (wisdom being that when more of us are out, then it is understood that we are not such a minority, and the courage is coming and remaining out), is becoming more obvious each and every day, month, and year.



Monday, December 28, 2009

A Wrap

A daily wrap:
* There is marriage among LGBT people in Argentina! Argentina? Yeah, Argentina.

Two Argentine men were joined Monday in Latin America's first same-sex marriage, traveling to the southernmost tip of the Americas to find a welcoming spot to wed.

Gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre were married in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego state, exchanging rings at an informal ceremony witnessed by state and federal officials.

"My knees didn't stop shaking," said the 41-year-old Di Bello. "We are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry."

The slim, dark-haired couple previously tried to marry in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires but were thwarted by city officials citing conflicting judicial rulings. Argentina's Constitution is silent on whether marriage must be between a man and a woman, effectively leaving the matter to state and city officials.

This time around, they traveled to a remote seaside fishing village at the end of South America that is closer to Antarctica than Buenos Aires. The ceremony took place during the region's brief summer thaw.

Tierra del Fuego Gov. Fabiana Rios said in a statement that gay marriage "is an important advance in human rights and social inclusion and we are very happy that this has happened in our state."

Click here for more.

So Argentina, a very CAtholic country, has gay marriage.


* From Minneapolis' Star Tribune:

Minnesota’s next U.S. Marshal will be Minneapolis’ openly gay Assistant Police Chief Sharon Lubinski. Her confirmation by the U.S. Senate was announced Monday morning by Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, who recommended her.

Lubinkski was formally nominated for the post in October by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in a flurry of pre-holiday legislative activity last week.

A good day for marriage equality AND employment.

And this from the NYT:

* One key to victory for gay politicians has been building reputations in their communities as candidates well qualified for the job. Voters who may be uncomfortable with homosexuality in the abstract are often willing to vote for a gay individual they feel they know, political strategists said.

During her first race for sheriff in 2004, Lupe Valdez, a former federal agent, won a bitter campaign in Dallas County in which her Republican opponent, Danny Chandler, made sure voters knew she was gay and accused her of promoting a gay agenda. It was a year in which Republicans, led by President George W. Bush at the top of the ticket, romped to victory in Texas, and same-sex marriage was a hot topic that favored Republicans.

Yet Ms. Valdez still won a narrow victory. When Mr. Chandler tried to draw attention to her sexuality late in the race, she followed the advice of strategists from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund in Washington. She pointed out she had always been honest about her sexual orientation and asked what it had to do with law enforcement.

Last year, after four years in the public eye, Ms. Valdez — a 62-year-old former agent for the Customs Service, where she did undercover, drug and fraud investigations — easily defeated her Republican challenger, Lowell Cannaday, for a second term. The main issue was her handling of the jails, not her sexuality.

“It’s like anything else,” Ms. Valdez said in an interview. “When it becomes close and personal, it’s not hateful anymore.”

Being honest in marriage, in jobs, and in politics as LGBTQ people.

Quite a day.



The Unbiblical Biblical Families

Picking up on yesterday's blog entry:
There are as many ways of being a "family" as there are families and, more rightly "households" (there is no word for family in koine or ancient Greek, which is the New Testament) in the Bible.

Mary: unwed at the time of conception, not married to her betrothed, Joseph;

Abraham: more than one woman in his life: there was Sarah, but there was also Hagar, who brought Ishmael into the world.

In the next few days, we'll be exploring how the families or households in the Bible do not even closely equate to the American 1950s model of the "nuclear family," which is neither traditional or old, but just the latest way of being a family for some people in this world.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holy Family Sunday: In Celebration of All Kinds of Families!

This is the Sunday in the lectionary cycle of Protestant and Catholic churches that the Holy Family is remembered. It was a rocky start, all things considered, with lots of tension in the story with an unwed mother conceiving a child, a shocked earthly father-to-be who was anxious about all that was going on, and God who seemed to know what was going on in this unfolding epic story.

So here is my dismay: knowing the raucous way that God came to earth in human form, I read the Catholic Diocese newsletter this morning that showed me how out of step, out of place, out of time, the Catholic Church is in parts of this world, namely the nation's capital:

In recent years the Gay community has insisted that since marriage is just about two people being happy they should be allowed to marry since they deserve this happiness too. While Gay marriage should be opposed, it remains true that opponents are caught a bit flat footed when children are now only a way of “accessorizing” marriage and happiness is the overarching principle in the minds of most Americans. Only if children are an essential end of marriage does limiting marriage to heterosexuals really win the day.

Click here for more.

First of all, happiness in marriage or civil union is not such a bad thing. Why not strive for happiness, or to use biblical language, "peace, joy, hope, and love" in marriage? Why can't two people who are of the same sex find the same thing as heterosexual couples do in marriage or unions? Or are we to have disturbed marriages just for the sake or producing children for the good of the Church?

Second: children are the end of marriage? Really? I just recounted the story of the unmarried couple Mary and Joseph above. They were not married. God impregnated Mary--if you believe in Virgin birth--who was not betrothed yet. Again: they were not married. End of story.

And what of the gay or lesbian couples who, like heterosexual couples, feel the call, the desire, to have children...and not as accessories?

Or what of the heterosexual couple who, like the same sex couple, do not feel the call to bear children into the world?

If the Catholic Church is interested in pulling in more of us who are self-identified as LGBTQ, then there has to be a change in such stances as taken by the leaders of the Catholic Church in DC.

"Here's to the Holy Family, which started out of wedlock!" What else is there to say?

Let's celebrate today all the ways we can be family.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

All is quiet here.

We had a nice slow beginning this morning after staying out at church until 1 last night (this morning), and now it is quiet before getting together with the kids and their mom for dinner.

Merry Christmas, one and all!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let's Get This Down Again...

On, there was this letter to the editor that reminds me of how many people read Scripture in regards to what is written in regarding men and women with other people, and read into that the modern practices and understandings of sexuality in the 21st century.

Letter: Congratulations to Warrensburg school

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I want to take this moment to commend the administration, faculty, employees and students at the Warrensburg Central School District Junior-Senior High School on being the recipients of a Bronze Medal from the U.S. News & World Report news agency. More than 21,000 public schools in 48 states were analyzed to find the very best high schools in the country. New York, with more than 1000 schools eligible to be considered for this analysis, received 23 Gold, 30 Silver and 69 Bronze Medals.

Warrensburg Junior-Senior High School was the only school in Warren County and one of 69 schools in New York state that were awarded a Bronze Medal. It was through your hard work, dedication andcommitment that this school district received this prestigious recognition.

The ability to succeed can only be achieved through a strong educational system as evident in this district. As a parent of school-age children, I want to extend to you my deepest appreciation for a job well done.

James F. Carrion


Citing only some ‘rules' is hypocrisy


In justifying discrimination against gay marriage, we have been repeatedly reminded of the "unchanging truth" about marriage allegedly spoken by Jesus Christ (Mark 10:6-9), "that God made male and female from the beginning and that the two shall be one flesh."

If this means that gay marriage is prohibited, then doesn't "what God has joined together, let not man put asunder" make divorce equally a "no-no?"

In fact, Mark 10:9 makes it quite clear that since marriage is for life, no state or federal law shall be construed to permit divorce.

If you cite the Bible as your ultimate authority for "pleasing your creator," please remember that marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife (II Samuel 3:7; I Kings 11:3; and II Chronicles 11:21), that if a wife is found not to be a virgin on her wedding night, she may be stoned to death (Deuteronomy 22:20-21), and that marriage between a believer and a nonbeliever shall be forbidden (Numbers 25:1-9; Nehemiah 10:30).

Many have cited the Bible as referring to homosexuality as "an abomination." But then again, so is eating shrimp! (Leviticus 11:12) Are there degrees of "abomination?" (Fortunately we may eat locusts, beetles and grasshoppers - Leviticus 11:22.)

And, of course, aside from the hypocrisy of citing some biblical "rules" while ignoring hundreds of others, along with Jesus' abominations to "judge not" and to "love ye one another," let us remember that our country specifically separates the powers of church and state and grants all citizens equal rights under the law.



Click here for more.

What is sad is that Jesus made it nigh to impossible for many people to get a divorce, and yet in my own denominations divorce is understood to be a sad occurrence but not a reason to withhold ordination among those who are ministers, deacons, or elders. Yet the ordination of LGBT people, which is not directly referred to or by Jesus, is not allowed.

The other issue at hand is also the way we understand the authority of Scripture, and how it is understood within the context of various faith communities.

Happy Advent!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our Unions and Marriages

Last night I read of the case of Canadian MP Brison who has a Christmas card made that shows he and his partner, along with his dog, and the kind of backlash it is creating in Canada as I open a card from a former parishioner showing she and her husband with their grandchildren on their laps. In other words: heterosexual pictures on Christmas cards=o.k. homosexual pictures on Christmas cards= not o.k.


Meanwhile, as other cities in the United States, like D.C., are proud of their accomplishment of having same sex marriages approved by the city council, in Mexico City--slightly larger than D.C.--same sex marriage is approved.

Good news for this hemisphere.

Again: until all the world is safe for couples to wed or be in some kind of union--hetero- and homo- alike--then there is work to do.



Monday, December 21, 2009

Gareth Thomas: Formerly Married, Rugby Star in the UK, Now Out

As many other LGBT websites--towleroad, advocate, and reported, Gareth Thomas, a rugby star in the UK, is gay.

What is meaningful in his story is the story of his now former-wife, Jenna, whom he married when they were both younger. Having been married myself, I find their story eerily the same as mine, in which Gareth and I both threw ourselves whole heartily into our heterosexual marriage, hoping beyond hope that it would change us, or we could change ourselves in that context...but being who we are, as God created us, won out in the end.

Here is Jenna's incredibly moving words:

'This was who he was, something I could never have changed, something that was nothing to do with his feelings for me as a woman.

'I knew that whatever he had done had not been done with malice towards me and I could see how much he was suffering and how sorry he was for hurting me. Gareth was still the same Gareth I'd fallen in love with. He was just as loving and caring as he was before. He didn't change at all, so for a month nothing happened and both of us thought that somehow we could stay together because we depended so much on each other.'

But Jemma was in turmoil. After a month of drifting along, as if nothing had changed in their marriage, she returned from France to Wales.

'I had to tell my parents because I just didn't know what to do. I stayed up with my dad Trevor talking until 3am and I told him everything,' says Jemma.

'I remember my father saying: "Poor lad, what must he have been going through all these years." There was no anger or aggression, just enormous sympathy for both of us.

'I knew I still loved Gareth, but that our marriage could never survive this, no matter how much we both wanted it to.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

2 African American Pastors in D.C. FOR Equal Marriage

In the Washington Post on-line, there was this op-ed on/by two African American pastors in DC who are pro-equal marriage, Dennis and Christine Wiley. While being pro-equal marriage was not easy, and there have been those who have objected, they have endured:

"After that first ceremony in our church, we were pleased and relieved; many members and guests told us how beautiful the service had been. But not everyone who attended shared this feeling. After most of the guests left, one longtime parishioner approached us, shaking. In a voice filled with rage, she asked how we could desecrate the sanctuary with such an ungodly act. She vowed to no longer be a member of our church.

After leaving our congregation, she contacted denominational leaders and local newspapers, including The Washington Post, to complain about our "immoral" behavior. She also took us to court in an unsuccessful attempt to recoup two years of tithes because, in her opinion, we had misled her in presenting ourselves as a "real" Baptist church.

For us, the courage to perform same-sex unions is in keeping with the proudest traditions of our Baptist and congregational heritage. Within the Baptist tradition of freedom and autonomy, Covenant Baptist Church has a long history of progressive ministry emphasizing social justice, service to the community and inclusion."

Having lived through the constant barrage of insults by citizens of Henderson as an out-gay minister at First Presbyterian Church of Henderson, I can relate to the hysteria of the people who are less-than-welcoming of the Christ within all of us, as well as the perseverance to endure and live the Gospel fully and openly.

Click here for more.



Friday, December 18, 2009

Washington, DC: The Mayor Signed It, and We're Counting 30 days, 29 days, 28 days...

Counting here.

Here's the news from

Fenty signs gay marriage bill

In a raucous signing ceremony at a northwest Washington church, Mayor Fenty officially legalized same-sex marriage in the District, distributing ceremonial pens among the Council members standing behind him. The law now will go through a period of review consisting of 30 days in which Congress is in session. If the law passes that hurdle -- as is widely expected -- the first gay marriages in the District could take in late winter or early spring of 2010.


So I'm counting days...



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Countries: Friends or Foes

Portugal is passing a bill that allows gays and lesbians to marry, but Uganda is stuck in the position of voting for a bill tht makes being LGBTQ a crime, punishable by death.

Things are changing!



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And Life Happens

I'm in the hospital with my son, who has appendicitis.

Just returned from Oregon, visiting my folks, only to find out half way across the states that he was in the hospital.

Amazing security to get in.

He is well. Sleeping. It is 1:30 A.M. I will join him soon.



Washington, DC Does It Right! #6 for Marriage for All

Congrats to the leaders of Washington, DC! Same sex couples can wed in DC:


The legislation would allow gay couples from anywhere in the country to marry in the city. Those couples who live in the District would be entitled to all rights afforded to heterosexual married couples under District laws.

This is #6 in the nation.

Nice way to end the year.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mayor of Houston: Ms. Parker Wins!

I'm in Portland, OR, watching the news, when what should be reported on news in PORTLAND that Annise Parker has won the election in the 4th largest city. I'm in Portland, OR, with a gay mayor, live in Chapel Hill, NC with a gay mayor, and am toasting a drink to the lesbian mayor-elect of Houston, TX!


May there be a day when this is not interesting news!

Pace, B

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rick Warren, Uganda, and Gays

How does he do it? How does Rick Warren do it? Does he try to say and do things to incite anger among civilized people?

Does Rick Warren not understand that what Uganda is planning is nothing less than a kind of genocide?

And he is a Minister? Where would Jesus find such treatment of anyone possible?


Influential megachurch pastor Rick Warren (pictured) has been linked to yet more of the forces behind Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, according to Talk to Action, a blog devoted to scrutinizing the religious right.

“A charismatic network overseen by Warren's doctoral dissertation adviser, C. Peter Wagner, has played a major role in politically organizing and inspiring the Ugandan legislators who have spearheaded the anti-gay bill,” says a Talk to Action research report authored by Bruce Wilson and released Wednesday.

Rick Warren, please stop now.

And stop the people in Uganda in doing something that is genocidal.

Pace, B

Monday, December 7, 2009

Uganda, Iraq, Iran: The New Killing Fields of LGBT People?

Watching and listening to the news coming out of Uganda and the bill that is being debated about the death penalty for anyone being gay, and the killing or brutalization of gay men in Iraq and Iran, I keep on thinking about my own children and how they are haring news that people who are LGBT are being brutalized and possibly killed for simply being LGBT.

And what was sad was that nothing is coming out of our Churches. The Archbishop of Canterbury? Nothing. The leadership of the PCUSA? UMC? ELCA? I've read nothing. Not even the UCC.


Williams, incidentally, has refused to condemn Uganda's "kill the gays" bill:

"In response to public pressure, Williams’ office said three days ago (3 December) that 'attempts to publicly influence either the local church or political opinion in Uganda would be divisive and counter productive. Our contacts, at both national and diocesan level, with the local church will therefore remain intensive but private'. While most accept the Archbishop’s sincerity in opposing the Ugandan legislation, many suggest that he is being naïve about his tactics and giving the impression that Christian leaders will not speak up for gay people’s human rights. His decision to question Glasspool’s appointment, while saying nothing on Uganda, is likely to fuel such criticisms."

This is beyond sad...

Someone needs to say something against this cruelty...


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Second OUT Gay/Lesbian Bishop

In this morning there is the story of the second OUT lesbian/gay bishop in the Episcopal Church:

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elected a lesbian as assistant bishop Saturday, the second openly gay bishop in the global Anglican fellowship, which is already deeply fractured over the first.

The Rev. Mary Glasspool of Baltimore needs approval from a majority of dioceses across the church before she can be consecrated as assistant bishop in the Los Angeles diocese.

Here's the thing about this news: she is the second OUT Bishop, and the important word here is OUT. There have been countless LGBT bishops in the Episcopal Church, along with the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran Church (ELCA, and more), and the Methodist Church (UMC)...and among all of our churches there are countless LGBT priests, pastors, and ministers of the Word and Sacrament.

THAT this is news is sad, only because we are still only learning, and taking baby steps, at being honest and truthful.

Sad, but happy day.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm Back...

Since I returned from 10 days in the wilderness of the Sinai, a true wilderness wandering, I jumped right into Thanksgiving, followed by finishing a book, Beyond Accessibility: Toward Fully Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Faith Communities (Seabury Press, 2010), I am finally returning to some sense of normality in my schedule.

Here's this wonderful story about a couple of sweet men and their family celebrating their marriage from the enjoy! And to the couple, Mazel Tov!

WHILE some people describe their family as a unit, Stephen Davis and Jeffrey Busch’s family is nowhere near as tidy as that.

Skip to next paragraph
Shana Sureck for The New York Times

Theirs is more like a family complex. Mr. Busch, 46, and Mr. Davis, 58, live with their 7-year-old son, Elijah Davis Busch, and Mr. Busch’s mother, Iris Busch, in a contemporary home in Wilton, Conn.

At their dinner table on any given night you might also meet Monica Pearl, Mr. Busch’s longtime best friend, and her 8-year-old daughter, Vita Aaron Pearl. Mr. Busch is Vita’s donor dad or, as Vita’s friends sometimes say, “doughnut dad.”

Mr. Busch and Mr. Davis are both very funny, yet strict about three things: they do not eat meat, watch television or kill insects. “Jeffrey always stood up for the underdog, the mosquito,” recalled Jordan Busch, his older brother. “He’s the person who will find somebody on the street who doesn’t have Thanksgiving dinner and invite them to the house.”

Mr. Busch, now an administrative law judge for the New York City Department of Finance, and Mr. Davis, who works in the libraries of Columbia University, overseeing a group that digitally preserves rare manuscripts and other materials, met 20 years ago in a West Village restaurant. Mr. Busch was dining with Ms. Pearl when he made eye contact with Mr. Davis, who was alone at the bar. “I felt that shiver,” Mr. Busch recalled. “His gaze was so steady, and his eyes were warm. They looked at me like they knew me.”

He eventually walked over to Mr. Davis with this opening line: “Where did you go to school?”

Mr. Davis was startled by Mr. Busch in every way. “He looked like this sweet, innocent-but-not-innocent kid,” he said. “There was something riveting about him, off-kilter and different and warm.” Mr. Busch invited him to go dancing later that night. The bookish Mr. Davis never dances. But he said yes.

The next morning Mr. Busch returned to Boston, where he then lived, and wrote a note saying he would like to see him again. Mr. Davis replied that he did not think they could be together for three reasons: they lived in different cities, there was their age gap and Mr. Busch was on the rebound from another relationship.

Mr. Busch called Mr. Davis the next time he was in New York anyway, and visited him in his apartment in Morningside Heights. “He had floor-to-ceiling books,” Mr. Busch remembered. “He was so well read. I thought, ‘I’m not going to be able to coast in this relationship.’ ”

They talked for hours that visit, and on the phone every night after. “Stephen allows conversation to go absolutely anywhere, which makes it really fun,” Mr. Busch said.

Mr. Busch wanted to move in together, but Mr. Davis suggested that they wait for their infatuation to pass. “I wanted to make sure it didn’t wear off too soon,” he said. So they dated long distance. After two years, both realized that “the glow” was “never, never passing.” said Mr. Davis, who in 1991 began moving books to make room for Mr. Busch to move in.

Mr. Busch did all the cooking and brought home all kinds of homeless things, like 60 abandoned potted trees from a nearby office that had closed. “We had to crouch really low to walk through the apartment," Mr. Busch recalled, but Mr. Davis never balked. He doesn’t ever roll his eyes, Mr. Busch said.

In the late 1990s, Mr. Busch started talking about having a child. “Jeff is daring in a way that stuns me sometimes," said Mr. Davis, who drafted a list of reasons why they shouldn’t.

But after a year, Mr. Busch said, Mr. Davis agreed to follow him on this adventure, just as he had followed him onto the dance floor. “He keeps making these leaps of faith, again and again," said Mr. Busch, who is also a real estate agent.

They were soon reviewing profiles of potential egg donors, choosing one who identified herself as a personal trainer and prom queen. “Science can do what natural selection never would have done,” Mr. Busch said. “She never would have dated me.”

Two years later they found a surrogate mother to carry the frozen fertilized eggs. “We each took an embryo and defrosted it — one of them took,” Mr. Busch said, noting that they do not know which of them is Eli’s biological father. “We like that mystery.”

Mr. Davis, who installed a camera by Eli’s crib so he could watch from work, now says, “I never knew I liked children until we had Eli."

In August 2004, Mr. Busch and Mr. Davis were among a group of same-sex couples who sued Connecticut for the right to marry, a case the group won in October 2008. “Marriage is so much more than a collection of rights and privileges," Mr. Busch said. “Nobody says, ‘Oh, I want to civil union you.’ ”

He added: “Stephen loves me in the marrying kind of way. He loves me when I’m unlovable.”

On Nov. 29, 200 people attended their wedding at Temple Israel in Westport, Conn., where Rabbi Leah Cohen performed the ceremony.

As the couple, dressed identically, walked the aisle, Eli played a minuet on the cello, fearlessly blazing his way through squeaky notes.

The synagogue was just a few miles from where Mr. Busch spent his childhood. “Growing up, I thought I’d have to move 10,000 miles away,” Mr. Busch said. “That’s what it meant to be gay then.”

Now the couple are not only living in his hometown, but Mr. Busch’s mother, 72, shares the house with them. When they walk in the door, she asks, “Have you eaten?”

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Back Home...

Well, my body is back home. My mind and spirit are whooshing back to the States as I write this.

It was an amazing pilgrimage.

More to come.



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Made it!

I am alive and well in Jerusalem!

Off tomorrow to begin the trek to the Desert!



Friday, November 13, 2009

Melody Barnes: Domestic Policy Advisor in Obama Admin. Pro-Equal Rights in Marriage?

One more thing: Melody Barnes, Domestic Policy Advisor in Obama Admin., may be speaking truth about equal rights to marriage. From the

Barnes responded: “I appreciate your question, and I also belong to United Church of Christ. And I guess I would respond in a couple of different ways. One, I appreciate, I really appreciate your frustration and your disappointment with the president’s position on this issue. He has taken a position, and at the same time, he has also articulated the number of ways that he wants to try and move the ball forward for gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans, including signing the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and a whole host of other things that we’ve started to do to model as a leader in terms of what the federal government is doing, as well as to encourage changes both in the military, in the workplace, and certainly with regard to hate crimes. I accept that that is very different than what you are talking about. And what you’re talking about is something that is quite fundamental.

“With regard to my own views, those are my own views. And I come to my experience based on what I’ve learned, based on the relationships that I’ve had with friends and their relationships that I respect, the children that they are raising, and that is something that I support. But at the same time, when I walk into the White House, though I work to put all arguments in front of the president, as you say, I also work for the president. And we have very robust policy conversations, very robust constitutional conversations with the White House counsel, and others about these issues, and we’ll see what happens from there. At this point, all I can say to you is that his plans right now are to move the ball forward in the ways that I’ve described. He hasn’t articulated a shift in his position there, and that is something that at this moment I accept as it being, it is what it is, even as we continue to have a national, or we continue to have a conversation with him about it.”

She said.

I believe it.



On Pilgrimage

I will not be adding many, if any, new blog posts for the next 10 days. I am putting on my other hat as the Dir. of the School of the Pilgrim, going on pilgrimage for 10 days in the Sinai desert: part camel, part jeep, part walking. It is going to be an exciting time as I join four other veteran pilgrims who know this land better than I do. It will be time with the desert, the Desert Fathers, and the Desert Mothers.

Quick question/poll: how many of you folks who read this blog would be interested in an LGBTQ and straight allies pilgrimage, 7-10 days, walking to Santiago de Compostela, or in Ireland, in 2010? The hope is to remind us of the spiritual journey we are on, each and every one of us. If there is enough interest, then I will formally work on plans for such a pilgrimage, a pilgrimage of coming out, in 2010.



A Case for Civil Marriage for All

Saw this on, and I think I've seen it posted on other web and blog sites. It is filmed in NY, as a constituent of Sen. Maziarz of NY Senate is asked by Ann (filmed by her wife Beth), about how is going to vote for the marriage equality bill in NY. She is eloquent, rational, logical, and as she states often, she is asking for a vote for CIVIL and not a religious marriage, as guaranteed by the law re: equality of all people under the law.

He, in return, is polite, doesn't answer her question except to say he either believes or feels that marriage is between one man and one woman.

But I don't care about what he feels or believes: I want him to do the serious work of thinking through the implications of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, etc., which guarantees us the right to marry, just like any straight person(s) can. For $40, straight people can get a marriage certificate and have all these laws that protect couples, especially in hard times. Over 1,000 laws. Meanwhile, we in our partnered state get nada; null; nothing; zero; air.

Come on, people: think this one through and let's act on it.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Catholic Church and DC Same Sex Marriage Law: Stalemate?

In the Washington Post this morning, an article on the Catholic Church threatening to withdraw certain services to D.C. if the same sex marriage law becomes, well, law.

Communities of faith do this all the time. PCUSA, UMC, UCC, ELCA...we ALL have offices in D.C., as well as the NCC and WCC, along with our state agencies and bureaus.

What our offices do is call us to act and work with legislators to bills favorable to the Gospel.

Catholics are doing what all our communities of faith do.

So now we do what we've always done: argue back.

Click here for more.

There are going to be a lot of skirmishes in this long-term war for equal rights.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mormons Support Us?

Everyone on the blogs is wary of the support the Mormon church is showing in Salt Lake City as the city debates employee protection of LGBTQ people in the area of employment and housing. Apparently, as long as it doesn't have to do with marriage, they'll support us. From

As the Salt Lake City Council yesterday debated whether to add sexual orientation to the list of protected classes in housing and employment backed by Mayor Ralph Becker, LDS public affairs managing director Michael Otterson testified that the Church supported the measure "because it is fair and reasonable and does not do violence to the institution of marriage." when do we get to the hard stuff: equal access to marriage?



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Daily Wrap

Andrew Sullivan does this:
A daily wrap:
* Rep. Barney Frank is pushing the idea of ending DADT in the 2011 (2010) budget for the military;
* NY state is debating access to marriage for all;
* Gov. of RI denies LGBTQ people being part of funeral plans.

What a day!



Maggie Gallgher, Maine, and NOM's Success: Part II

Reading, and then going to Pam's House Blend today, I followed the trail of discovering that Maggie Gallagher--she of NOM and against equal access to marriage--has had a child out of wedlock.


And where does this fall in the Bible?

Click here for Pam's House Blend.

The hypocrisy is, again, evident.



Monday, November 9, 2009

Maggie Gallgher, Maine, and NOM's Success

This is from

It is Maggie Gallagher of NOM, and she is write: our message isn't work. It didn't work in CA, and it didn't work in ME.

Let us listen carefully. Our enemy is our friend here. She is telling us what we need to know and hear.

And let us realize it is love versus fear. That easy. They tap into people's fear while we can tap into people's need to love and be loved.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

NY State is Next! And Timing is Everything

In NY state, there is a push to get the legislature to vote on marriage equality in front of the state Senate for a vote. Why? Because the timing is good now. Next year, with all the mid-term elections, not as good.

The other bit of timing is this: ME did not help the movement in terms of people's confidence in the vote in the Senate sticking.

Read here for more:

In New York, Democrats hold a shaky 32-to-30 majority in the Senate, and some senators oppose allowing the legislation to come to the floor for a vote.

Those who favor the bill say they realize they are risking another significant defeat but are determined to get legislators on record on the issue. They also say that now may be the best time to push lawmakers to take up the bill, given that next year all 212 members of the Legislature will face re-election.

Estimates vary, but supporters of the bill believe they can count on about 25 votes for the legislation at this time.

“The stakes are much higher now, following Maine, and it would be an enormous boost to the movement to prevail in New York,” said Matt Foreman, a gay rights advocate who has served as the head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s leading gay rights group.

But, he added, “if we don’t win marriage in New York in this special session, it’s going to be a very hard lift next year.”

What is slightly daffy about all the issues of voting is that it reminds us of how crazy it is to be reminded that some of the rights we all enjoy would not hold up in a general election...including tax write offs of all shapes and sizes.

Click here for more.



Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fighting Back with Love

Found this sad in the article about the equal marriage vote that lost in ME:

Schubert said he had an ah-ha moment in California when a focus group watched a campaign commercial featuring a Massachusetts couple who described how their 7-year-old son came home from school and explained that a man can marry another man, something he learned in a children's book.

One of the members of the focus group shook his head, and Schubert asked the moderator to inquire. The participant said he would be angry if something like that that happened to his kids.

"So that was sort of a light-bulb moment, that this education issue was really going to be a powerful one for us," said Schubert, who with Flint was named the "public affairs team of the year" for 2009 by the American Association of Political Consultants.

In California and Maine, gay marriage supporters countered the claims with spots featuring prominent elected officials such as California's chief of public instruction and Maine's attorney general, who both insisted that same-sex marriage had nothing to do with schools.

But the issue persisted, according to advocates on both sides, in part because gay marriage supporters failed to discuss a key fact: Many public schools already have lessons that refer to gay families in the younger grades and confront anti-gay discrimination for older students.

Although the topics usually are broached in the context of appreciating diversity and tolerance, for some parents any discussion of gay people is too close to talking about gay sex.

Here's the reality: this is fear baiting. The same people who find it repugnant that two men or two women love each other tend to be peopl who find inter-racial marriage repugnant.

Click here for more.

So the answer? I'm working on the article called "A Call to Arms...of Love". Love will trump fear.



Friday, November 6, 2009

A Love Letter

I found or was directed to this "love letter" on, sent by a Californian lesbiancouple to those couples in Maine who lost the right to marry, thus perpetuating second class citizenship of LGBTQ people.

What I liked about this love letter was the silver lining statement, which they discovered after Californians who are LGBTQ are forced to live a second class citizenship:

When Prop 8 passed, we couldn't go anywhere—not to our local coffee shop or sandwich stand, to the bank or to the market—without looking at every single face and wondering "Did you vote against our marriage?" You too will wake up tomorrow with this same vulnerable distrust for your neighbors; you too will wake up tomorrow knowing that the majority of your state deems you unworthy of first-class citizenship. It is a weight heavier than any shoulders are meant to bear.

But here's the very fine silver lining: You will also wake up in the coming days to a support group you may not have known you had. Many of your neighbors, coworkers, family and friends will stand up to rally behind you. They will hold candles at vigils and wave signs in protest; they will say they never thought that Question 1 would pass; they will say they wish they had done more, and they will be ready to do so. Much of the country will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, as they have done for us in California, to say that discrimination will not stand and that you do not stand alone. Maine will wake up to a new state of disharmony, where it is crystal clear that not all citizens are equal under the law.

As a North Carolinian, living in a second class citizenship status, I found this silver lining heartening.

Click here for more.



Thursday, November 5, 2009

WA stays "Yes" to Domestic Partnership

In everything but name only, WA staters approved the domestic partnership rights of LGBT and straight couples that is the same in marriage. The only thing that is different is the language: marriage vs. domestic partnership.

So in WA state, domestic partnership=marriage.

And straight couples can have domestic partnership rights too!

Strange, but true.

Click here for more.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gay Apartheid

David Mixner has a fantastic response to last night's vote in ME, and the dithering of politicians in D.C.: call it part of the process he dubs Gay Apartheid

Second, call this campaign against us what it is - Gay Apartheid.

Refuse to allow any of our fellow Americans, President Obama or our allies to view this as a political issue who time hasn't quite come. America is in the process of creating a system of Gay Apartheid. We will not quietly sit and accept it. All over the place, this nation is creating one set of laws for LGBT Americans and another set for all other Americans. That is the classic definition of Apartheid. Either our political allies are for Gay Apartheid or against it. If they are against it, they must fight with us and no longer duck like President Obama did in Maine and Washington. There is no half way in fighting Apartheid.

Today many will claim that we must surrender the word marriage or accept some sort of separate but equal arrangement. It didn't work in the African-American struggle for freedom and it doesn't work for us. We want full equality with the same rights, benefits and privileges as all other Americans now. We say to those friends, allies and even in our own community who want to accept that second class citizenship, "Oh No You Don't!" We will accept no compromises, time-lines, incremental approaches with our freedom. Don't counsel patience as if this is a new issue. We have been fighting these ballot box bigots for over three decades. Enough.

Click here for more.



Brown Vs. Board of Education & Marriage Equality

Reading a lot of blogs this morning re: Maine, Kalamazoo, WA, DC, etc.

So this idea of voting to allow for equal marriage: If we had put up for a vote Brown Vs. Board of Education, in which a people would be allowed to vote on the Supreme Court decision of the 1950s AFTER the Supreme Court voted, how do you think the vote would've turned out?

My hunch? Continued segregation of schools (as if that still didn't happen with the mass production of private schools).

So do we not have to argue the merits of equal treatment under the law in re: to marriage before a court, or the Supreme Court?



Marriage Equality: Yes in WA (Sort of) and No in ME

Well, that was a night...not the best of nights for many of us. In WA, the domestic partner bill that anti-equality of marriage proponents tried to topple, won, but equality of marriage loss in ME. While CA turned equality of marriage and court ordered by popular vote, the loss in ME was one where the state legislature voted for equality of marriage and the popular vote overturned it.

However, the margin of loss is narrow, and narrowing.

So will we have to go through more of these nail biters?


OR is already beginning the process of overturning its state amendment banning equality of marriage. And NJ and NY are lining up for equality of marriage.

WA: a win; ME: a loss.

Good Morning, America!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mark Kleinschmidt: Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC!

It was a squeaker, but Mark won by 100+ votes.


Very close.



Go Mark Kleinschmidt, Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC!

Here's hoping that my friend Mark Kleinschmidt, openly gay politician and Town Councilman in Chapel Hill, NC, is voted mayor tonight.

It is a close race in terms of the percentages going into the race.

Fingers crossed, prayers said, Go Mark!


Voting Heavy in Maine=A Good for Passing/Keeping Marriage Equality and are registering high voter turn out in Maine. This bodes well for the marriage equality bill. The hope? That the same tactics used in CA in overturning equal marriage doesn't work in every state of the union, and the forces of bigotry are confronted with honesty and truthfulness, which bigotry detests.



Monday, November 2, 2009

It is a matter of rights...right?

Click here for what is going on tomorrow in terms of the next step for our rights in ME, WA, and DC.

It is a matter of rights, or in this case the right to marry, the right to live and breathe without being second class citizens.

Click here for more.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints' Day

In the tradition of the Christian Church, yesterday was All Hallow's Eve, and today is All Saints' Day. It is a day that those of us who are Christian remember the saints around us in our world today, and those who have gone before us.

Today, I remember Bob, a youth group leader at a local Presbyterian Church who died of AIDS several decades ago;
I remember Harvey Milk, whose political skill-artistry has provided many of us a role model;
I remember Gerry Studds, who came out of the closet as a politician, bravely;
I remember Mychal Judge, the gay priest who died in 9/11;
I remember Mark Bingham, who died on a plane on 9/11 on Flight 93;
I remember Del Martin, a lesbian pioneer in CA;
I remember Bayard Rustin, who worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr.

We remember.



Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween: Pride Parade for Straight People

Andrew Sullivan had the best line for the night about Halloween:

"In Halloween coverage, we judged the best costumes, saw the holiday as a pride parade for straight people."



HIV Travel Ban Lifted! Now We're Talking About Change We Can Believe In

Pres. Obama lifted the travel ban of HIV+ people, some of whom are LGBTQ.

This is great news.

We were one of a handful of countries that had this draconian measure still in place.

President Obama:

A couple of years ago Michelle and I were in Africa and we tried to combat the stigma when we were in Kenya by taking a public HIV/AIDS test. And I'm proud to announce today we're about to take another step towards ending that stigma.

Twenty-two years ago, in a decision rooted in fear rather than fact, the United States instituted a travel ban on entry into the country for people living with HIV/AIDS. Now, we talk about reducing the stigma of this disease -- yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat. We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic -- yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people from HIV from entering our own country.If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it

Click here for more.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Federal Hate Crime Bill: Signed and Delivered!

It is now the law of the land: hate crimes against those of us who are considered "different" than others--because of how we look, who we love, and how we live or pray--is now against the law of the land. It is a federal crime.

One person on NPR said there will be an "up-tick" in the number of hate crimes reported because it is now against the law--federal law. What is happening is that more of these cases will now be reported. Before the law, they were kept hidden because there is no protection.

The same with economics and jobs. Having been discriminated myself for a job because I am gay, there is no federal or state law to protect me. None. Most people simply don't report such violations. Thus they remain unknown. That is why ENDA--Employment Non Discrimination Act--is needed ASAP.



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Army Secretary: Lift the Ban on DADT

So now we are getting a sense of how the Obama Admin. works: with pressure from the outside as it does the methodical and consensus building from the inside.

Pressure is now coming from within, with the Army Secretary now coming on board with modernity and suggesting there be a lifting of the ban on LGBTQ personnel serving the country in military service.

Secretary McHugh:

McHugh finds himself at the center of debate over Obama’s pledge to repeal the law banning open service by homosexuals.

In the interview, McHugh carefully avoided offering his personal views on the issue, saying his job now is to provide input to Obama on how to make the change and to talk with members of Congress about the issue.

Selling the idea to Congress, which has the final say, could depend on exactly what the administration tries to do in terms of the timing of repeal and how it is applied, McHugh said.

It’s possible, for example, that homosexuals could be allowed into some occupations or units but barred from others, McHugh said, stressing that he was not aware of any such plans but only discussing how the issue might play out.

“I don’t want to prejudge the situation,” he said. “I am saying if he did that, it would be my job to explain it when the appropriate time comes.”

When asked specifically if lifting the gay ban would seriously disrupt the military, as predicted by those who oppose repeal, McHugh said there is no reason to think major turmoil would ensue.

“Anytime you have a broad-based policy change, there are challenges to that,” he said. “The Army has a big history of taking on similar issues, [with] predictions of doom and gloom that did not play out,” he said.

Yes, yes, yes: what is crazy is having LGBQT serving in certain units but not others.


Read more by clicking here.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Being Counted: In the 2020 Census, We'll Be Counted

Isn't this interesting: in 2020 Census, plans are afoot of counting us.

Of course, in 2000, LGBTQ couples and families were not counted as a household, only as roommates and children, but not as a family. Same thing with federal and state taxes: we are not counted as families, only as individuals or unmarried partners. But with the change of marriage status in so many states, there is a change afoot.

Why we have to wait so long to be counted in 2020 is because of bureaucracy, but so be it.

Click here for more.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Memory of Matthew Shepherd: A Hate Crime Bill That Covers Us All!

We are closer to being covered by federal law in cases of hate crimes. From the WaPo:

Hate crimes bill set to become law

By Ben Pershing
The Senate cleared a historic hate crimes bill for President Obama's signature Thursday, approving new federal penalties for attacks on gays and lesbians.

The legislation, which was attached to the conference report for the bill outlining the Pentagon's budget, marks the culmination of a years-long fight by civil-rights groups to codify the expanded protections. The law broadens the current definition of federal hate crimes -- which covers attacks motivated by race, color, religion or national origin -- to include those based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. It would also create a new federal crime to cover attacks against U.S. military personnel because of their service.

The measure was approved, 68 to 29, with a majority of Republicans voting against it. The House passed the same bill Oct. 8, also with most Republicans opposed.

Click here for more.



Church of Sweden: Practicing Equality of Marriage

This found on

The Synod of the Lutheran Church of Sweden has come down in favour of church weddings for homosexuals in a vote held on Thursday morning.

The decision, which is based on a proposal from the church’s governing board, means that the Church of Sweden will conduct wedding ceremonies for both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

The proposal was approved by 176 of 249 voting members.

The decision comes just three days after the 30th anniversary of the date when homosexuality stopped being classified as a disease in Sweden.

“The Synod’s decision takes a stance in favour of an inclusive view of people. Regardless of whether one is religious or not, this affects the entire social climate and the view of people’s equal value,” Åsa Regnér, head of the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) - the country's largest gay rights group, said in a statement.

Click here for more.

Of course, there are those who will say, "But look at the Church of Sweden!? It is a state church!?"

So it is.

Not advocating state-church here.

But I am advocating equality of marriage.



Telling Our Story: Philip Spooner in ME

Saw this clip on,, so here it is: Philip Spooner, a war veteran (WWII), a Downeaster, and a father of four sons, including one son who is gay.

He is before a legislative commission in Maine, telling his story and why there needs to be equal rights in marriage.

He believes that the fight in WWII was about preserving the rights of all, with equal rights and equal protection for all.

Enjoy the clip.

Pace, B

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rosie and Kelli

Amid Maine voting about marriage equality, justice of the peace turning down inter-racial couples from marrying in Alabama, and WA state voting to preserve domestic partnership, there is the sad news of Rosie and Kelli having hit a hard patch in their relationship. There are seasons in a married life, and they are in a winter season of their relationship.

Click here for more.

Here's hoping that they can work through their difficulties without too much rancor. Truly hoping for the best for them and their family.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Pilgrimage and Gay Parenting

Along with this blog site I also manage the blog site for the School of the Pilgrim.

I found this video on-line that I liked a lot, in which the videographers asked the question: "Where Would You Wish to Wake Up?"

The results are amazing.

I think in being LGBTQI people, we are people on a journey as pioneers.



Fifty People, One Question: Brooklyn from Fifty People, One Question on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

True Love!

From last weekend's Wedding Announcements, and other celebrations:

Adam Levine, Janson Wu

Published: October 10, 2009

Adam Carl Levine and Janson Wu are to be married Sunday at the Museum of Science in Boston. Lindsay C. Harrison, a friend who introduced the couple, received permission from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to officiate with assistance from Adam S. Lavitt, a rabbinical student.

Dr. Levine, 29, is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He graduated with two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Southern California, one in creative writing and another in biomedical engineering. He received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and has a master’s degree in public health from University of California, Berkeley. He is the son of Beatrice R. Levine and Arthur C. Levine of Newport Beach, Calif.

Mr. Wu, 31, is a staff lawyer at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in Boston. He graduated from Harvard, where he also received his law degree. He is the son of Hsin-Hsing Wu and Jeng-Fu Wu of Stanfordville, N.Y.


John Reagan, Marc Tobias

Published: October 10, 2009

Dr. John Peter Reagan and Marc Ian Tobias are to affirm their partnership Sunday at the Boathouse in Central Park. Edie Reagan, Mr. Reagan’s sister, who is a chaplain, and Rabbi Marcia Rappaport are to lead the commitment ceremony.

Dr. Reagan (left), 48, is a chiropractor and a partner in Martino & Reagan Chiropractic in Manhattan. He graduated from Northeastern and received a doctor of chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College. He is a son of Jack Reagan of Ithaca, N.Y., and the late Amy L. Reagan.

Mr. Tobias, 38, is the vice president for operations at Americans for the Arts, an advocacy organization in Washington; he works in New York. He graduated from the University of Maryland. He is a son of Eileen Tobias of Mamaroneck, N.Y., and David H. Tobias of New York, and is a stepson of Ann Boyarsky.

Mazel Tov!


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Amid wedding and civil unions in the States, calls for throwing out Don't Ask Don't Tell, along with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and ending job discrimination in the workplace for LGBTQ people, there is this news, that made me catch my breath:

The hanging of a young gay man in Iran because he is gay.

From the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees:

On October 6, 2009, Rahim Mohammadi was executed in Tabriz, a city in northwest Iran, after being convicted of sexual abuse and rape during sexual relations between males (a homosexual act called Lavat).
According to Rahim’s lawyer (here), Mr. Mohammad Mostafayi, there was not enough evidence presented to the court to prove such accusations; the court nevertheless decided that once a person is convicted of Lavat, he must be executed. Mostafayi, who had not been informed of the court’s decision once it was handed down - and was only contacted after his client Rahim had been executed - wrote a letter of further explanation to the authorities.

I caught this first on towleroad, and then through And we know that LGBT people are intimidated in Iraq as well.

As a matter of justice, we need to tell the world these stories, for they won't be telecast via CNN, MSNBC, let alone ABC, NBC, or CBS news. We must raise an uproar of this gross injustice.

Click here for more.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Queer Spawn" and other buttons

I came back from the COLAGE gathering with some buttons that Parker isn't hopping to wear, but Adrianne, his sister, might:
"Queer Spawn"
"I love my gay dad"
"Family Equality"

What was fun this past weekend was going to Disney World's Magic Kingdom with some of the other board members who wore t-shirts that said "Queer Spawn" and "You know what's really gay? My family!"

What a weekend!



Anti-Religious Backlash? Really?

A note of incredulity:

Elder Dallin H. Oaks referred to gay marriage as an “alleged civil right” in an address at Brigham Young University-Idaho that church officials described as a significant commentary on current threats to religious freedom.

Oaks suggested that atheists and others are seeking to intimidate people of faith and silence their voices in the public square, according to his prepared remarks.

“The extent and nature of religious devotion in this nation is changing,” said Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a church governing body. “The tide of public opinion in favor of religion is receding, and this probably portends public pressures for laws that will impinge on religious freedom.”


Religion and religious people seem to be doing quite well in today's society. While those who are Mormon, and their leadership, may feel they are under attack because of the CA Prop. 8 debacle, that is a whole other issue: Mormon's, from out of state, paid the "big bucks" to promote denying Californians of the right to marry.

Click here for more.

The leadership of the Mormons then equated themselves with African American people during the most challenging days of the civil rights marches of the 50s and 60s.

Incredulity: really? It is one thing to be born who you are (African American) and choose who you are (Mormons). And those who are African American in this country faced slavery, lynchings, abuse, anger, hatred...




Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To Lavi and Sebastian: Congrats

From the

Sebastian Dungan and Lavi Soloway

Published: October 10, 2009

Sebastian Alexis Dungan and Lavi Sholem Soloway were married Tuesday in Toronto. Justice Harvey P. Brownstone of the Ontario Court of Justice officiated in his chambers. On Saturday, Mr. Soloway’s law partner, Noemi Masliah, led a ceremony in Water Mill, N.Y., at the home of Barry Skovgaard and Marc Wolinsky, friends of the couple.

Skip to next paragraph
Albane Navizet

Albane Navizet

Left, Sebastian Dungan with Lavi Soloway and his daughter, Lily.

Mr. Dungan (left), 37, is an independent film producer in Los Angeles. He produced “Transamerica,” which was released in 2005. He graduated from Yale.

He is the son of Sylviane Dungan and Andrew C. Dungan, both of Los Angeles. His father is a school psychologist at Hazeltine Elementary School and the Montague Charter Academy, both in Los Angeles. His mother is a real estate agent for Nelson Shelton & Associates in Beverly Hills, Calif. He is the stepson of Vivian S. Dungan.

Mr. Soloway, 43, is a partner in the law firm Masliah & Soloway in New York. He works there and in Los Angeles. He is also a founder of Immigration Equality, a nonprofit advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and H.I.V.-positive immigrants. He graduated from the University of Toronto and received a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

He is a son of the late Pearl Soloway and the late Irving B. Soloway, who lived in Toronto. His mother owned the Medical Test Center, a laboratory in Montreal. His father was a pharmacist at the Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto.

The couple met online in August 2007. Mr. Soloway had posted a photograph of himself holding Lily, his 3-month-old daughter, he said, thinking that “It would weed out people who are not interested in parenting.”

Mr. Dungan saw the picture and was intrigued. “I was impressed that he’d had the courage to be a single dad, which was something I was contemplating,” he said. “Plus, he was really cute.”

Mr. Dungan sent an e-mail message, congratulating Mr. Soloway on becoming a father.

They lived on opposite coasts — Mr. Dungan in Los Angeles and Mr. Soloway in New York. “I was probably more effusive than I’d normally be since I thought I’ll never meet this person so I might as well be honest,” Mr. Dungan said.

Mr. Soloway described his first reaction: “A Hollywood producer who lives in L.A., I thought there wasn’t even much point in reading it.” But Mr. Dungan’s words grabbed him. “I thought this is an unusual, creative mind, the way he presented his likes and dislikes and explained his interest in my profile.”

A lively e-mail correspondence became long nightly telephone calls. Then a few weeks later, Mr. Dungan came to New York on business and the two met for coffee.

Mr. Soloway brought Lily, who was in a stroller.

“It was never a negative,” Mr. Dungan said. “The fact that Lily was there just made it more serious from the get-go.” He was also pleasantly surprised that Mr. Soloway lived up to his picture. “That was a good sign to begin with.”

They spent a couple of hours walking around NoHo, where Mr. Dungan stopped to buy a blazer, which Mr. Soloway thought was strange on a first date — although, he admitted, perhaps not as strange as bringing a baby to a first date.

On the plane back to Los Angeles, Mr. Dungan said, “I realized that I missed him already.”