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.

Pace!

B

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 salon.com:

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."

Really?

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.

Really?

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.

B

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 towleroad.com 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.

Courage!

B

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Wrap

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

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.

Argentina?

* 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.

Best,

B


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.

B

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.

B

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!

Brett

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let's Get This Down Again...

On Poststar.com, 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

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Editor:

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

Warrensburg

Citing only some ‘rules' is hypocrisy

Editor:

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.

STEPHEN RUBIN

Cambridge

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!

B

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.

Really?

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.

Pace!

B

Monday, December 21, 2009

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


As many other LGBT websites--towleroad, advocate, and andrewsullivan.com--have 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.

Pace!

B

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 www.washingtonpost.com:

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.

Amazing!

So I'm counting days...

Pace!

B

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!

Pace!

B

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.

Pace!

B

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

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

www. washingtonpost.com:

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.

Pace!

B

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!

Sweet!

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?

From Advocate.com:

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.

From towleroad.com:

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 na├»ve 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...

B

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Second OUT Gay/Lesbian Bishop

In nyt.com 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.

B

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 nyt.com: 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?”