Sunday, February 27, 2011
This amendment is bigotry in its thrust.
From Q Notes:
The proposed constitutional amendment, held at bay for seven years by the formerly Democratically-controlled legislature, would not only ban recognition of same-sex marriages but any kind of relationship recognition for gay couples. The amendment could also ban private companies based in the state from offering domestic partner benefits.
At United Church of Chapel Hill we signed a petition against this amendment.
Fight and sign!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
David Knudson and William HohengartenDavid Mark Knudson and William Mark Hohengarten were married Saturday evening at the Long View Gallery in Washington. Nancy Hohengarten, a judge of the County Court of Travis County, Tex., and Mr. Hohengarten’s sister-in-law, officiated. Mr. Knudson’s father, the Rev. John O. Knudson, a retired Lutheran minister, took part in the ceremony.
Mr. Knudson (left), 49, is an independent architect in Washington. He graduated from Princeton, where he received a master’s in architecture.
He is a son of Marjorie and John Knudson of Dana Point, Calif. His mother retired as an elementary school teacher at Our Savior’s Lutheran School in San Clemente, Calif. His father retired as a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and was most recently a pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Dana Point.
Mr. Hohengarten, 50, is of counsel in Washington with the law firm Jenner & Block. He graduated from Reed College. He received a master’s and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Northwestern and a law degree from Yale.
He is a son of Florence Laird of Estancia, N.M., and the late Jack Hohengarten, and a stepson of Jeff Laird. His mother retired as a trust portfolio manager for NBD Bank in Evanston, Ill., and is the secretary of the Torrance County Archaeological Society in Estancia.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Meanwhile NC Republicans continue to march out of step with the rest of the country.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
At the same time, NC legislators are pushing for an amendment to our constitution (we already have state DOMA) has this piece of garbage is floating away federally.
NC Republican legislators: out of touch, out of date, out of tune...and hopefully out of power in 2 years.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
That was enough.
I was always scared to come out when we weren't allowed in the PCUSA.
Today, we are one step close to being out.
Thanks be to God.
More Presbyteries than ever in this process--including Presbyterians who've switched votes--have said Yes to LGBTQ people being ordained.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Hawaii lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday to allow civil unions for same-sex couples, marking an end to what the governor called an "emotional process" for a longtime battleground in the gay rights movement.
Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie's office said he intends to sign the bill into law within 10 business days. Civil unions would begin Jan. 1, 2012, making the state the seventh in the nation to grant essentially the same rights of marriage to same-sex couples without authorizing marriage itself.
What a country!
The tide is turning toward marriage equality for all...and some Republican lawmakers will seem antiquated...again.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Click here to the link.
Monday, February 14, 2011
New York Time op-ed section comes out "for us" in terms of equality of marriage;
Indiana legislature is going to vote against same sex marriage (towleroad.com is the source of this);
Hawaii legislature voted to let us be in "civil union", even with our times of incivility;
Civil union bill entered in the legislative process in CO;
NH legislature debating whether or not to let us be in civil unions;
And the U.K. is about to let civil unions be celebrated in churches and other houses of faith.
What a day!
Friday, February 11, 2011
After just 25 minutes of debate, the Hawaii House approved legislation that would create civil unions for gay and lesbian couples in the state, the Honolulu-based Fox affiliate KHON is reporting.
House Bill 444 was approved by a vote of 33-17. It would grant gay couples all the rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage, but call the commitment a civil union. The bill would also recognize legal gay marriages and civil unions performed elsewhere as civil unions.
It now goes to the Senate in Hawaii, and then when (!) approved, to a Governor who WILL sign it this time.
Moving forward, one state at a time. The great unraveling continues.
Here's the wedding announcement:
Mark Edward Maher and Dr. Louis Hal Miller were married Friday in Greenwich, Conn. Richard F. Kriskey, a justice of the peace, officiated at Greenwich Town Hall.
Mr. Maher (left), 28, is in a yearlong public-interest law fellowship at New York Public Radio in New York, working on contracts, Federal Communications Commission compliance issues and intellectual property issues. It is sponsored by the New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he was an associate until June 2010. Mr. Maher graduated from Columbia and received a law degree from Harvard. He is a son of Stephanie Maher and Leo Maher of New York.
Dr. Miller, 33, is a fellow in interventional cardiology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. He graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University, where he also received a medical degree. He is a son of Deborah Miller and Lloyd Miller of Bensalem, Pa.
Congrats, you two!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
It would be legal for an Iowa business owner who cites religious beliefs to refuse to provide jobs, housing, goods or services to people involved in a marriage that violates his or her religious convictions, according to a bill an Iowa House subcommittee will consider on Wednesday. House Study Bill 50, called the Religious Conscience Protection Act, would allow a person, business or organization such as a charity or fraternal group to deny services without fear of facing a civil claim or lawsuit if they think doing so would validate or recognize same-sex relationships.
Homophobia is going to die slowly.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Randy Hadden and Jeremy Silver were married Wednesday morning in Greenwich, Conn. Jon Hunt, a Connecticut justice of the peace, officiated at Greenwich Town Hall. On Saturday, the couple had a commitment ceremony at the Casa Marina Resort in Key West, Fla., that incorporated readings by friends and family members, with Mr. Silver stepping on a glass in the Jewish tradition and another exchange of vows.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Meanwhile, not too far away from us, in a town where I used to be a closeted interim minister (Clayton, NC), a gay couple was burned from their home. While the metropolitan areas of NC are more/or/less friendly to LGBTQ couples and individuals, not necessarily so for other parts of the State.
From the local tv station WRAL:
Clayton, NC-- Johnston County deputies are investigating an early Friday morning fire that destroyed a Clayton home and displaced a homosexual couple who lived there. WRAL-TV in Raleigh talked to a neighbor of the couple who said the couple had been victimized by harassment for more than a year.
Fire crews were called to the house on New Castle Court around 1:30 a.m. Friday. The couple was out of town when the fire was set, according to a neighbor and investigators.
The couple was not at home when the fire started and are now staying in a motel. They asked WRAL not to reveal their identity out of fear for their safety.
Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell confirmed to the television station that the fire is being investigated as an arson. Bizzell said this fire does not appear to be related to a string of other suspicious fires in the area.
A neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of backlash against her, said there have been at least three separate incidents of anti-gay harassment at the couple's home. She told WRAL, a note with derogatory language was left in the mailbox, an anti-gay slur was written on the house with marker and the tires of a car parked in the garage were slashed.
Sheriff Bizzell said that the his office was aware of two of those incidents, but would not elaborate. He would not confirm whether they are related to the arson investigation. Bizzell said there are no suspects at this time. No other information was released.
Another neighbor in the subdivision said he feels sorry for the male couple because they lost everything. He and others in the neighborhood believe it was a hate crime.
Things are not good in Mayberry, RFD!
Saturday, February 5, 2011
“Gay parents find South more accepting,” read a headline in The New York Times last month. Raleigh’s News & Observer was a bit less reserved: “Raleigh No. 3 in gay parents,” they said matter-of-factly.
The reports are driven by new data from the American Community Survey, yearly information gathering performed by the U.S. Census Bureau in years when the constitutionally-mandated, decennial census isn’t underway. Extrapolated and crunched by researcher and demographer Gary Gates at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Williams Institute, the numbers show the American Southeast — particularly the Deep South — as home to the largest numbers of same-sex couples raising children under the age of 18.
That same data ranked the Raleigh metro area third in a list of metropolitan areas, with 29.5 percent of same-sex couples there raising children. In contrast, San Antonio, Texas, came in first with 33.9 percent, followed by Jacksonville, Fla., with 32.4 percent (Charlotte ranked at 36, tied with Columbus, Ohio, with 18.9 percent).
The rankings don’t reflect raw numbers. There are, indeed, a larger number of same-sex couples raising children together in other parts of the country and in other cities. Proportionally, however, the South is by far home to more gay parents.
But, back to that Times headline: Is the South really more accepting? Do gay parents flock here, or are they — like all of us, really — products of their raising, environment and culture? Brett Webb-Mitchell, author of the book “On Being a Gay Parent” and a qnotes contributor with a column by the same name, believes the answer lies with the latter.
Webb-Mitchell is a father himself. He had a daughter and a son with his former wife before the two split 15 years ago. Since then, he’s been partnered and has shared custody of his children with his former wife. His daughter, who has since graduated from college, and teenage son, who still lives at home, alternated weekly between their mother’s and the home Webb-Mitchell shares with his partner, Dean.
Webb-Mitchell isn’t a native Southern, though. Originally from Oregon, he moved here in 1985 to pursue his doctorate. In 1993, he returned to take a teaching position at Duke. He’s spent years researching, networking, discussing and delving into the issues faced by gay parents.
In all that time, he’s come to believe the South is unique when it comes to family culture and tradition. Such an environment, no doubt, permeates the upbringing of children both gay and straight.
“I think we tend to be attracted to that traditional, 1950s-style idea of what family is,” Webb-Mitchell says. “I think the propensity toward having kids and having two adults raise those kids, that tends to be part of that 1950s mindset.”
Webb-Mitchell says that traditional culture took root in the years following the World War II.
“We can’t even talk about the ‘nuclear’ family until there is something called ‘nuclear,’” Webb-Mitchell stresses.
Southern suburbia and sprawl contributed to the rise of the “nuclear,” mom-plus-dad-and-2.5-kids mentality as formerly close-knit, inner-city neighborhood ties gave way and individual family units became the central component of daily life. Though sprawl happened in cities across the country, he says, many older, more traditional ways of living were maintained.
“In other places around the country and the world, the understanding of what it means to be a family are a little bit more interesting, a little bit more creative than how we allow ourselves to understand here,” he says, pointing to extended family living arrangements like those in large Northern cities where “family” can often include the entirely-unrelated people living in apartments above, below and next to you.
Webb-Mitchell’s theory is captivating. After all, one is hard-pressed to make an argument, as the Times headline did, that the South and especially the highest rank states of Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi are actually more welcoming to gays. Other factors might well play significant roles, as well, such as the rate at which Southern LGBTs marry and have children before coming out (a phenomena that occurs across the world, though it might be diminishing as coming out ages plummet).
Whatever the cause, the facts are clear: Southern LGBTs are raising families in astonishing numbers. Webb-Mitchell cautions, however, that culture and society have yet to catch up with reality. Media, governments and communities still malign, outcast, tokenize and offer no support for LGBT-led families.
“We don’t have enough stories that help us think about what it means to be our kind of family,” he says of mainstream and LGBT media alike.
And, even though he’s out to family, friends and community, Webb-Mitchell says this area’s culture continues to dominate and overshadow his family’s reality.
“We’ve been in certain social circumstances when Dean has been introduced as [my children’s] stepfather and the deduction is that he’s related to my former wife, instead of me,” he says. “We still have to operate underneath these world of ideas and notions of what is to be a ‘family.’”
Webb-Mitchell hopes such cultural ideas shift in the future. He says it’s incredibly important for LGBT families to speak out, stand up and be visible, even as media and culture continue to cast a cloak of secrecy and otherness around them.
“I miss our stories,” he says of gay families. “I just want us to tell our stories.” : :
more: Be sure to pick up qnotes’ Feb. 20 print edition for Webb-Mitchell’s next “On Being a Gay Parent” column.
Click here for the article.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Come one and all!