Thursday, December 27, 2012

Porn Does Not Make Straight People Allies for Marriage Equaltity

Dr. Mark Regenerus is promoting another crazy theory: after poor research showing same sex parents as poor parents, he is now promoting the idea that porn watched by straight couples make them allies for marriage equality. I cannot make this stuff up:;/



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Who's Who in the Nativity Scene

From my blog:
In my family of origin, there was one rule we followed when purchasing Christmas cards: they had to include a picture, symbol, or message of the Holy Family. No cards with reindeers, Santa Claus, elves, mistletoe, kittens, dogs, Christmas trees with snow in a wintry meadow, or Elvis singing a Christmas carol in blue suede shoes were allowed. Instead, only a chorus of angels, an image of a stable scene with a star over the setting, shepherds in a field, animals gathering around a mange, perhaps Wise Men on camels, or a scene of the Holy Family gathered around a baby Jesus in his cradle were allowed.
Being a traditionalist, my children grew up surrounded by Nativity scenes, with their mom and I only purchasing cards with the image of the Holy Family. The Nativity scene was set in a crude stable, with the same pile of straw we used from year to year. Carved wooden characters portrayed Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, a donkey, a horse, a cow, and a sheep. Now and then one of my daughter’s dolls or son’s Matchbox trucks ended up in the Nativity scene too, and no one seemed to mind. Along with the carved set of the Nativity scene, we also had a Nativity scene with characters made from corn husks from Appalachian artists, along with a Holly Hobby doll set; and there was a beautifully carved black wood Nativity scene I brought back from a trip to Kenya.
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Why Abortion, Marriage Equality, and the Absence of Prayer Did Not Cause the Sandy Hook Massacre

From my column on
The aftermath of any mass shooting in the United States seems to follow a certain pattern of now-expected reactions and calls for actions. There is the waiting for the names of the ones who were shot and the name of the shooter, which is soon followed by the photos of all the victims and the assailant. There is the national spotlight thrust onto the community in which the crime took place. If the shooting of people is large enough, the president usually quickly puts out a statement of solidarity with those who weep, and attends a public gathering of those in deep mourning. Flowers and candles are placed on wooden crosses or other markers that stand as solitary reminders of the loss of life in this season of grieving. Funeral and memorial services become the main event of the week as our busy lives come to a halt in these extraordinary moments of shock.
Sadly, political and religious leaders who are not in sync with what is going on within the heart of a community, a state, or a nation, quickly run to microphones and say things that are not helpful, but destructive. While words can provide solace in fierce times, words can also tear down and cause great heartache.
In recent days, after the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, some political and religious spokespersons have chosen to add words of hate amid heart-felt verses of those more in tune with the national mood. They are delivering cheap shots at political targets they constantly aim at rather than staying respectfully silent in these days of grieving.
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Primer on DOMA And Why It Is Important to Same Sex Parents

The first of two series, with another one on Prop 8, from blog:
On Friday, December 9, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed to hear two cases that will affect the lives of same-sex couples and parents for the next generation.
One of the cases is simply known as DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for both federal and interstate implications in the United States.
The other case is known simply as “Prop 8.” “Prop 8” is short for Proposition 8, a California ballot measure and constitutional amendment that was passed in November 2008 after a season of marriages between same-sex couples. The measure added to the California constitution provides that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” In this blog entry, I want to highlight what DOMA does to same-sex parents, and what will happen if it is overturned as a law.
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Happy Holiday to All Our Families: From Traditional Marriages, Same Sex Parents, Straight Parents, And Altnerative Families

From Q Notes: 
Whether one is celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas in the United States, there is one image that is front and center: the family. On Facebook, friends who celebrate Hanukkah downloaded several images of their children with their respective grandparents around a lighted menorah. Meanwhile, the Christmas celebrants download images of their children around Christmas trees large and small, multi-colored or in thematic splendor. In the holiday season, across the faiths, we become a nation that celebrates mom, a dad and a child or children, with or without dogs and cats included in the folderol.
What is unique in this years assault of “traditional American family” tableaus is this breaking news of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) hearing cases regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8. Both DOMA and Prop 8 attempted to limit marriage as being between one man and one woman, with no chance of any two parents who were of the same-sex, questioning, bisexual or transgender allowed to obtain a marriage license. In this bleak wintry season, hope springs anew for LGBTQ parents. Along with SCOTUS, marriages between LGBTQ people are taking place in Washington state, Maryland and Maine, with rumblings from other states where state leaders are interested in marriage equality.
In this new day and age, lesbian and gays are coming to the realization that they can now partake in what has been off-limits to them prior to this: a fuller embrace of the American dream. The dawning awareness was captured in the LOGO-TV show, “The Baby Wait,” in which one soon-to-be gay dad uttered (with a sense of awe) these words: “When I came out to my parents, I never thought I would be able to marry or be able to raise my own child. Now, I can do both in my lifetime!” In other words, LGBTQ people are now entering the realm of marrying and parenting that was solely the domain of straight people. And, this is being done so no longer as an open act of protest outside the bounds of the law, but being done legitimately and legally. Living in the dawning of this new day and age, there are cautionary notes: what do we, as LGBTQ people, bring to a traditional understanding of marriage and raising children? Likewise, what traditional ways of being “family” in the American narrative do we want to borrow? Do we want to live “for better or for worse, richer or poorer” with one steady other or is there room for an open relationship? Or, for a steady third person in a relationship? These, and other questions, will need to be explored, negotiated, agreed upon, and open for more study in the days, months and years to come.
Nevertheless, as many of us go forward in other states to get our marriage licenses, get married, adopt children, we do so because of those who fought and died to make this day a reality. It is simply amazing to be part of a social movement that is moving forward with great alacrity. Along the way, many of us will receive the blessings of a religious community in the presence of family, friends, wedding planners…soon followed by baby showers, purchase of minivans, dogs, cats, lighting of the menorah and tableaus of the family around Christmas trees. Happy holidays to us all. : :

Monday, December 17, 2012

Three New Lessons Learned from Newtown, CT:

From my blog on
When I went to school as a child, I worried about a host of things: how well I finished my homework; what my new topics will I be surprised by today; whether or not there could be a pop quiz in a class; tolerating a bully’s asinine behavior; sitting through one more boring slideshow or movie in a science class; going to choir practice and accompanying them on piano; and getting excited about the next upcoming vacation. Never in my wildest imagination did I think about a person coming into school with a gun with the sole intention of wreaking havoc upon innocent lives.
That all changed when my son and daughter were in school. At my son’s elementary school, strangers were caught trying to lure young unsuspecting children into their cars. My daughter’s high school went to “shut down” status when a gunman was founding lurking in the forest around the school. My partner works at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where there are drills and advance preparations in place in case there is a repeat of the mass killings at Virginia Tech. He has said that there is a daily fear that one of the young students who are fragile emotionally may bring harm upon themselves or others. Young women at my university carry a concealed taser guns in case they feel threatened.
While my children, partner, and I have been spared personal experience of violence upon our lives, the same cannot be said of a growing number of people in our country.
In the last few weeks — during which 20 young children and six adults were killed by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, CT — there was also a young man who killed people at a shopping mall in Clackamas, Oregon; a young man shot a gun into the air in an elementary school in California; and an older gentleman with guns threatened to kill his wife and children at a nearby elementary school in Indiana.
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why My Family Does Not Give a Cent to the Salvation Army

From and my blog posting there:
In this holiday season, along with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, there was Giving Tuesday. On Giving Tuesday, area charities took time to remind people that the holiday season is more than simply being materialistic, or falling for the smart merchandising campaign of Madison Avenue. Giving Tuesday is meant to strike a different note of simply giving to those in want and need. This is a day to raise awareness of the non-profits who are doing good work in this world.
In this season of gift giving, and amid the various non-profit and religious groups who are asking for donations, not all groups or organizations are the same in terms of charity to all, and with malice toward none. Sadly, one of the groups that my family, friends, and straight allies avoid is the conservative evangelical Christian church known as the Salvation Army. We do not give to the Salvation Army. We avoid their red kettles and ignore the people ringing the bell for the Salvation Army because they do not support nor believe in the possibility of people living together as same sex parents. According to the Salvation Army:
Scripture opposes homosexual practices by direct command, and also by clearly implied disapproval. The Bible treats such practices as self-evidently abnormal. Attempts to establish or promote such relationships as viable alternatives to heterosexually based family life do not conform to God’s will for society.
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Friday, December 14, 2012 Nominated for the Beacon of Equality Award from Ring of Equality! Please vote!

This blog has been nominated for a Beacon of Equality from Ring of Equality!  Please read below!  Thanks to all of you who have read and followed this blog.  More to come...but today, please vote!  Thanks!  Brett

Good morning Brett-

My name is Nathan David and I am the founder of Rings of Equality, an online resource for LGBT marriage stories. At the end of each year, we evaluate hundreds of websites and select 15 finalists for our Beacons of Equality Awards. Beacons of Equality Finalists are sites that have made significant contributions to education, engagement, and advocacy for LGBT rights.

I am excited to let you know that your website,, has been chosen as a finalist for our 2012 Beacons of Equality Awards! We were especially impressed with your willingness to share your experiences as a parent and provide resources with others. This recognition is our way to thank you for everything that you have done to help advance LGBT rights in society.

In addition, 3 of the 15 finalists will receive free internet marketing consulting sessions (top award valued at $980) to help them expand their impact. Since we do not have the budget to provide consulting services to all finalists, we need to determine the top 3 sites by popular vote. Below I provide all the voting details.
Feel free to use this HTML code to place the attached recognition badge in your sidebar or in a post and encourage people to vote for your site however you would like." target="_blank">
"  title="Vote For My LGBT Advocacy Site" alt="ROE - Gay Marriage & Relationship Stories" height="150" width="150">

Additional voting and award details can be found here. Please let me know if you have any questions. Congratulations again on being named a finalist and thank you again for everything that you do for the LGBT community.

All the best,--
Nathan David
Founder Rings of Equality
Gay Relationship and Marriage Stories

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Signs Matter: From Amendment Bumpstickers to Political Buttons.

From my blog on

In the height of the election season, it seemed liked there were signs everywhere along the roadside, with two or three political parties pushing their candidates and issues upon the electorate, whether we liked it or not. Phone calls were made to various houses (usually more than once). Car and truck bumpers and fenders communicated who was the driver’s personal favorite candidate. People’s lapels, baseball caps, hats, pockets, and backpacks were full of opinions. No one was shy about publicizing a preference on a smattering of people and issues. T-shirts and sweatshirts were no longer advertising a favorite university, college, or seaside resort, but expressed someone’s choice for president. Everywhere I turned, I saw signs that screamed for me to read them, pay attention, and decide! I wore a small pin with the rainbow colors that says “All Families Matter.”
This is nothing new. Plastering signs on roadsides, bumpers, lapels, t-shirts, and sweatshirts in order to sell a product is a favorite activity of Madison Avenue publicity firms. They are ingenuous enough to have people actually buy the name of a company and wear it. Gap, Old Navy, Aeropostale, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, Polo, Gucci, Chanel, etc., are emblazoned on everything that is wearable, from earrings and bracelets, to purses and shirts, and proudly worn by consumers. On the one hand, we are telling the world where we buy clothes, proud of our middle-class lifestyle. On the other hand, we become free human billboards and signs for these companies, paying anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars to advertise their name. What is fascinating is that few people seem to be “in” on the business trick.
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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ding, Dong the Bells Are Chiming for Equal Marriage in WA State

From my post on

I am writing this blog entry on Thursday, December 6, 2012, which is marrying day in Washington state. My mouth is agape as I look at the series of photographs from the Seattle Post Intelligencer, taken outside of the King County offices in Seattle, Washington, where couples are lined up before 12 midnight, waiting to get a marriage license.
I’ve driven pass the county offices where marriage licenses are obtained near my house in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and there is never a waiting line for this piece of paper. But the marriage licenses in Washington are unique to that state and eight other states, because they allow same-sex couples the right to marry, just like straight couples. A new day is dawning in one more state!
I was in Washington the day that the state approved the legislation paving the way forward for marriage equality after 41 years of people struggling for this right, LGBTQ and straight alike. Soon after, there was a petition drive, led by those against marriage equality, to put this new law on the ballot as a referendum, giving the people the right to vote whether they approved of it or not. Signatures were collected around the state, and within no time, it became a ballot initiative, to be voted on by the people on Nov. 6, 2012. It was given the designation of “Referendum 74,” known far and wide as the marriage equality bill. Online, the fight in Washington state against marriage equality echoed the struggle we went through in North Carolina as we dedicated ourselves to defeat the amendment to our state constitution that would forbid it. Many of the same groups who worked hard to pass the amendment were in Washington state, using the same argument and tactics they used in NC. This time, the outcome was different, which gave all of us great sense of joy with a tinge of forlornness, for I live in a state that is going backwards on matters of civil rights.
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