Thursday, January 31, 2013

Coming out, young and LGBTQ

From blog:

One of the questions asked of LGBTQI people that straight people do not get asked is this: When did you know you were gay? Lesbian? Bisexual? Transgender? Questioning? Intersex?
I am fairly certain that my brother and my children never “came out,” or were asked this probing question: When did you know you were straight? When someone asks, “Are you gay?” the next question is usually, “How did you know?” Which is often followed by, “Who did you tell or ask about it first?” The assumption behind the question is always that being “gay” is different than the norm, and for the longest time, that wasn’t considered a good thing. Answering the question in the affirmative meant that I was gay, meaning that I was now cast in the place of being an outsider and a second-class citizen.
I was around 11 years old when I knew I was gay, and I was 40 years old when I finally came out of my gay closet. That’s almost thirty years. I was 11 years old in the 1960s, a time in which being gay meant that you were clinically known as a “homosexual,” which was then a part of the America Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistics Manual (DSM). In other words, to be gay meant that one had a psychiatric disorder. The Church was uniformly against homosexuals, having carefully erected a theology that announced we were simply living a sinful lifestyle. No one in my school, among my peers, offered up that they were gay or a lesbian, or had any attraction to a person of the same sex. And nothing in the world of television or movies, art or dance, showed me any healthy role model by which I could find some solace for who I was and what I was feeling at the tender age of 11 years old.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rejoice! The Boy Scouts Are Joining the 21st Century!

The Boy Scouts are a part of the grand narrative that is the story of America. Many young boys have gone through Cub Scouts to Webelos, eager to move on as young men to becoming Boy Scouts.

10 Surprising Facts About Your Body After Birth

As I wrote in an earlier post, I was a Cub Scout and Webelos. But it was also a family affair, with my parents taking an active part in leadership. My Mom was a Cub Scout troop leader, and my Dad showed a group of young boys how to tie knots as part of our mission as Webelos. I decided not to become a Boy Scout, simply because I was intrigued with the prospect of flying, which was offered to me through the Civil Air Patrol. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Cub Scout and Webelos, and I always knew I had a place in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

However, not everyone was welcome to the Boy Scouts. Gay Scout members and lesbian and gay parents who were Scout leaders were forbidden in the BSA. The BSA board went to the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America vs. James Dale in June 2008, in which the Supreme Court ruled that since the Scouts was a private organization, they had the right to deny Scout master James Dale (who is an out gay man), membership in the Scouts. James Dale’s expression of being gay was in opposition to the message of the BSA that openly denied “homosexuality” among the Scouts. As recently as July 17, 2012, after a secretive two-year review of their policy toward gay Scouts and LGBTQ parents, the Boy Scouts reaffirmed its policy to exclude gays from joining as Scouts or being leaders.   To read more, click here:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Out gay parents having out gay children

From my column:

In David Leavitt’s 1986 novel “The Lost Language of Cranes,” there is a mutual “coming out” story: both father and son come out as gay men. Actually, the son lives out his sexuality and his sexual orientation quite easily, and convincingly, from the very start of his own sexual awakening. Meanwhile, his dad (married to a woman) is slow to leave the confines of the gay closet, seeking sex and intimacy in the shadowy dark corners of modern society. I read the book after the birth of my son in 1992, and later watched the film based upon the book, and I feared that I would be the gay dad who was reluctant to come out of the closet. Unconsciously, this storyline was always in my mind when I considered my choice — and timing — of coming out of my gay closet.
In recent years, I have enjoyed conversations with not only gay dads and lesbian moms, but other gay young men and lesbian young women whose mom or dad, or moms and dads, are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, or intersex (LGBTQI).
Most older gay dads and lesbian moms express how reluctant they were to come out of the closet at the time, and how hard it was. This was because most of us were married, once upon a time, and in straight relationships — whether we knew we were gay or lesbian at the time of our weddings or realized our sexual orientation later in life — and the challenge of coming out would bear a physical, relational, emotional, spiritual, and financial cost.

Click here for more:

What to call our spouses/partners/lovers...


On a recent trip to the small town of Hawi on the Big Island of Hawaii, my partner and I were talking to the owner of a small gallery about his partner who lived in Seattle while he ran the shop in Hawaii. Automatically, I assumed he meant his male partner, since that is the common usage of the term in North Carolina. Wrong assumption: he meant his female partner. Once again, I was caught surprised because of my ingrained assumptions about what one calls one’s same-sex significant other.
In a previous post, I wrote about what my children came to call my partner after going through a long litany of names. They finally settled on “stepdad,” though there are no formal, legal ties mandating this name, role, or function; just apron strings from heart to heart, which are stronger, anyway. Between us, in introducing each other in public settings, Dean and I usually refer to each other as “partner,” as in “this is my partner, Dean.” But even this name took some thought as LGBTQ people in same-sex relationships don’t have the simple default of “wife” or “husband” to grab from society’s repertoire of names.
Instead, we are left with choices. In a weird yet marvelous way, modern society has set before us a table, from which we can choose a wide assortment of names. And by the way: straight people get the same choices … many of you just didn’t know that, having deferred to the default option of “husband and wife.”
So what are the choices?

Click here for some choices:

Ashely Broadway and Col. Mack face discrimination in post-DADT days.

While more states have started to practice marriage equality this year, our society continues to play catch up with other changing policies and laws about same-sex couples. This is especially true in the U.S. military, even after the draconian law of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was repealed in 2010.
DADT made it nigh to impossible to be an out-LGBTQ military service personnel and not face discharge, either honorable or dishonorable. With the repeal of DADT, LGBTQ individuals and couples began coming out of their closets, living openly in military service to our country, with little to no fear of recrimination. There have been beautiful photographs taken of individuals in military dress kissing their same-sex spouse or partner, with their children hugging the embracing couple.
While the federal law has changed in terms of military service, some ancillary groups have yet to change policies that have caused great consternation and heartache among many couples. In other words, there is more work to be done. We only find out about the old rules that need to be changed as people bump up against them.
This was brought to the forefront recently when Ashley Broadway, wife of Lt. Col. Heather Mack, was initially denied membership in the Association of (Ft) Bragg Officers’ Spouses group (ABOS) because she was in a same-sex relationship with Lt. Col. Mack (even though ABOS declares they are supportive of all military families). The by-laws of ABOS had not been reviewed and “updated” to include military spouses in same-sex couples. As a compromise, they offered Ashley Broadway a “guest membership,” even though she is a military spouse.

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Importance of President Obama's Second Inaugural Address for LGBTQ People

My column from

Before and after I came out of my gay closet, I was always aware that people who were lesbian or gay (and today I would include bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, LGBTQ) were always included on a list of minority groups, right after sex and race or ethnicity, but usually before people living with disabilities. We were part of the liberal or conservative pecking order of minority groups whose rights needed to be addressed, along with a laundry list of other groups. It just seemed to be the way the world worked, and would be forever more.
But this laundry list was upended by President Obama’s second inaugural speech. I was not hopeful at the beginning of the morning, when New York U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer left out gays and lesbians in his list of people who had made great strides in civil rights before the president spoke. Sen. Schumer addressed women and African-Americans. So where were we in the checklist of civil rights’ leaders?

For more go to:

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Gay-ing of the Rocking Chair: Growing Older

From my website:

One of the sentiments I hear expressed more often these days from LGBTQ couples and parents is that they look forward to “growing old” and “sitting in a rocking chair” next to their beloved. Often this is expressed by someone in his or her 20s or 30s who has just entered into a relationship, been recently wedded, or is engaged to be married or in a civil union/partnership.
He or she is also wearing a pair of rose-colored glasses squarely upon the bridge of their noses. The idyllic scene of two people rocking away on a porch of an intermediate care facility or their own home in the closing years of life is a wistful idea in the future, with little knowledge of what will go on between where they are, and where they are going.
Having been in a domestic partner relationship for 17 years (and counting), which is considered a long time in same-sex relationships, and having entered into the 50s more than a few years ago, the scene of the rocking chair or lounger is getting closer than ever. For centuries, straight couples had children in order to provide shelter and comfort in one’s waning years before there was a social security safety net. I anticipate my children helping out their mom, dad, and step-dad as we grow older.
I am also now part of the “sandwich generation”: I care for my aging mother in Oregon, while my partner and my children’s mom still care for my growing young adult children. Using the cliché term, we “pay it forward,” caring for others around us with the presumption that others will care for us in light of our caring and good deeds.
There is a growing out-and-proud LGBTQ population who are getting older. This generation includes individuals and couples, parents and grandparents. Nursing homes and care facilities that were once set up for primarily straight couples and individuals who were aging are making quick changes in their sales brochures, programs, and in training health service personnel, making such facilities more friendly and accommodating to both straight and LGBTQ couples.

For more, go to :

Friday, January 18, 2013

Educating North Carolinians: Changing Our State Constitution Now

From my Q Notes column:
One of the adages I’ve passed on to generations of students I have taught since 1989 is this: All education is continuing education.
We are taught in modern society that education can take place in classrooms — and, now online courses. Since we were in pre-school programs and all the way through graduate programs, education in these contexts and programs is only part of what is education.Education can take place in workshops we attend at a community center or community of faith, going to a public lecture by an aspiring academic, continuing education credits for a job or reading a book or journal article. We can even go to an art museum, throw ourselves into music venues that we would normally side step, take a walk in a park and read about the different flora and fauna, take a cooking class, or…well, once the reins of a formal education are off of us, we are free to learn and educate ourselves as much as we want.
The importance of education is rising in Oregon, one of my adopted home states, where I am writing this column. Oregon, like North Carolina, is one of the 31 states with a constitutional ban against marriage equality. In 2004, Karl Rove and then-President George W. Bush singled out Oregon and a few other states to put anti-marriage equality bans in state constitutions in hopes of getting conservative votes out for the presidential election.Oregon, like North Carolina, is a state with a split personality: there are large pockets of blue-tilting and Libertarian cities and burbs in the state, surrounded by even larger red pockets of conservative voters tied tightly to institutional religion.
Even though I feel more free to be a gay dad in Portland than I do in any city in North Carolina, the folks leading the LGBTQ group here — Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) — do not feel it is not quite time to push amending their state constitution. Says Jeana Frazzini, the executive director of BRO: “Our guiding principle is to minimize harm.” They will not be pushing for the amendment in 2013 because it is an off year for voting and the electorate skews more conservative. State leaders believe that Oregon can’t afford to fail again on gay marriage — politically, financially or emotionally. LGBTQ families would be hurt and outside donations for another campaign may not be there. So, while states like Illinois, New Jersey and others who don’t have constitutional amendments on their books make us all drool with envy, the facts are the facts, no matter how much we don’t like them.
To North Carolinians who care about marriage equality, here’s the educational lesson for the next few years: Oregon serves as a model for what we could and should be doing here and currently aren’t in regards to marriage equality. They’re purposefully educating the public about the issues of marriage equality and we here are not. LGBTQI and straight allies in Oregon are being encouraged to talk about love and commitment more than about rights and privileges.
Here, Equality NC seems to be more focused on making change happen legislatively than through grassroots education. In going onto the group’s website, I looked for “education” and found nothing. No one is leading an educational movement on a grassroots level here to reverse the hateful amendment and allow North Carolina to be open to marriage equality in the near future.
In North Carolina, we should be doing what they are doing in Oregon, with LGBTQ people reaching out to cities, but also rural areas, faith communities and businesses, without vilifying opponents. LGBTQ people are sharing stories about ordinary people wanting normal things, like a family. Unlike Equality NC, BRO is pushing others to tell their stories, which is politically smart. Signature gathering for the November 2014 ballot initiative is beginning in 2013, with people spending time in farmers’ markets, summer concerts and other grassroots locales. LGBTQI people and straight allies are doing the long-term groundwork necessary to change a culture: they are educating the populace one person at a time, right where they live.
Friends in North Carolina: before I move out of North Carolina because of its shame-filled amendment, I’m ready to educate North Carolinians, reversing the amendment, replacing it with marriage equality in our state and ready to pop champagne glasses (or sparkling juice) from Murphy to Manteo for all who wish to marry. How does 2014 sound to you for such a change? Let’s try a new “ENC”: Educate North Carolinians…for change! : :

The link:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

TV Lesbian and Gay Parents and Couples

With Ryan Murphy's "The New Normal" on t.v., presenting us with the newest gay couple/parents on television, what's television's take on our families?  From my column on
Like many children in the 1950s and 1960s, I was glued to the television set early in life. We had two TVs in our house: one was a large black and white set in a beautiful wooden box, with an antennae on the top of the house, while the other small black and white TV was portable, with rabbit ears that were key in getting a clear picture.
I credit the early TV shows with leading me into the gay closet where I spent the early, formative years of my life. The cast of characters who literally scared me into the closet were all fantastic performers in their own right: Paul Lynde in the middle square of “Hollywood Squares,” Liberace playing on “The Mike Douglas Show,” seated alongside Broadway actor Charles Nelson Reilly. Each performer was as effeminate and flamboyant as the next. While being effeminate and flamboyant takes courage to live out, it nonetheless was not part of who I was or how I understood myself in my small world. Each performer was unlike me, and yet they were the only recognizably “homosexual” people I knew in my young life. These were my role models? There were no gay characters in Disney movies, in rock and roll, or in the Hardy Boy books I read. Not wanting to be “like them,” I ran into my closet, closed the door quickly, locked the door from the inside, and did my best to protect my secret for the next thirty years.
Zoom to the 1990s and 2000s, and television shows and personalities changed in remarkable ways. To this day, I credit TV shows like ABC’s “Soap” and NBC’s “Will and Grace” as keys that helped me out of my big gay closet. Watching the character Billy Crystal played — Jodie Dallas — was refreshing after the dearth of interesting gay characters. “Jodie” even fathered a child with one of the other characters.
Read more on:

The Tycoon and the Lesbian Daughter

From my column on

“Tycoon offers millions for man to marry lesbian daughter,” blares the headline from the Fox television webpage. Similar titles covered other gossip pages. Cecil Chao, a Hong Kong shipping tycoon, is offering $65 million for someone to marry his daughter, Gigi Chao, who married her lesbian partner earlier in 2012. The idea is that Gigi could, or would want to, change her sexual orientation from lesbian to straight for just the right man, who would then receive millions of dollars if he successfully changed Gigi.
The idea is preposterous! How can anyone change her or his sexual orientation? That would be like someone who is of one ethnicity or race — which is biologically determined — changing it with a wish-upon-a-star for a new identity. And will all the money in the world be able to change one’s sexual orientation? Or will the right prayers prayed in the right position change one’s same-sex attraction? Will countless hours of suspicious and unscientific therapeutic methods change one’s orientation in life? Of course not. Yet I have met many women and men who are closeted lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ) and remain in loveless, sexless marriages with straight spouses because of one primary reason: money.

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What is a "Family"?

From column:
he 182nd Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons) started with the leaders of the Church reaffirming the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage. Latter-day Saints Apostle Dallin Oaks confirmed the church’s belief that being gay is abnormal and that gay sex is sinful, though he added that teens struggling with their sexuality need “loving understanding.” He strongly discouraged raising children with same-sex parents, saying that it is disadvantagous for children to be raised by couples of the same gender, and calling such unions a “social experiment.”
Such blatant disdain and “misunderstanding” of what is a family is nothing new from certain religious communities. It is a striking condemnation and warning coming from a gentleman whose faith community has a long, rich, and recent history of supporting polygamous families. The LDS, the Family Research Council (FRC), and the American Family Association (AFA), along with Southern Baptists and the Roman Catholic Church dare all equally critical of families with children and same-sex parents. It is less than “uplifting” to read that my partner, the mother of our children, and my children have been part of a “social experiment” that is somehow “abnormal” and “sinful” simply because of who we are as human beings, and not even connected to any intentional or unintentional action on anyone’s part.

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Having Children as LGBTQ Families: Adoption

From my column:
Now and then on my Facebook page, my friend Lynn posts the latest pictures and stories about her two young daughters. A single mom, she adopted both girls from China. The girls are cute, with vivacious smiles that simply make me smile. Likewise, my former church youth group member Karen and her husband adopted their second child from China, posting pictures from her “Adoption Day” into their family. Again, smiles aplenty among all the family members. Dan and his partner Darrell post pictures of their adopted sons, now grown men (I knew them as boys, sigh), boasting of their high school accomplishments. Now and then we see pictures of the young men with their latest high school athletic accomplishments, surrounded by two proud dads. My friends from down the road, Bob and Dale, have had published stories of raising two young boys from Vietnam, encouraging others to adopt children here and abroad.
I was not aware of how many individuals, same-sex couples, and married straight people I know who who have adopted children until I recognized that this is National Adoption Month. One quick glance at Facebook reminded me of the plethora of individuals and couples I know who have adopted children as their own. Along with those who have officially adopted children, there are those LGBTQ couples, in which one of the partners had a child from a previous marriage and whose partner has kind of “adopted” the partner’s child or children as their own. Again, these individuals and couples are on my Facebook pages as well, smiling, laughing, being entertained by a clown, splashing in a pool, or visiting an amusement park in Florida.
The practice of adoption is as old as the Bible itself. For example, Moses was brought to Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son, naming him “Moses,” explaining, “I lifted him out of the water” (Exodus 2:10, NRSV). Throughout time, around the world, adoption is a common practice. In the U.S. today, there are roughly 408,425 children who are waiting to be adopted (Children’s Defense Fund, 2011). Among these children, there are some who are school-aged or in a sibling group that needs to stay together. Some have experienced abuse or neglect, or live with a physical, behavioral, or intellectual disability. There is a shortage of adults — single or partnered — who are interested in adopting older children, children of a different race or ethnicity than the an adoptive parent, or a child living with a disability. What is beautiful is that many same-sex couples have adopted many of these very children mentioned above, taking those who are “least likely” to be adopted. With love and patience, something beautiful comes forth.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013 won first place on Rings of Equality Competition

Good news!

This blog won first place on Rings of Equality competition!

Thanks for the generous support and voting for four weeks!  That was a marathon.

More to come!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

The "T" Among LGBTQ Parents

My column/blog from
The \
Imagine a parent — whether in a supposed same-sex or straight relationship — who lives with heartache after years of quiet wrestling and silent suffering, and who comes to terms with their gender, finally having the courage to embrace the person one was created to be.
In the alphabet abbreviation of my community — LGBTQ — the “T” stands for “Transgender,” in which a person has started on the path from a culturally assigned gender identification to a true gender identity. There are those who move from being understood as “man” in our society to understanding and identifying one’s self as “woman,” and vice versa.
The importance of highlighting this move is precipitated by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM, Fifth Version), which will no longer carry the label “gender identity disorder.” This term was used since 1980 in order to make being transgender pathological, i.e., a mental illness.  Instead, DSM-5 will now have “gender dysphoria,” which relates only to individuals feeling distress over their assigned gender identity. In other words, those who simply identify differently from the gender assigned to them at birth. More importantly, “gender dysphoria” in the DSM-5 will allow people who are transitioning between genders to get coverage for hormone treatments or surgery by simply pointing to a medical problem within the DSM.
Read the rest on

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Your Vote Matters! Especially on Rings of Equality "Best Gay Advocacy Blog" Competition

Your vote matters, especially today when this blog is now second place.  Please go to; go to the top tab for "Best Gay Advocacy Blog," then vote for by hitting the little circle above this site's title, and then go to the bottom of the page and vote.

You can vote once EVERY 24 HOURS. Their computer knows.

Here's the trick: you can vote once by your cellphone WITHOUT wifi service, and then again ON wifi service on your computer, cellphone, or tablet.

This goes until Jan. 15!!!!

And thanks!


Sperm Donors and Equality Among LGBTQ People and Straight People Alike

From my blog:
This seems like a “truth is stranger than fiction” story, but it is a clear discrimination — and injustice. Donating sperm to a lesbian couple might not be as simple, legally, as donating to a straight couple, at least in Kansas.
You see, sperm donation can happen at least in one of two ways: one is through the practices of a medical facility, in which a medical professional inserts the donated sperm into a woman. The other way is through the practice of a friend or paid donor who simply gives sperm to a waiting person or, say, a lesbian couple, who then take matters in their own hands, often times using a syringe when the “time is right” for the recipient.
Recently, though, in Kansas, a new little wrinkle came up, exposing a bias in favor of straight people versus LGBTQ people. William Marotta, the donor, was trying to assist a lesbian couple — Jennifer Schreiner and Angela Bauer — who wanted to conceive a child. They put a posting on Craigslist, and William responded kindly by giving them some sperm. He signed a document, relinquishing any parental rights or responsibilities, and refused the $50 the women were going to give him. Sounds like a good agreement, right?
Read the rest on:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Keeping Same Sex Couples From Two Different Nations Together

From Another effect of DOMA: bi-national couples unable to be in a relationship without one always worrying about a visa!  Straight couples simply marry to take care of this issue, but DOMA stops us from being in relationship:

My partner and I are not unique among same-sex parents, because we are both U.S. citizens. Dean was born and raised in Durham, NC, and where we live (in the South), and I am the foreigner, a.k.a., Yankee. I was born in Brooklyn, NY, raised in Maplewood, NJ, and Portland, OR, and went to colleges, universities, and seminaries at the Univ. of Kansas, Princeton Seminary, and Harvard University … a northeastern elite at that.
My brother’s story is slightly different than mine. He dated a woman whose country of origin was Peru. As an international visitor upon these shores, she needed to constantly update her visa in order to work at her university position. In order to get over the need for constantly needing to update her visa, they solved it recently, in the same way that many heterosexual or straight couples do: she simply married a U.S. citizen. They are now known as a binational straight couple. With that simple marriage license, recognized by the federal government, she was given a green card, which gives her little of the hassle that the constant renewal of the visa did. They will be together, wherever they go, without fear of her being deported for any reason regarding her country of origin.
Read more here:

My Parent Society Column on Pope Benedict XVI Faces the Evolving Nature of Family

Pope Benedict XVI and the Transforming, Reforming American Family

In the Pope’s annual Christmas address on December 21, 2012, along with his peace address during the week of Dec. 10, 2012, he targeted one group of people for criticism: same-sex parents.
In his annual peace message, Pope Benedict XVI said “gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, is a threat to world peace.” This is because the Catholic Church holds that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” though it stresses that LGBTQ people should be treated with compassion and dignity.
Same-sex marriage goes beyond questions of homosexuality, threatening what the Catholic Church considers to be the bedrock of society: a family based on a man, a woman, and their children. In his Christmas address, the Pope pressed his opposition to those of us who are LGBTQ by describing us as people who manipulate our God-given identities to suit our sexual choices — and destroying the very “essence of the human creature” in the process. To quote: “People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being … they deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves … the manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s (sic) fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.”
While I appreciate the Pope’s vision of one way of being a family — a mom, a dad, and children, a.k.a., a traditional family — I know I live in a world in which that way of being a “family” is but one of many ways of being a “family.”
Read more here:

Please Vote Today on Rings of Equality for This Blog!

Dear Friends and Family, thanks for the fun of voting for this blog on  We are close to breaking through 300!  Absolutely phenomenal...and it is all because of you, kind people.

My hope in winning this prize of consulting hours is to find the best way to get the stories of other LGBTQI and straight ally friends and families "out there" to the world.  It's fun to blog, but hard to get the word "out there." The folks at Q Notes at and and, where I blog, have been helpful conduits for my writing.  But I know that others need to know our stories and realize that we are "out here" in the world, and that we and the kids are all right.  We are your neighbors, friends, family members, co-workers, bosses, ministers, priests... Telling our stories helps those questioning whether or not they can be out by giving them hope that being out of the closet--while it may seem threatening--does have its advantages over the disadvantages, namely our health (spiritual, emotional, physical, and psychological health).  For those who are against us and our families, telling our stories pulls the rug from their feet as they make us seem less than human as they realize the simple humanity of our stories.  And as a pro-faith, pro-gay, pro-family writer, I hope the blog shares the beauty of who and whose we are.

Please vote today!  Vote once a day on your cell phone AND on your internet.  9 more days!

Woo hoo!

And thanks!


p.s., use these stories; invite me to come and read these stories out loud...share these stories.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Primer on Prop 8

From blog:
In the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government legally codified the definition of marriage as being solely between a man and a woman. Afterward, several states borrowed the exact language of DOMA and made it state law as well. But many groups feared the possibility of LGBTQ couples marrying through judicial actions.
As cited in an earlier post, DOMA is undermined by the very fact that it fails to treat LGBTQ couples who are marrying as equals to opposite-sex couples who can marry. Fearful that DOMA may be overturned, and that judges will set the state’s rules of who can get married (as was the case in Massachusetts in 2003), many began working hard, and quickly, to amend state constitutions stating that marriage is between one man and one woman. For example, North Carolina forbids marriage equality through state law, but the citizens also amended their constitution on May 8, 2012.
Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment in California a brief few months after the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Same-sex couples and parents could be wed from Mt. Shasta to the southern border with Mexico. While it did not have an impact upon domestic-partnered relationship, Prop 8 stopped all same-sex marriages after Nov. 5, 2008.
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Holy Communion: Not to Be Blocked But Open to All, LGBTQ Included

I write this blog entry both as a gay dad and as an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church.
As such, I’m hypersensitive to the words of inclusion and practices of exclusion in faith communities. I’ve got a heightened sense of awareness of hospitality, having seen some congregations consciously work hard on writing rituals that are welcoming of all, regardless of one’s age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic class, ethnicity, national heritage, ability, or disability. Likewise, I’ve seen parishes turn away people, many times unconscious of their actions or words, having never experienced being on the margins in middle-class American life.
Then there are moments when a priest, pastor, or minister in a church is openly and shockingly exclusive, barring a church member who is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer parent in a same-sex relationship from one of the central rituals, otherwise known as sacraments, in the life of a congregation: Holy Communion, Eucharist, or the Lord’s Supper. Not only have same-sex parents been denied participation in Holy Community, but other family members, straight allies, and some politicians who support marriage equality have been and are denied the bread and cup of this holy meal by the minister or priest who is presiding at the table or altar.
A case in point is the Roman Catholic Church, Assumption Church, in Barnesville, where the priest Rev. Gary LaMoine told the family of 17-year-old Lennon Cihak that they were all to be denied Communion because Lennon is gay and was against amending Minnesota’s constitution, outlawing marriage equality. Lennon altered a political sign that originally said “Vote Yes” on the marriage amendment and in its place wrote “No.”
The family is still incredibly kind toward the Church. Lennon’s father still calls Rev. LaMoine a “messenger of the church,” while Lennon doesn’t want the entire Catholic religion put down. He just thinks that Rev. LaMoine is simply “strict.”
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