Saturday, July 27, 2013

Iowa: Hurting LGBTQ Families

In Iowa, there is a drive to request more information from LGBTQ families with adopted children, or who want to adopt children, than there is for straight couples who want to adopt.  This is an injustice.  It is done out of spite and malice, because of the sexual orientation of the couple. Period.

In a country with so many children "up" for adoption, let alone in orphanages and foster home placements, why make it harder for children to find love?

Here for more:

Friday, July 26, 2013

LGBTQ Couples: Challenging the (Sad to say) Status Quo on Marriage

In, I've been following all the couples in various states that have amended their state constitution so that marriage is between "a man and woman" (repeat again in the state DOMA laws).  In Pennsylvania, now KY, NC, OH...with the demise of the federal DOMA policy, people are moving quickly to challenge the constitutionality of state laws and constitutions.  This is what democracy looks like: state by state, from my challenges on many sides of these harmful policies.

Here's the latest from

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Scaring Husbands Away from Wives: Beware (says NOM)

NOM's latest salvo in the struggle towards marriage equality: with DOMA no longer (at least, part or section 3), and with Prop 8 gone, and more states moving toward marriage equality, more husbands will be leaving their wives in straight or opposite sex marriages.

You can't make this stuff up.

Here's more from towleroad:

Watch out, you married women/wives: we're out to get your husbands (not).



Monday, July 22, 2013

Protesting at Moral Monday...again...

My heart is so tired of this fight. I attended the 2nd Moral Monday (before it was called Moral Monday) because I thought it was the right thing to do.  It was the right thing to do. 

I'm doing it again because the strictures that this General Assembly are putting on voting is obscene.  They are making voting as difficult as possible.  That was the newest from last week's legislative gatherings.

I'm also doing it because they are putting more strictures on women, those who are poor, the young, the unemployed...etc.

While we will not be able to stop them from passing these current laws, we can start making inroads to the 2014 election. But we must find the candidates to run against these people.  Then in 2016 a new Governor.

As Rev. Barber said, the actions of the General Assembly hurt us all, gay and straight alike.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Our Marriages (as LGBTQI People) and states rights and civil rights.

Fox News Bill O'Reilly was on CBS and other channels on mainstream tv waters (don't know why as there was no new book out that I could tell). caught the CBS broadcast, in which O'Reilly is upset with the Supreme Court re: overturning Prop 8, which was decided by the people.  He thinks it was a matter of states rights: the state had the right to make this decision. Period.  Supreme Court could not overrule it. The problem is: CA was given the right to amend the constitution (CA state one) AFTER marriages of LGBTQI and straight people was allowed via a court ruling.

Teaching Ethics this semester, and remembering we are a Republic and not a democracy, in which the rights of the minority are protected and we are given "equal treatment" because we are all created with certain unalienable rights, e.g., life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, don't we as LGBTQI people have the right to marry as a civil right, protected by the Constitution? The idea of putting civil rights "up" for a vote by the populace (democracy) is not helpful but leads to anarchy.  For example, in 1967, Loving v. VA, in which interracial marriage was the law of the land, around 27% of the US approved.  But as a civil right, polls don't matter.

Marriage equality: a civil right.

Here's O'Reilly:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

John Arthur and Jim Obergefell: Heroes and Lovers

Love this story about John Arthur and Jim Obergefell, a couple who wanted to get married before John Arthur dies of ALS, or Lou Gehrig disease. They flew from OH to MD where they can get married, and they will have the federal laws of marriage (hopefully) now cover them with the dismantling of DOMA.

Read more here:

Good parenting is good parenting, regardless of parents' sexual orientation!

Good news!  Good parenting matters more than the parents' sexual orientation.  Good parenting is good parenting!

From, there is a study that shows that adopted children of LGBTQ parents and same sex couples grow in homes where there is a certain harmony in parenting.  While straight couples tend to follow traditional lines of parenting, e.g.,  moms do one set of jobs, dads do another set of jobs, with LGBTQ couples, the roles are all redefined because it isn't attached to gender construction.

What matters most to young children? How harmonious we are as parents.

Here's more:


Friday, July 12, 2013

NC news: Attorney General Roy Cooper to Include Case Against Amendment 1

There is a lawsuit challenging the state of NC on the issue of second parent adoption.  Currently, only one person in a same-sex couple who share a child's life in common, can "claim" or be identified as the adoptive parent. Attorney General Cooper will fold this lawsuit into a lawsuit that also challenges the constitutionality of Amendment 1, part of our state constitution.

Even with the Christianists in control of the NC General Assembly, things are moving forward.

More here:

Prop 8 Supporters: Desperate Times Calls for Desperate Measures

Here they go again: ProtectMarriage, which brought us Prop 8 in California, are trying hard to keep us from the altar or the "I do" moments yet once again, saying that Gov. Brown does not have the authority to rule over Prop 8, nor does the Supreme Court, or any other court or elected official.  They're desperate to stop the "already," which is the marriage of two adults in CA and 12 other states and DC.

More here:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rick Warren Kind of, Sort of, Well, Um, Er...Likes Us LGBTQI People?

Rick Warren is far behind the times.  He just doesn't realize it.  The Spirit of God has--once again--chosen to go beyond the Church to the people of earth to make the agenda clear: God loves ALL the people God created and creates and will create.

News: Rick says that "gays" will go to heaven and just being gay may simply not be a sin.

Shock!  Awe!  Really!?

Rick!  The audacity and sheer arrogance that you think people care what you think about those of us who are LGBTQI shows me that you live in a very little pond, in which you are an enormously big fish.  Pun intended.

Now that I've got that out of my's the reality: the evangelical world or bubble, in which he lives, making these "concessions" is a "biggie." The majority of these people are not leaders on social reforms, or they become like Rob Bell: a pariah.  There will never be quick movement in the minds or attitudes towards social changes among this group of people.  They are, by their very nature, conservative theologically and usually politically (but not always).

Here's more:

Challenging State-wide DOMAs: Pennsylvania, You're First!

Attorney General Kathleen Kane of PA is challenging the constitutionality of the statewide DOMA in PA. This is one of the beginning signs of the fall down or crumbling away of DOMAs throughout the US.  NC and other states--I'm sure OR is one of them--will also start to challeng the statewide DOMAs, and the constitutional of these nasty and evil constitutional amendments that Karl Rover and the Republican candidates like GW Bush put into place.  Remember: George W. Bush advocated for a national amendment to the national constitution against us.  Thanks for nothing, George.

Here's more:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Re-Fighting Amendment 1 in NC

Tammi Fitzgerald of NC, who fought for Amendment 1, is wrong: the "one man, one woman" vote is going to go down, and the amended constitution of NC will change because of the Supreme Court of the US's decision re: DOMA.  Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy argued against DOMA because it put one kind of marriage as more "moral" than another.

Now the ACLU is fighting for marriage equality in NC, and our friends Marcie and Chantelle Fisher-Borne are in the thick of it as two of the six plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Go here for more information:

Things are changing quickly.


Next states for marriage equality

According to, the bet is on Hawaii, NJ, IL and OR for marriage equality.  Currently, 30% of the country celebrates and recognizes marriage equality. Meanwhile, NC is going deeper into the 1950s.

Here's the link to

The Big Mo

From my column in Q Notes:
I am writing this column on Thursday, June 20, 2013. I was going to write about the Supreme Court of the U.S. coming down on the side of justice in terms of throwing both California’s Prop 8 and DOMA to the dustbin of history. Alas, the Supreme Court did not come out with a ruling today. By the time this this column is published, the nine in their black robes will invariably have changed the lay of the cultural landscape until the next set of judicial rulings and new laws are enacted within the country. Regardless of what the Supreme Court rules, it is evident that we who are LGBTQIA have what is called “the Big Mo” with us. “The Big Mo” was an expression from the 1960s, used as a way to explain how a sports team had the momentum in a game that would invariably take them over the finishing line, the final goal, the last basket in the game, the ending homerun. Borrowing from the sports teams, the “Big Mo” may also be used as a way of describing a change in a politician’s campaign, a way of describing economic recovery, or highlighting social transformation.
Almost regardless of what the Supreme Court of the U.S. decides, the die has been cast in terms of modern societies making significant moves in going beyond welcoming to including LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families as part of the fabric of the public square. For example, on a recent trip to Scotland and England, I delighted watching same-sex couples holding hands along the city streets of Edinburgh and London, with no one turning around and noticing such a personal display of affection. For fun, I went into a kilt shop — Howie Nicholsby’s 21st Century Kilts — to get fitted for a kilt if and when I ever get married. I met Howie — a kilt maker extraordinaire — inside the shop to take my measurements for a denim kilt with a fringe on the side with the colors from the Ferguson tartan (my mom’s side of the family).Howie didn’t bat an eye about the purpose of the kilt and regaled me with other stories of gay men who had come in to get kilts for their weddings.

More here:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Vladimir Putin Really Doesn't Like Us, or Get Us!

Russia's Vladimir Putin really does not feel the "love" of the LGBTQ community.  He has recently signed a law that, well, outlaws a chance for LGBTQ individuals or couples from adopting children from Russia.  It isn't because there are suddenly a lot of homes in Russia for orphans. It is simply because he, and the legislators don't like us, trust us, or want us to be parents...even though every social study shows we're really quite good at it.  For more information, click here:

Something New

Dear Readers,

Happy (almost) Fourth of July!

I'm working with Nathan at Rings of Equality to boost the exposure of  For example, you will see the new logo on the right hand corner of the site; the new description of the site (focused on faith, family, and LGBTQ issues), and will see more opportunities for other people to add on their blog entries on this site.  In other words, I hope this site becomes more of a community venture rather than Brett posting his thoughts and ideas and comments about this or that.

I'll also be posting more about our families, faith, and culture in the coming months and hopefully years from blogging with

 More to come!



p.s., if you like the logo, I'm about to make some t-shirts with this design. $20 per shirt! 

Redefining Family Membership: How YMCAs and Other Clubs Discriminate Against Our LGBTQ Families

Recently, the local YMCA—of which I am a member—has been considering merging with another larger YMCA in the area. One of the stumbling blocks in the talks about merging has been the “family membership”.  Why “family membership”? Because many “family memberships,” which offer a great discount to a family, who are usually strapped for money, have determined that a “family” is one man and one woman, with no variation. I was surprised that there were no other options for my family of two men and children. “Name of wife/mother” and “Name of husband/father” were the only blanks offered on the form. After a series of discussions over a period of months, the YMCAs reached a compromise, simply putting the words “Parent” where gender language was used before.
            My family is not the only one confronted by this legal form of discrimination. The “Hands On Children’s Museum” in Jacksonville, FL used a similar form that specified that a family was one mom and one dad.  There was no space for “partner,” “moms” or “dads,” let alone a place for aunts, uncles, grandparents, or godparents.  If the one mom included the other same sex partner as a “friend” there was an additional cost to the family membership.
            YMCAs and the “Hands on Children’s Museum” are not the only ones with this practice of specifying that family include one man and one woman.  It usually isn’t until we start joining groups and organizations that offer family membership that we discover whether or not our families are considered a “family.” Slowly, but surely, we will change the small and large obstacles that stop us from our same sex parents being accepted as one of the models for being qualified as a “family membership.”

When a House is Not a Home: Housing Discrimination among LGBTQ Families

One of the keys to keeping a balanced life is knowing where your home is.  This is especially true in the middle of days of our life when there is angst and a general sense of unsettledness. For my children, in the middle of their mom and I separating and divorcing, the children suddenly were welcome to two homes, one where their mom lived, and one where I lived with my partners. What was key throughout my years of parenting my young children was making sure that they knew they had a home, a bed, that was safe, warm, and comfortable, where they were loved.  This meant that we worked on making a house a home, which is easier said than done.  But with grit, determination, and practicing love against all kinds of odds, I think we were successful.
            Our family is not like all other families. The U.S. Department o Housing and Urban Development recently released a study finding that same couples have a difficult time discovering a place to rent together than do opposite couples.  In the study “An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples,” 7000 inquiries were made in fifty cities across the country from June-October 2011. Two inquiries were sent to one rental unit, with the only difference being the messages as to if the couple was a same-sex or opposite sex couple. The results? Opposite sex couples were favored over gay male couples 15.9% of the time, and over lesbian female couples 15.6% of the time. What was even more amazing was that there was more discrimination where it is prohibited by law than those places not protected by such laws under the Fair Housing Act (see Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2013).
            In a country that is pushing forward with marriage equality, with more same sex parents and children coming out of their closets in this country, this housing study is illustrative of the work still to be done.  While there are laws in some states that protect those of us who are same sex parents, it is obvious that we are still being discriminated against in housing, in employment opportunities, and in our opportunities to simply wed one another or be in civil union. The struggle continues until all parents—same sex and opposite sex parents alike, and our children—have the right to seek and obtain affordable housing and not being turned away from it simply because of who one loves.  After all, what parents are trying to do is locate that special house that will soon become home for a special family.